The women’s lacrosse team is getting ready for the 2017 season and looking to improve on the 3-13 record the team obtained in 2016.
Goalkeeper Colleen Roemer is the only member of last season’s team that graduated, as the majority of the team were freshmen and sophomores. This season, the team has five seniors, three of which include fourth-year co-captains Melissa Wagner, Nicole Gottschalk and Nicole Petrullo. Petrullo led the team with 16 caused turnovers last season.
Gottschalk led the team last season in scoring with 23 goals and 29 points. She discussed how she feels going into her final year on the team.
“I’m very confident heading into this season, Gottschalk said. “We’ve had a long preseason to get ourselves prepared both physically and mentally.
“Being a senior is bittersweet. Having one year of experience as captain under my belt definitely helps and I’m excited to make my last year my best one.”
Though only one player from last season graduated, there have been some changes to the team this year, including the addition of five incoming freshmen for the season. There was also a non-player change the team underwent, as Hawks head coach Keith Detelj begins his first season as interim coach. Detelj is a former college lacrosse player who played midfield for Marist College from 2003-07. Before he started coaching at New Paltz in 2016 as an assistant, Detelj coached at Nassau Community College from 2012-15.
This season, the team opens up playing seven non-conference before starting State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) games on Saturday, April 1 as the Hawks will host No. 2 SUNY Cortland. Last year, the team went 0-8 in conference games, a number the team is looking to improve upon.
“I’m especially looking forward to our upcoming conference games this season,” Gottschalk said. “We’ve got a competitive edge coming from last year and we’re looking to make some things happen.”
While it is always the goal of a team to win as many games as possible in a given season, the Hawks’ focus doesn’t involve a certain amount of wins, according to Gottschalk.
“One of our goals for this season is to maintain the same high level of intensity throughout the entire game,” Gottschalk said. A simple, yet effective goal that can lead to more wins for New Paltz this season.
The Hawks did earn their first win of the season on Wednesday, March 8, as New Paltz bested Manhattanville 11-7. The Hawks trailed 4-2 at halftime, but came back to earn the victory.
Third-year attacker Caitlyn Morris and fourth-year midfielder Alexa Criollo led the offense with three goals each. Gottschalk was second on the team with two goals, while Wagner, third-year attack Kelsey Aeberli and third-year defender Amara Kutos all chipped in with one goal each. First-year goalkeeper Kendra Dansereau made four stops in her collegiate debut.
New Paltz will next play a road match against Bard College on Wednesday, March 15.