Focused on the Future

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The field hockey team finished SUNYAC play with a 3-2 loss to No. 16 SUNY Cortland and a 2-1 win over SUNY Oswego to give the Lady Hawks the No. 3 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament.

The semifinals of the SUNYAC Tournament will take place on Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m. at Cortland.  The Lady Hawks will take on the No. 2 seed SUNY Geneseo, who beat them 2-1 on Sept. 27.

Head Coach Shanna Vitale said the team finished 4-2 in SUNYAC play and believes the team is in a “good position” to make a run in the tournament.

“We get to have another shot at Geneseo, which I think is really good to redeem ourselves from the original game,” she said.  “It’s a great opportunity for us to go up there and come from behind in the three spot to work our way up.”

Fourth-year goalie Antonija Pjetri said she is proud of how the team ended conference play.

“I think we worked really hard,” Pjetri said.  “It wasn’t easy, they were both really tough games.  We were working together as a team and we did well.”

Fourth-year forward Danielle Conklin said the team has been working in practice on the “little things” that will be beneficial for them when it comes to games.

“We’ve improved a lot,” she said.  “We’re always trying to work hard and practice things that we see in the game that need to be improved on.”

The Lady Hawks have their last regular season games this week at Vassar College on Thursday and at home against Kean University on Saturday.  Vitale said she hopes her team continues to improve and will get better from their final two games.

“I hope they continue to work hard and we hope to continue to get better each day,” Vitale said.  “The two games coming up are against very good teams and their bread and butter is that they do whatever it takes to win.”

The Lady Hawks beat both of their remaining opponents last year and Pjetri said the team wants to win, but needs to be ready for their tough games.

“We always go into our games with expectations that the other teams are out for blood and want to beat us,” she said.

Conklin, the team’s leader in goals and points, said she wants her production to stay the same even though the season is reaching the end.

“I want to continue to score, continue to get assists and continue to work hard and set up plays,” she said.

Going forward, Pjetri said the team can’t only prepare physically.

“Not only do you have to be physically ready, but mentally as well,” she said.

Vitale said overall the team is showing a group effort, but she would like to see improvement from the bench.

“I think the reserves that are on the sidelines are the ones who really need to keep stepping up and challenge the starters for a position and challenge the starters to be better,” Vitale said.

Vitale said in order to win the SUNYAC Tournament the team must give everything they have.

“My expectations are that we go out there and obviously win it, but in order to do so we have to not hold back on anything and make sure that we are all focused and understand that it’s going to be a battle,” she said.

Conklin said she has one goal for the remainder of the season.

“I want to go to the NCAAs again,” she said.