The lacrosse team has won two straight games since starting out the season 0-2.
New Paltz’s winning streak started when the Hawks hosted their home opener and defeated Penn State Abington 18-3 on Thursday, March 10.
This was the largest goal deficit in a win since April 11, 2013 when New Paltz won 20-4 against Ramapo College on the road.
Hawks head coach Liz Student said the team really came together and played well.
“They did all the things that we had asked them to do for that game,” she said. “Every game we’ve gotten better. Our attackers have to make our defenders better and our defenders make our attackers better. We have taken that attitude to practices and that is why the last two games we have done better.”
Nine different Hawks netted goals in the nonconference win. The Hawks scored the first five goals of the game and held the lead throughout. New Paltz finished with a 31-13 edge in shots and an 18-5 margin in draw controls.
Individually, third-year co-captain Nicole Gottschalk scored a team-high four goals. Third-year attacker Nicole Stackpole also tallied a hat trick, with three goals in the first half.
Four Hawks lit the lamp with a pair of goals, first-year midfielder Rachael Purtell, third-year midfielder Alexa Criollo, second-year attacker Caitlyn Morris and first-year attacker Taylor Russell.
A trio of Hawks registered one goal, second-year midfielder Colleen Jones, second-year attacker Allie Imperati and second-year attacker Kelsey Aeberli. Morris also dished out a game-high two assists.
Between the pipes, Hawks third-year goalkeeper Colleen Roemer turned away 10 shots in the victory.
For Penn State Abington, first-year midfielder Sarah Eisele led the way with three goals, while second-year defender Michaela Mast was credited with one assist. Mast also contributed with five ground balls, three caused turnovers and two draw controls.
The Hawks earned their second straight win in a 15-9 victory against nonconference opponent Bard College on Saturday, March 12.
Hawks third-year co-captain Melissa Wagner said the pair of wins is a result of working together as a team and focusing on what they have been working on during practice.
“We really wanted to apply everything we worked on in practice into the game, and when we did it showed with a win,” she said. “Everyone was able to work together and whether on the sideline or field, everyone was supporting each other with encouragement and positivity.”
New Paltz took a 5-0 lead midway through the first stanza. The Raptors scored three goals before halftime, including one by first-year midfielder Nicole Ellin with one second left to pull within two at the intermission.
After each team scored in the first 3:13 of the second half, New Paltz went on a 7-0 surge, and a goal by Stackpole gave the Hawks a 13-4 lead with just 6:15 to go in regulation. Bard rallied late by scoring five goals in the final five minutes, but they were unable to crack New Paltz’s sizeable lead, as the Hawks prevailed.
Gottschalk led the Hawks with three goals and one assist. Morris and Aeberli registered two goals and two assists apiece. Stackpole and Russell netted two goals each, while Jones, Purtell, Imperati and first-year attacker Danielle Dulligan rounded out the Hawks’ scorers. Purtell controlled four draws, while Jones caused two turnovers.
Roemer scooped up eight ground balls and made an equal number of saves in net.
For Bard, first-year midfielder Casey Witte and Ellin led the way with three goals each, with Witte adding five draw controls and five ground balls.
On Wednesday, March 16, the Hawks’ game against Hartwick was called after the first half due to inclement weather. Hartwick was leading 4-3 at the time the game was called.
Student said a change the team has made this season was to implement a new offense, which is fairly complex. This comes as a result of the initiation of a shot clock the league is adding next year.
“We implemented an offense that we’ll be able to carry over and be effective with the rule changes,” she said. “It was really great to see them have stuff click for them. It was great to watch.”
The Hawks will next hit the road as they travel out of state to Memphis, Tennessee to face Oberlin College on Monday, March 21. Less than 24 hours later, New Paltz will play Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Before heading back to New York, the Hawks will make another stop in Memphis to take on Rhodes Colleges on Tuesday, March 24.
“Last week was as much a mental week as it was a physical week,” Student said. “Spring break means having few distractions. The team really gets to come together. They get to know each other more, not just on the field, but off the field. It’s a really important time for us to prepare for our conference schedule.”