The field hockey team snapped its three-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory against Morrisville State College on Wednesday, Sept. 13. It marked the first State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) match for the Hawks this season.
“We played together as a team,” Hawks head coach Shanna Szablinski said. “There was a sense of urgency inside the circle. We attacked together and took some chances at the top of the circle and we were able to find success.”
Third-year midfielder Samantha Ackerman scored her second goal of the season to make it a 1-0 game at the 22:36 mark. The Hawks would then score four goals in the second half.
Fourth-year forward Justine O’Reilly doubled the score with her second goal of the season in the 48th minute. Just over three minutes later, fourth-year midfielder Hayley Kim notched her first goal of the season off an assist from third-year forward Serena Capsello.
Capsello recorded a goal of her own, her fourth of the season, in the 53rd minute to make it a 4-0 New Paltz lead. O’Reilly then put the icing on the cake with her second goal of the game at the 58:31 mark.
The Hawks outshot the Mustangs by a whopping 40-7 margin and held a large lead of 19-5 in corners.
Ackerman explained that the team went into conference play with confidence, despite its 1-3 record in nonconference matchups this season.
“Our team is confident that we can be very successful in our conference play,” Ackerman said. “There are some great teams in our conference, but we are ready. What’s going to be really important is that we take each game one at a time. There is no doubt in my mind that this team is able to bring home a championship title again.”
Prior to their win against Morrisville, the Hawks lost 3-0 to Stockton University on Saturday, Sept. 9.
New Paltz out shot the Ospreys 20-11 and held a 10-2 advantage in corners, but the Hawks were shut out for the first time this season.
Stockton’s third-year back Victoria Caiazzo scored the only goal in the first half. The Ospreys tacked on two more in the second half as fourth-year back Alexa Massa scored two goals, both assisted by fourth-year midfielder Sarah Gawrysiak.
Despite the team’s shaky start to the season, Ackerman explains that there is still plenty of time to turn things around.
“We didn’t start our season the way we wanted to, however this is the time to learn from our mistakes so that we can really capitalize on our opportunities throughout the rest of the season, especially in SUNYAC play,” Ackerman said. “So much can happen in such little time in our game so it’s gonna be really important that the team plays 70 minutes of field hockey with relentless effort and energy.”
The Hawks will next travel to the University of Rochester for a nonconference tilt on Saturday, Sept. 16 before continuing SUNYAC play when they host The College at Brockport on Friday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. on the North Turf Field.