The field hockey team jumped to 4-3, beating Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 3-2, while losing to St. John Fisher College 4-5 and Skidmore College 1-2, both in overtime nail-biters.
The Hawks will look to finish strong in their last non-conference match before State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play on Sunday, Sept. 23, against the University of Rochester.
“Getting used to playing tough teams on different turf is good for us,” said fourth-year forward Serena Capsello. “We talk a lot about not dwelling on the uncontrollables, and the importance of just focusing on playing our game no matter what the setting is.”
New Paltz came ready to play in the first period with RPI, as Capsello scored her first goal of the season, assisted by first-year back Jessica Ascencao, in the first two minutes of the match.
At 23:09 in the first, Ascencao was able to boost the Hawks lead to two, scoring off an assist from fourth-year back Samantha Ackerman. Refusing to enter the half scoreless, the Engineers answered with two minutes left in the period, as fourth-year midfielder Jena Dolinar found the back of the net to make it 2-1 New Paltz.
RPI brought the momentum of the late goal with them into the second, scoring a goal two minutes into the period from fourth-year attack Mikaela DiBello. The Hawks stayed on the attack, however, and with multiple shots and corner kicks, they took the lead 3-2 at 44:18 off of first-year midfielder Morgan Gunter’s first goal of the season.
The rest of the period remained scoreless, as first-year goalie Ryan Dowling racked up nine saves throughout the match for the Hawks. New Paltz took the close match at 3-2.
“[Dowling] has a voice as a freshman on and off the field, which is very beneficial for our program,” said second-year forward Carly Croteau. “I personally love playing with her because she takes risks, and is extremely positive.”
The Hawks got on the board first against St. John Fisher, when first-year midfielder Courtney Kruzikas scored her first goal of the season to put New Paltz up 1-0. The Cardinals would quickly answer, however, tying the match at one off of a goal from second-year forward Bre Socker.
Capsello was able to finish the half off with her second goal of the season, scoring at 27:02 on an assist by third-year forward Kaitlyn Gunter to give the Hawks a 2-1 advantage.
St. John Fisher opened up the second period strong, with third-year forward Kelly Bergamo scoring twice to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. On a scoring frenzy, Capsello found the back of the net again to tie the game at three for the Hawks.
With St. John Fisher scoring again at 58:23 to take the lead at 4-3, New Paltz refused to go down. Third-year forward Sophia Urrutia put one past the goalie at 59:47 to tie the game back at four.
At the last minute, the Hawks were inches away from victory, when a shot by Croteau hit off the post, sending the match to overtime. In the sixth minute of extra time, first-year forward Gianna Palma won the game for the Cardinals with a sudden-death goal.
With one more game before SUNYAC play, the Hawks are ready to face their conference opponents.
“I’m very impressed with my teammates and their ability to adapt and make changes when necessary,” Ackerman said. “We fight hard on the field physically and mentally, and I’m excited for this to carry over into SUNYAC play.”