2019 Hawks Become Best Lacrosse Team in School History

A win against Buffalo State in overtime made the 2019 women's lacrosse team the most successful group in program history. (Photo courtesy of Monica D'Ippolito/ SUNY New Paltz Athletic Communications)

The women’s lacrosse team stepped up their game this past week after coming up short, losing 17-14 against the Red Dragons for their first loss of the season in the conference but coming back with a big 12-11 overtime win against Buffalo State in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play to secure their place as the school’s best women’s lacrosse team in it’s history.

SUNY New Paltz has not beaten Oneonta ever, but this was the closest game played between the two teams.

“I am so happy with how the season has gone so far, we’ve been working really hard so it’s nice to see it pay off,” said fourth-year attacker Taylor Russell.  “This has been the best season New Paltz women’s lacrosse has ever had and we’re hoping to keep that trend going and break more records.”

The game started out fast-paced with both teams going goal-for-goal on offense.  The Red Dragons were the first to score, but Hawks fourth-year midfielder Rachael Purtell promptly responded. She set two new personal career highs of four goals in a game and six ground balls.

The scoring for SUNY New Paltz did not stop there. First-year offensive midfielder Maddy Carullo, second-year attacker Tara Bovich, and third-year Jennifer O’Leary continued the scoring drive for the Hawks.

Two consecutive goals by SUNY Oneonta at the end of the first period left the SUNY New Paltz trailing 9-6. The Hawks kept battling and Purtell was able to tie the game towards the middle of the second period to bring the score to 11-11, but the Red Dragons answered, piling on three more goals to make it 14-11. The Hawks were able to get three more goals on the board, one from third-year attacker Emily Puciloski, and two from second-year attacker Amy Hofer to come behind 16-14.

The remainder of the game both teams fought fiercely, but SUNY Oneonta came out on top winning 17-14. 

Following their loss against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, April 6, New Paltz headed to Buffalo State for another SUNYAC matchup.  

The Hawks had a strong start, leading the Bengals 5-2 halfway through the first period, with goals by O’Leary, Bovich, and three from Carullo. The Bengals retaliated, however, tying the score 5-5, and the first period ended in a dead heat, tie game 6-6. 

The Bengals scored first to kick off the second period, but the Hawks quickly responded.  Both teams traded shots, with goals from Bovich, Carullo, and Hofer to go up 10-9. Buffalo State came back as the Bengals lead 11-10 until Carullo hit a shot with two minutes left in the second period to tie the game. Overtime play began, and the Hawks came back hungry for a win.

New Paltz put pressure on Buffalo State’s goal, which caused them to drop the ball.  Without missing a beat, Bovich scooped the ball, passed to O’Leary who found Carullo open for the winning shot, making that her eighth goal of the game to tie the program record. 

“I was just really excited that we had finally beaten this team. We knew it was possible and I knew how much beating this team meant to the older girls,” Carullo said on her winning shot.

Looking ahead, New Paltz (8-3) will take on SUNY Geneseo (7-4) at home this Saturday, April 13.     

“We need to keep doing what we do well and with a little better performance on the draw and our shooting, I would expect a couple more wins to come our way in conference play,” Purtell said.