Men’s Soccer Falls Short Of Postseason

The Men’s soccer team concluded their season this past weekend with a 10-8-1 overall record and finished with a record of 3-6 in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC).

The Hawks fell to Buffalo State with a final score of 2-0 on Friday, Oct. 23. The Bengals clinched a spot in the playoffs, and the Hawks were eliminated from postseason play.

Buffalo State’s first goal came in the 41st minute when first-year defender Rob Williamson headed a goal past second-year Hawks goalkeeper John Guzzo off of a corner kick from second-year midfielder Sammy Wasson. The Bengals held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks over the Hawks.

The Bengals sealed the game in the 59th minute when the Hawk defense attempted to clear the ball and it went off a defender for an own goal.

Leading the offense for New Paltz was first-year defender Tucker Lundgren with three shots. Hawks third-year midfielder Charlie Versen and second-year midfielder and forward Khalil Scott Ludewig followed by notching two shots apiece.

Guzzo recorded nine saves in the losing effort against the Bengals.

“I feel like our team put it all out there this weekend it just didn’t go our way,” fourth-year co-Captain Joe Hughes said. “It was definitely very sad, but I wouldn’t trade this team for anything.”

Although the Hawks missed out on postseason play, fourth-year midfielder Jake Falk said he feels the program has shown significant growth.

“All-in-all I think that despite not making playoffs, this season was really good for the program as a whole,” he said. “We improved from our past two seasons of only winning four games and five games to winning 10. This program will continue to improve and be a top contender in the seasons to come.”

On Saturday, Oct. 24 the Hawks finished with another close contest against SUNY Fredonia resulting in a 5-4 loss in double-overtime.

Second-year forward Aleco Podias found the back of the net first for the Hawks with a diving header off of a free kick from fourth-year forward Jason Gonzalez in the 11th minute.

About six minutes later, fourth-year defender Mike Biggane answered for the Blue Devils. Another Fredonia goal followed in the 24th minute by third-year forward Joey Vucic assisted by third-year forward Parker Healy and third-year midfielder Sam Greco.

The Hawks retaliated during the 31st minute when third-year defender Brendan Egan assisted Podias’ second goal. Podias completeted his hat-trick about a minute later off an assist from Ludewig. Fredonia answered with another goal by third-year midfielder Mazin Mohamed less than a minute later.

The final Hawk goal of the game was scored in the 54th minute by Gonzalez. The Blue Devils would not retaliate until the 81st minute when Vucic assisted a Healy goal. This would tie the score at 4-4 and bring the game into overtime.

With just over two minutes left in overtime, Healy found the back of the net for the Blue Devils off an assist from fourth-year forward Vinny Chimento.

The Hawks outshot the Blue Devils 24–18 with third-year midfielder Sam Spring contributing seven shots, followed by Gonzalez with five shots, and Podias with four shots. Guzzo notched six saves on the day.

Hughes said that the Hawks had made some major accomplishments this season despite the weekend’s results.

“The most memorable part of this season to me was our first SUNYAC game,” he said. “We have never beaten SUNY Cortland since I got here and I don’t think for a couple of years even before that,” he said. “However, this year we were able to take them down 2-1 on their own field. It was definitely a statement game and showed how hard we worked and how bad we want it.”

The Hawks will be graduating five members of their team.

Hughes said he finished his final season as a Hawk proud of his teammates and is optimistic about the team’s future.

“I’m expecting the team to keep up the momentum that we started this year,” he said. “This is one of the better seasons the team has had in some years now and it was all due to commitment in the offseason. I know these boys will continue this trend, once you start winning a little bit it becomes contagious.”