Lady Hawks Still Kicking

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

The Women’s Soccer team came up short last weekend with a loss in the SUNYAC opener to SUNY Oswego on Friday, followed by a tie against SUNY Cortland on Saturday.

“Friday was not the performance we wanted,” Head Coach Colleen Bruley said, with the Hawks losing 1-0 to the Lakers, who are 6-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.

The Lady Hawks, with a record of 2-5-3, had based their strategy of play on a “possession style game” up until this weekend, Bruley said.

Although equipped with strong technical skills, the fresh-faced team with 11 first-year players lacks the experience to consistently execute that style of play, Bruley said.  This resulted in the team changing to a more “direct style” during the Oswego game, which they will continue to use as they go forward in the season.

The Lady Hawks have scored five goals this season, 18 goals behind where the team was at this point in the season last year. Second-year goalkeeper Krysten Kane has played every minute in net for the team so far this season, allowing 1.22 goals per game.

“We still had trouble scoring goals against Cortland Saturday,” Bruley said of the team’s double overtime 0-0 draw against the Red Dragons, who are 2-3-4 on the season and received a double overtime draw the day before against SUNY Oneonta.  “But if we had not changed our strategy, we would have lost that game.”

Third-year Captain Bryce Kristall said the team “figured out a system that worked with the kind of talent we have. We didn’t want to come out of the weekend with two losses.”

The change in play has given the Lady Hawks a new mindset, Captain Sarah Painter said.

“We’re excited going into this weekend and the team has a very positive attitude,” she said.

This type of confidence is what Bruley said will make a difference this weekend as the team travels to SUNY Brockport and SUNY Geneseo. Brockport, along with Oneonta, will be the Hawks’ biggest competition on the road to playoffs, she said.

Second-year defender Allie Festa, second-year forward Chelsea Weir and third-year Captain Eleni Anselmi are three players Bruley said will continue to be assets to the team during the remainder of SUNYAC play.  Anselmi, Weir and first-year forward Sophie Constantino are the only three players who have scored for the Lady Hawks this season.

Barring injuries, Bruley believes the team can return to last year’s level of success, with the 2012-13 team ending their season in the quarterfinal round of the SUNYAC conference with a loss to Fredonia 3-2 after a seven round penalty kick shootout.

“We’re definitely going to make it to playoffs. We all have that goal,” Kristall said. “We just need to focus on one game at a time, because that’s what we have control over.”

The Lady Hawks will face Brockport Friday, Oct. 4 , before traveling to Geneseo on Saturday to take on the Blue Knights.