"With a spot in the MAAC Tournament on the line, today was a great win in a really physical contest," said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. "We played really hard and made enough plays with our season on the line to get the win. The Gaels made us earn everything that we got and I really like how our team responded to their defensive pressure."
Junior Lindsey Morgan led the Griffs by matching her career high with five goals in the victory. Seniors Megan Oosting and Carly Quinn and freshman Tori Quinn added two tallies, while junior Morgan Leonard, sophomore Maria Kotas and freshman Tori Greco rounded out the scoring with a goal each.
Leonard also anchored the Canisius defense on the afternoon, collecting a career-best five caused turnovers and four ground balls in the winning effort. The junior also added two assists to go along with her tally for three points on the afternoon.
The teams played even lacrosse in the opening 30 minutes with neither team gaining more than a one-goal advantage. The half also featured five ties and four lead changes. With the game knotted at five in the closing minutes, Oosting gave the Griffs the lead into the intermission, netting her second goal of the day with just 26 seconds left before the half for a 6-5 Canisius advantage.
Canisius then carried its momentum into the second stanza. After trading goals to open the half, Canisius rallied off four-straight goals for an 11-6 lead. Kotas ignited the four-goal run and after two free-position tallies from Morgan, Leonard capped the streak for a commanding five goal advantage, 11-6.
Iona would not pull any closer than three for the remainder of the game as Canisius secured its fifth-straight bid to the MAAC Tournament with the win.
The Griffs finished the game with a 24-18 advantage in shots and a 22-13 edge in ground balls. Iona won the draw-control battle, 17-7, but the Gaels committed 21 turnovers to just 10 by Canisius.
Brittney Mabus led Iona with five points on a goal and four assists, while Emily Taddei netted a team-best four tallies. Maria Ortiz recorded nine saves in the losing effort for the Gaels.
Canisius, who earned the No. 2 seed for the MAAC Tournament and will play No. 3 Marist next Friday in Buffalo, wraps up the regular season on Sunday with a non-conference tilt at Boston University. First draw is scheduled for noon.
Game Notes: Canisius has won all eight meetings with the Gaels ... The loss prevented Iona from earning a MAAC Tournament bid ... Morgan netted five goals in a game for the fifth time in her career and for the fourth time this season ... Leonard entered the game ranked fifth nationally with 2.21 caused turnovers per game ... Canisius has not won the draw-control battle in each of its last six games after starting the season by losing the draw-control battle only once in the first nine contests.