Freshman forward Charlotte Stuart tallied two goals in her collegiate debut to lead the Iona College women’s soccer team to a 3-0 shutout victory over LIU Brooklyn in the team’s 2014 season opener Friday evening at LIU Field. Sophomore forward Erika Flowers recorded the final Iona score, connecting on a penalty kick in the 45th minute.
The Gaels picked up a victory to begin a season for the first time since a 2-0 road win over Stony Brook in the 2009 opener. Overall, the Maroon & Gold are 2-6-2 in their last 10 season openers.
Iona jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than ten minutes into the contest when Stuart struck for her first collegiate goal in the ninth minute. Stuart picked up a loose ball less than 20 yards from the net and scored after the LIU Brooklyn goalie fell in the loose ball scrum. In the 33rd minute, Stuart struck once again. After a shot from senior forward Melissa Frederick was blocked, Stuart snuck in the rebound to put the Gaels ahead 2-0.
In the final minute of the first half, Iona pushed its margin to three when the Blackbirds were called for a foul. Flowers connected on the ensuing penalty kick for her first tally of 2014 and second career goal.
Iona graduate goalkeeper Lauren Ferris and freshman Morgan McBrier combined to post a clean sheet for the Gaels. Ferris made seven saves in her Gaels debut in 80-plus minutes of action. McBrier entered the contest in the 81st minute and did not record a stop. Overall, LIU Brooklyn held a 10-9 advantage in shots and a 6-1 cushion in corner kicks.
The win evens the all-time record between the two squads at three apiece and ends a two game losing streak to the Blackbirds. The Gaels are back in action Sunday afternoon when they travel to Wagner College for a 1:00 pm kickoff.