The men’s soccer team has dropped six of its last seven games, including back-to-back losses against State University of Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) rivals Plattsburgh and Oneonta.
“It’s always tough going into the last weekend without a playoff push,” Clancy said of not reaching SUNYACs. “However, the seniors are motivated to finish off their [New Paltz] careers strong while the young guys can build for the future.”
The Hawks pulled out a 3-0 win against Potsdam on Friday, Oct. 6 at home.
Fourth-year midfielder Nick Comiskey lit the lamp first just under 29 minutes into the game. First-year midfielder Ryan Martinez increased the Hawks lead to 2-0 at 56 minutes and third-year Manny Flory put the nail in the coffin for New Paltz with his first goal of the season at 82 minutes.
New Paltz outshot Potsdam 12-6, while besting them in corners 6-1. Fourth-year goalie John Guzzo made two saves in net.
Despite being eliminated from SUNYAC contention, Clancy said the dedication of the team has not wavered.
“There has been no drop off in practice despite being eliminated,” Clancy said. “They have taken right steps and there is a lot more ambition than just watching the SUNYACs from home.”
The Hawks were then shutout in back-to-back games 2-0, Oct. 7 against Plattsburgh and Oct. 14 against Oneonta.
Against Plattsburgh, the Cardinals put the biscuit in the basket just one minute into the game, which would prove to be all they would need. The two remained in a stalemate until 75 minutes when Plattsburgh sealed the deal and netted their second goal of the game.
The Hawks outshot the Cardinals 14-13 and bested them in saves 5-3, but Plattsburgh came out on top with 13-11 in corner kicks.
“We need to be better in possessions and building out of the back,” Clancy said. “We have allowed a lot of set piece goals and need to defend better in the box. We gave up a lot of early goals which is hard to come back from.”
Against Oneonta, the Hawks again fell behind early, as the Dragons lit the lamp just under 12 minutes into the game. They sunk their second goal of the game 35 minutes in, which would prove to be enough.
Oneonta had a whopping 26 shots on goal compared to three from the Hawks, while Oneonta had nine corners to New Paltz’s one.
The team will conclude their season on the road on Oct. 20-21, with matches against SUNYAC foes Fredonia and Buffalo State. The former will be played at 3 p.m. and the season finale will be at 1 p.m.
“It’s a difficult spot to be in,” Clancy said. “I’m excited to see how they will perform though. It will be a real test of character to see what they can accomplish in a hard weekend.
“[For next year], the sophomores becoming juniors have a whole ‘nother level they want to reach and the juniors turning seniors will set the tempo for the younger players.”