The men’s soccer team dominated their first weekend at the Drew Fall Festival, opening their season with a 2-0 record.
The Hawks had four shots on goal in the first period, overpowering Stockton’s two. At the end of the first period, the score remained 0-0.
37 minutes into the second 45-minute period, the Hawks finally hit the net. Second-year forward James Maltes succeeded from the top left corner of the box, and was assisted by third-year midfielder Kevin Doorley and fourth-year captain Luke Dole, leaving the box score of game one at 1-0.
In their second game of the season, after seven shots on goal from Drew University, the Hawks took the lead at 23:57, 1-0. After seven more shots on goal from Drew in the second period, New Paltz maintained their defense and took the win.
Head coach Kyle Clancy says that the new class of freshmen have been working hard to match up with their fellow teammates.
“It has been an up and down for most of them,” Clancy said. “The first weekend they gained experience in a higher level with pressure and a greater speed of play. They had to make decisions a little bit earlier, but gained positive experience to grind out and close games.”
Although they had a winning first weekend, men’s soccer struggled in their first game at the Utica College Invitational this past weekend, Sept. 7 and 8.
In the first period against SUNY Cobleskill, shots on goal went back and forth for both teams at first, but Cobleskill took the lead at 22:43 with a solo goal from fourth-year forward Mame Amar. Amar assisted second-year forward Chris Gardenar in the second goal for the Tigers at 84:06, leaving them to win 2-0.
“We dropped a tough game in a 2-0 loss to Cobleskill,” Dole said. “We didn’t play to our potential but we didn’t let it affect us.”
On the second day of the invitational, Dole describes the Hawks’ 2-0 win against Morrisville as a nice “bounce-back game.”
After a stagnant first period for both teams, the Hawks took off in the second period. At 58:12, second-year defender Tommy Jelstrom hit net, with assistance from Doorley. With only eight minutes remaining in the second period, Maltes secured the win for the Hawks after firing a goal inside towards the left post.
“This weekend we struggled a little on the first day after coming off of a good weekend [at Drew],” Clancy said. “We really got outplayed in the first game from some complacency and overconfidence, but it taught the mentality needed in approaching every game.”
Dole explained that although they had a strong start to the season, they had lost key seniors from last season, and the current players have stepped up into new roles and are excelling.
“Every year is different, so anyone returning will always have to earn their spot on the team,” Clancy said. “They have to show their commitment from the off season and show that they are always working hard to be student athletes.”