Second-year Nate Lindsey of the men’s lacrosse team team runs down the field and takes his spot at the goal post, something that hasn’t been seen in over a year. This could only mean one thing: the Hawks are back.
This Spring sports season at SUNY New Paltz kicked off with men’s lacrosse on Friday, March 19 at 3 p.m. at the South Turf Field. The home opener was against Utica College, who already had a win under their belt before traveling to New Paltz.
Defense started strong on both sides. New Paltz attempted a shot at 14:26 that was saved by Utica while Utica gave it a go at 13:46 that was saved by New Paltz.
Both teams went back and forth like this all the way until there were three minutes and 47 seconds left in the first quarter; when the Pioneers shot a goal that made it.
However, exactly 90 second later, the Hawks retaliated with a shot of their own. Third-year midfielder Dylan Fraser made it happen, assisted by second-year midfielder Aidan Gregory.
The period was almost over but Utica scored once more, making the score 2-1 Pioneers going into the second.
Utica was the first to strike in the second period, and this time it took the Hawks a few minutes to catch up. First-year midfielder Ryan Kaelin found the back of the net at 9:31, the Hawks were now only trailing by one. First-year attacker John Reese managed to tie it up a few minutes after. No one else scored for the rest of the period, meaning it was still anybody’s game going into the third.
As history tends to repeat itself, Utica scored off the bat in the third, meaning New Paltz would have to try and make another comeback. Luckily, Gregory was on a bit of a hot streak. After an earlier assist, he scored his own goal at 7:42, and scored again at 5:40. The only problem was Utica scored in between Gregoy’s goals, meaning the game was yet again tied: this time at 5-5.
“It definitely felt good to contribute to the team and help facilitate the offense,” Gregory said. “The chemistry with the younger guys is still building but getting better everyday.”
A few minutes later, Utica’s James Daniele broke the tie and made it 6-5 Pioneers. New Paltz was down to their last 15 minutes.
For the first time of the game, New Paltz scored first in the new period. Second-year midfielder Aiden Jones brought the score to 6-6 at 10:58.
Following Jones’ goal, Utica put New Paltz in a hole they simply couldn’t recover from. They scored three goals in a row to end the game 9-6, Pioneers.
Although the loss is disappointing for New Paltz, on the bright side Utica is not a part of the SUNYACs so this game should be considered a warm up leading up to the big game versus Plattsburgh on Friday, March 26 at 4 p.m.
“With another week to prepare I’m super excited for the upcoming game,” Gregory said. “The whole team is ready to take on Plattsburgh.”