"I thought the game was a lot tighter than the score suggested," said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. "We brought some good pressure in the second half and after we pulled to within one at 2-1, I thought we had a couple of good chances to pull even. Had we finished, we would have given ourselves us a good chance to win but instead, we got caught on a counterattack and the game was over when they scored their third late."
The Gales took the early advantage in the contest, netting two goals 4:15 apart. Ansger Otto opened the scoring in the 25th minute of play and was followed by Samuel Adjei in the 29th minute for a 2-0 Iona lead.
The Griffs did not go away quietly against the nationally-ranked Gaels, playing Iona tight for the first 80-plus minutes. Canisius pulled to within one in the 62nd minute when junior Sam Zarka netted his second goal of the season on a penalty kick. Freshman Asani Samuels got behind the Iona defense and drew a foul in the box. Zarka then scored from the spot to bring Canisius within one, 2-1.
Canisius had a couple of opportunities to pull even but could not find the equalizer. The Griffs' best chance came in the 70th minute when Zarka fired a shot on goal, but Iona's Borja Barbero got a hand on the ball to keep the Gaels in front.
Iona finally sealed the game with two goals late. Michael Hodgen scored in the 83rd minute, while Ignacio Maganto added a tally in the 86th minute for the 4-1 final.
The Gaels held an advantage in both shots (18-13) and corner kicks (4-3) in the win with Barbero finishing with four saves. Junior Kareem Gray and sophomore Ryan Arvin split time in goal for the Griffs, recording two and one saves, respectively.
Canisius returns to Buffalo for two more games against MAAC foes next weekend. The Griffs open their final homestand of the season with Manhattan on Friday. Game time at the Demske Sports Complex is scheduled for 7 p.m.