Sometimes, bounces just don’t go your way.
This past weekend on Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27, the SUNY New Paltz Men’s Soccer team kicked off SUNYAC play with a loss to SUNY Cortland by the score of 2-0 and a 1-1 tie with SUNY Oswego, the Hawks have the chance to get into the win column this weekend when the team travels to SUNY Geneseo on Friday Oct. 3 and The College at Brockport on Saturday Oct. 4. They currently stand at 3-5-1.
Cortland and New Paltz were tied 0-0 deep into the second half of the game until Cortland’s third-year midfielder Robby Reiser scored in the 79th minute to give Cortland the 1-0 lead. Cortland then increased their lead to 2-0 in the 90th minute off a goal from third-year midfielder Ole Daumann.
In the game against Oswego, New Paltz got on the board first with a penalty kick goal from third-year forward Jason Gonzalez in the 25th minute. Oswego later tied the game in the second half off a penalty kick goal from Tom Bartyzel in the 64th minute. The game would count as a tie but New Paltz later won the tie-breaking penalty kick shootout after a scoreless overtime period.
Despite not picking up a win this weekend, Head Coach Gene Ventriglia was very happy with the effort his team put forward in both games. He also noted that the team is playing really hard and he has seen them improve over the course of the season, week-by-week.
“It was a great weekend overall,” said Ventriglia. “When we play at that speed and intensity, we can win games.”
Fourth-year goalkeeper Steven Domino, who had five saves against Cortland and four against Oswego, echoed Ventriglia’s thoughts on the team’s play this weekend.
“I think we played very good at times this weekend,” he said. “Our first game against Cortland we came ready to play. We created some very good chances. But the ball just didn’t bounce our way at times we needed it to. I felt we deserved to come away with more than one point.”
Domino also pointed out some members of the team who he felt gave exceptional performances this weekend, including fourth-year Captain Alec Johnson, who won countless headers in the middle third of the field.
“The four defensive backs defended very well, getting unlucky on a play or two against Cortland,” Domino said. “Center midfielder Joe Hughes controlled the middle of the field well with his possessive play.”
Fourth-year Goalkeeper Andres Montoya said the team is still confident despite the results this past weekend.
“We knew [SUNYAC play] would be tough,” he said. “We’ve been preparing for these games since August, we knew what we were getting into.”
With two more SUNYAC games on the way this weekend, Ventriglia said each team plays different style. Brockport and Geneseo each have their own way of playing the game, he said.
“We need to work on defending high balls because Brockport likes to launch the ball up the field,” said Ventriglia.”
As for Geneseo, he says that they are a similar team to New Paltz because of their athleticism and the team must prepare for them accordingly.
“Overall the team has to work on blocking shots and being more aware of what’s going on,” he said.
Unlike the first two SUNYAC games the Hawks played on home turf, the next two will both be away games.
“We know what we need to do this to win this weekend,” Domino said. “It’s not going to be easy, but if we perform at the level I know and we know we can there is no reason why we can’t come away with a solid chunk of points.”
The Hawks and their head coach hope to tackle this next SUNYAC challenge.
“I’m predicting a great effort this weekend,” said Ventriglia. “The guys have to remember to enjoy the games and have fun.”