The lacrosse team began SUNYAC play with a 17-13 loss on March 29 as they played Buffalo State on the road.
Head Coach Liz Student said the team is more prepared for SUNYAC play this year.
“We know that our conference is either the strongest or one of the strongest conferences in Div. III and we are ready to represent New Paltz proudly with some wins,” she said. “We have to be prepared to play our best every game in order to win these games.”
Down 12-6 with 12:49 to play in the game, the Lady Hawks mounted a comeback to get within three goals on two occasions, but couldn’t overcome late scoring by Buffalo State.
Third-year attack and midfielder Kelsey Healy, third-year midfielder Lianne Valdivia and fourth-year Captain Talia Tesler had three goals each. Second-year attack Alexa Vitale had two late-game goals – which tied a career high.
Fourth-year Captain Maggie Rose Melito tied a career-high with four ground balls.
Student said the team left Buffalo with a lot of lessons learned.
“We had pockets of good lacrosse throughout the game, but we need to be able to play 60 minutes well,” she said. “After every game we have to learn from all of the good and bad and make adjustments for the next game. We have a very strong team this year that that has the ability to beat anyone when we play together as a team.”
On Tuesday, April 1 the Lady Hawks won their home opener with a close 15-14 win in overtime against SUNY Potsdam in the team’s second SUNYAC matchup.
Down 10-3 in the second-half against the Lady Bears, the Lady Hawks stormed back to tie the contest with 33 seconds left in regulation, pushing the game into overtime.
Third-year Captain Carissa Citro scored the game-winning goal 1:10 into the bonus period.
Tesler scored a career-high seven goals, six of the seven total goals were scored in the second half.
Coach Student said going into the game, she could tell that the team felt pressure to win, which led to a lot of careless turnovers in the first half. She never doubted that the team would win the game.
“For the first time in our program’s history we were able to come back from a seven-goal deficit and win the game in overtime,” she said.
Student attributed the success of Tesler, Citro and third-year Captain Jackie Ulanoff to the team’s success.
“Talia Tesler has done a great job creating opportunities for herself and more importantly for her teammates to score,” she said. “Carissa Citro is the type of player that everyone wants on their team. She works hard day in and day out and consistently preforms at a high level. She is also a very good student and sets a great example for everyone around her. Our goalie, Jackie, came up huge playing her best of the season when we needed it the most.”
Student said the overtime win against Potsdam will give the team more confidence going into Saturday’s game against SUNY Fredonia.
With an overall record of 4-2, and 1-1 record in SUNYAC play, the Lady Hawks next travel to SUNY Fredonia to take on the Lady Blue Devils in a SUNYAC matchup Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m.
“We will continue work on our weaknesses and keep improving,” Student said. “We have a heavy road schedule this year spending most weekends in western New York, making time management a top priority. The team is capable of doing great things this season, we just have to preform when the time comes.”