With two wins under their belts and DVD player out of commission, the men’s soccer team used the remaining hour and a half of their bus ride to sing.
Just as newcomers stepped up on the field hours before, players did the same on the bus during the team’s traditional karaoke sing-off as an hour and a half remained in their 4-hour road trip home back to New Paltz.
“You had a lot of people that were stepping up and just making it a great time on the bus,” Hawks head coach Kyle Clancy said. “Stuff like that really helps you bond as a team.”
For the Hawks, a lone goal in each of their first two games was enough to earn a pair of wins of the 2016 campaign.
With Clancy making his Hawks debut at the helm, the team opened their season earning 1-0 nonconference victories against Norwich University and SUNY Polytechnic Institute in the Oswego Tournament last weekend.
While facing Norwich, fourth-year defender Arthur Angst headed home a corner kick from fourth-year midfielder Charlie Versen to give the Hawks the only offense needed in the 21st minute of the match on Sept. 2. Newcomer and fourth-year Hawks goalkeeper Mark Nowak blocked away four shots between the pipes.
The following day, first-year forward Luke Dole converted on a mishandled ball by SUNY Poly’s fourth-year goalkeeper Mingoro Fanny in the 40th minute.
For Hawks fourth-year forward Tucker Stern, said during the final 10 minutes of a game, it is really important to have players come on with a lot of passion and energy.
“I always love when young guys step up in games,” Stern said. “They usually have more energy than the older guys because it means that they have a chance to prove themselves. I think it’s really important that they get involved so that we can also see and have the same energy. When guys step on, they bring a higher level of energy that keeps us going through games.”
In the midst of a season-high six game road trip, the Hawks will continue to use their depth as a strength.
“I think that it’s guys stepping up when they get their chances,” Clancy said. “It’s a big thing for us, too. We have a few different things that go along with our team motto. One of them being ‘next person up.’ So when somebody comes out, the next person goes in, and they keep the level high.”
The Hawks continued their trip with a 1-1 tie in double overtime against The College at Old Westbury on Sept. 7. After a goal by Old Westbury’s Dominick Guidice in the 75th minute, Hawks fourth-year midfielder Sam Spring tapped in the equalizer from second-year defender Sebastian Gordon-Somers-Archer a minute later.
Clancy said at this point of the early season, he sees the Hawks as a playoff contender as the schedule presses on.
“With as much depth as we do have in different positions, and guys who are going to get this early experience, I think it’s really going to help us in the long-run,” Clancy said. “I do see this team, without a doubt, can compete in the playoffs and that can win a championship.
The Hawks (2-0-1) will next continue their season-high road trip as they take on Elms College (0-2) and William Paterson University (3-1) in the Vassar Tournament on Sept. 10 and 11, respectively.