LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The VMI water polo team opened MAAC play with a split taking a loss to Iona College, 8-6, before defeating La Salle in dominant fashion, 14-2, Saturday at the Siena Swim Center in Loudonville, New York.
Against Iona, the Keydets (8-3) kept pace with the Gaels nearly the entire match as the team finished the first period tied at two apiece and the half at four goals apiece. Iona managed to one-up the Keydets in both the third and fourth quarters, however, to take the win. After VMI tied the score at 6-6 with a little over six minutes to play, the Gaels scored twice to earn the small margin of victory.
“Our last handful of games against Iona have been close, back and forth games, and this was no exception,” said VMI head coach Ryan Pryor. “We came up short this time, but I was proud of our effort and, with the exception of a few lapses that we'll get cleaned up, our defensive execution was very good.”
Natalie Rivas and Sarah Dolitsky scored the goals in the first period before Shelby Barkley scored both VMI goals in the second period. Rebecca Serrano scored a goal in the third period and Sophia DelBondio tied the game at six apiece.
VMI sophomore goalie Isabel French logged 14 saves in the loss.
VMI 14, La Salle 2
The Keydets got back in the win column in the evening match against La Salle by cruising to a 14-2 victory.
VMI did not allow a goal until the fourth quarter, jumping ahead 2-0 after one quarter and 7-0 by halftime. The Keydets would tack on seven goals throughout the second half and did not allow an Explorer goal until the 6:27 mark of the final period.
Dolitsky scored a career-high five goals during the match, breaking her previous best of three set twice last season. Barkley and freshman Zoe Salafatinos both scored two goals in the game while DelBondio, Emma Perez, Caroline Wojtas, Rivas, and Amber Hamil each had one goal.
French tallied 10 saves during the match and senior Catie Berry logged three.
“We continued the strong defense into the evening game against LaSalle, not allowing a goal until the fourth quarter,” Pryor said. “We have made great progress in terms of forcing our opponents into tough shots and we will look to continue building on that trend.”
The Keydets face St. Francis Brooklyn at 9 a.m. Sunday morning before facing No. 17. Wagner at 1:30 p.m.