On Monday, April 5 at 5 p.m., the New Paltz men’s lacrosse team traveled to Potsdam for a conference matchup. Both teams fought valiantly and there was no clear winner until the very end.
Both teams’ goalies had very strong performances right off the bat. For New Paltz this was first-year Ryan Steinhart and for Potsdam second-year Ben Fuchs. Although Potsdam managed to score first and second at 12:35 and 7:10, New Paltz didn’t let it be easy for them; Steinhart had already saved three goals from the start of the game.
“Going into the game I knew that [Potsdam] had a really good offense so I was ready for anything,” Steinhart said. “It felt extremely good to make a lot of saves against Potsdam. This was my first ever start in my college career. Nate [Lindsey] and I are both very solid goalies and I learn a lot from him.”
A powerful New Paltz duo formed in the form of second-year attacker Ryan Scully and second-year attacker Tom Armetta. At 6:20, Scully got a goal that Armetta assisted and at 1:51, they did it again. In between Scully and Armetta’s mojo, both New Paltz and Potsdam scored again. Going into the second period the game was tied 3-3.
Similar to the first, both teams played diligent defensive games early in the second period. Both teams attempted to shoot, but both goalies were doing their jobs well. New Paltz was unable to capitalize on an extra man opportunity after a Potsdam penalty, and it wasn’t until there was just over five minutes left that someone scored.
It was Potsdam who broke the tie, but New Paltz wasn’t far behind. Armetta followed with a goal of his own to tie it again, and shortly after that first-year midfielder Elias Elcock got his first goal of his collegiate career, assisted by Armetta.
The Hawks were ahead, but with 16 seconds left in the period Potsdam put it in. The score was 5-5 going into the third.
It did not take as long for a team to score this period, but again it was Potsdam who struck first at 11:53. Right after that, a slashing penalty on Armetta gave the Bears an extra man opportunity, but Steinhart saved the goal. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the next penalty put on first-year attacker John Reese. Potsdam took advantage of the opportunity and brought the score to 7-5.
With the clock winding down and the Bears tacking on two more goals, would New Paltz be able to recover?
At 2:42 Scully swooped in and scored a goal assisted by Reese, cutting Potsdam’s lead from four to three. Within the last minute of the third the Bears shot five times but none made it in. Still, with a score of 6-9 it was anyone’s game going into the last period.
For the first time all game, New Paltz scored first. Armetta got the goal assisted by second-year midfielder Aiden Jones. The score was now 9-7, Bears but was a big comeback brewing for the Hawks?
What at first seemed likely soon turned out to be less and less. Potsdam scored six goals in a row, extending their lead greatly. With 19 seconds left in the game, Reese gave it his best effort and added a New Paltz goal, but it wouldn’t be enough. The final score of the game was 15-8, Bears.
Without Steinhart’s defense, it could have been a lot worse. He saved 22 shots on goal.
Next, New Paltz will face Oneonta on Friday, April 9 at 4 p.m. for the first time in program history.
“In Friday’s game, we will look to possess the ball a lot longer and be a lot more confident with the ball,” Steinhart said. “We have been dealing with COVID this whole year in lacrosse and it’s been very hard, but with most of our team back we are much stronger and need to keep working. We are all extremely hungry for a win and are just going to keep getting better and doing our thing.”