The lacrosse team ended their season at home with a loss to SUNY Brockport by a score of 20-11 on Saturday, April 25.
The Hawks ended the season with a record of 3-11 overall and 1-7 tally in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC).
After the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, New Paltz cut down the deficit with back-to-back goals from fourth-year midfielder Lianne and fourth-year defender Julia Johnson.
Valdivia proved a crucial part of the Hawks game plan, finishing the game with two goals, five ground balls, three caused turnovers and three draw controls. Third-year midfielder Alexa Vitale provided the Hawks with a woman-down goal, followed by goals from Valdivia, fourth-year attacker Jackie Wilkom and fourth-year attacker Kelsey Healy. Valdivia and Johnson each scored three goals each.
Second-year attack Melissa Wagner also scored for New Paltz
The Golden Eagles held a slight 30-24 edge in shots. Brockport finished with a 24-9 advantage in draw controls. They also played well in transition, going 9-for-12 on clear attempts.
Hawks Head Coach Liz Student reflected on the season, saying that while it was not what she or the team expected, it leaves room for improvement in the future.
“No one is content with what happened, but the goal is always to continue to get better,” Student said.
Student said that while the team had an influx of 12 new players and have at least nine recruits on the way next year, they will still miss the graduating players. One of those seven graduating players is fourth-year co-Captain Jackie Ulanoff, who made nine saves in her last game. Ulanoff finishes her career with 456 career saves. She led the SUNYAC conference with 11.64 saves per game.
Valdivia said the fourth-years wanted to make sure that they left their mark on the program.
“Unfortunately, we came up short in several winnable games and those losses carried with us throughout the season,” Valdivia said.
When asked about the highlights of the season, Student said that playing close games with several top 20 schools was a positive note for the team to look back on.
“We can play with the best. Those were the games to be proud of, but we didn’t finish those games and win,” Student said. “So we still have to work harder to be able to finish in the future.”
The Hawks took on No. 4 SUNY Cortland. No. 17 SUNY Geneseo and No. 19 SUNY Fredonia this season.
Valdivia said the team had to prove to themselves and the conference that the Hawks could play with some of the best teams in the country.
“Our record may not show it, but this was truly the best team I’ve been on in my four years at New Paltz,” Valdivia said. “We may not have accomplished what we set out for, but we did instill a diligent mentality for the program.”
Valdivia finished her career with 126 goals. Hawks’ fourth-year co-Carissa Citro concluded her career with 109 goals.
Players said that this last game was an emotional affair given that for most of them it was the last lacrosse game they would ever play, including Hawks’ fourth-year Johnson.
“Every girl on and off the field fought hard throughout the game and I feel confident in saying that we left it all out there,” Johnson said. “My hope is that we have instilled our mindset, competitiveness and drive to succeed into those following behind us. My hope is that one day this program is going to reach its full potential and the girls on the field will feel the joy of a winning program and see all of their hard work turned into success.”