Things didn’t go as expected for the SUNY New Paltz field hockey team this weekend.
New Paltz welcomed Ithaca College to the North Turf Field on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. for a non-conference matchup. The match served as their last regular season game before heading into the postseason. Unfortunately, the Bombers shut the Hawks out 3-0.
Ithaca got right to business, at just 1:54, third-year striker Kristen Rafferty attempted to score, but her shot was saved by New Paltz’s second-year goalkeeper Mackenzie Mortimer. Within the next few minutes, Mortimer was able to save two more shots, until 9:57 when Rafferty came back to shoot. This time, Rafferty was successful in scoring the first goal of the game and her fourth of the season.
In period two, Ithaca scored again, this time by second-year striker Morgan Mullen. The Hawks attempted to fight back with shots from third-year forward Carly Croteau and fourth-year forward Rachel Beam, but were unable to hit the back of the goal. The Bombers scored their final goal of the game in period three at 38:23, again by Rafferty. Mortimer put up two more saves for the Hawks in period four, but the Bombers still clinched the win 3-0.
Despite the disappointing loss the ladies still had many positives to be reminded of. First and foremost, the field hockey team honored their seniors on Senior Day. Rachel Beam, Kaitlyn Gunter, Sarah Swift and Sophia Urrutia were recognized and welcomed to the field with their families for a lovely ceremony.
Secondly, New Paltz held the advantage in corners 8-3.
Probably one of the biggest positives of the day is that Ithaca was not a part of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC). The loss dropped New Paltz to a 10-7 overall record, but they still maintain a 4-2 record in the conference. The last game New Paltz played in the SUNYAC was against Oneonta on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and the Hawks took a terrific 4-2 win.
Wednesday’s win allowed the Hawks to seal the third seed in the conference tournament, meaning they were due to face the number two seed, Cortland in the semifinals. The Hawks had just faced the Red Dragons on Saturday, Oct. 26 and took a 3-2 loss in double overtime. However, not all hope was lost because in 2018 New Paltz beat Cortland in the postseason.
The semi-finals took place in Cortland on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. The Red Dragons scored first at 4:47, but the Hawks retaliated within the last 30 seconds of period one with a shot from first-year forward Natasia Plunkett.
Periods two, three and four remained scoreless from both teams, forcing double overtime yet again. Mortimer had another great game with 10 saves, but unfortunately Cortland managed to score at 74:08 to win the game 2-1 and eliminate New Paltz. The game allowed Cortland to win in overtime for the ninth time this 2019 season.
The field hockey team had a great season, finishing with an overall record of 10-8. The ladies look to come back next year even better to clinch a conference win.