Men’s Soccer Builds From the Back

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The New Paltz men’s soccer team dropped two State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) games this past weekend against The College at Brockport and SUNY Geneseo.

During the loss against the Geneseo Knights, the Hawks gave up more than one goal in that game for the first time in their 12 games this season.

“[The losses] were tough,” Hawks head coach Kyle Clancy said. “Any team we play in the SUNYAC is going to be a good battle so we didn’t play up to our expectations. Both games we had a good second half but we came out a little flat in the first half each time.”

On Friday, Sept. 30, the Hawks suffered a 1-0 loss to The College at Brockport, in which the Golden Eagles scored the lone goal in the 22nd minute despite being outshot 10-7 by New Paltz.

The following day, the Hawks gave up a goal to Geneseo in the 40th minute when Knights’ first-year forward Bryan Wager tapped in a goal off a feed from fourth-year forward Ethan Gunty.

Geneseo extended their lead 17 minutes later after the Hawks scored a costly own goal to make the lead 2-0. The Hawks were able to answer with a goal in the 65th minute from third-year midfielder Ben Zilka, but couldn’t manage to find the equalizer.

The Hawks are currently tied with last year’s team in the amount of one-goal allowed games with 11. With six games remaining on the schedule, surpassing that statistic is still possible.

Clancy gave insight on his team’s defensive dominance up to this point in the season.

“We spent all season working on it,” Clancy said. “We spend a lot of time working on the defensive shape. I’m an intense person in practice so I make sure that [the players] know my demands and bring the intensity every single day because the effort that I ask for in practice carries on into the games.”

Clancy said that he is working with the assistant coaches in implementing a new playing regime for players, noting that back-to-back conference games sometimes take a toll on players.

The coaches are currently tracking the playing time for each player in order to determine lineups for busy road trips or on weekends with consecutive conference matchups. Clancy said this helps create a fresh lineup and also shows who is the player on the bench with the “freshest legs.”

“As long as we’re getting contributions from players in a positive way, guys are gonna have a chance to make an impact,” Clancy said. “We are trying to delve a bit more and get deeper into the team and this weekend it was different players that were able to be the catalyst for the team in the second half.”

The Hawks will finish the week with conference matchups against SUNY Potsdam on Friday, Oct. 7 and SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 8.

“The mindset and the mental part of the game is huge,” Clancy said. “For us, we still struggle in the way we approach games, view teams and the way we view ourselves to those teams. I think those are all big pieces we’re going to have to be better at. Overall I’ve been pleased with their attempts and efforts into what we’re trying to teach.”