The men’s soccer team has been red hot to start the 2018 campaign, going 4-2 in their opening matches.
The Hawks beat Skidmore College 3-2, Union College 4-1, Albertus Magnus College 4-2 and Lehman College 5-0, while losing to New York University 1-2 and Vassar College 0-1.
“We have a lot of pace on the outside, so we play through our width,” explained Hawks head coach Kyle Clancy. “Up front in the middle there’s certainly a lot of talent and ability to finish as well. We have a lot of guys that can score, a lot of guys that can create.”
The first match of the season against Skidmore got off to a slow start, with no scoring in the first half. However, at 46:50 in the second half, second-year midfielder Kevin Doorley got the action started with a goal assisted by second-year midfielder Ryan Martinez. The Hawks kept the attack up, and seven minutes later, Doorley scored again to make it 2-0.
A 2-0 deficit could not stop the Thoroughbreds, however. With Skidmore forcing back to back corner kicks in the 75th minute, third-year forward Alex Ricci got his team on the board at 78:18. 10 minutes later, at 88:38, Ricci struck again, tying the match at two.
In the closing minutes of the game, a foul in the box forced a penalty kick for the Hawks. Martinez put one past the goalie, giving the Hawks the lead with less than a minute left of regulation. They would close it out, 3-2.
New Paltz took momentum with them into the next day, scoring in the third minute of the match against Union College on Doorley’s third goal of the season. At 13:14, Union answered back, scoring on a goal by third-year forward Salvador Lopez Jr. to tie the match at one.
Later in the first half, the Hawks found a way to take the lead. On a curled shot from well outside the box, first-year forward Ryan Stevens beat the goalie to give New Paltz a 2-1 advantage going into the half.
To seal the deal, the Hawks scored two more goals within two minutes of each other in the second half. Second-year midfielder Schuyler Mann scored at 56:10, while third-year defensemen Luke Dole scored at 58:03, both on assists by Doorley, to take the 4-1 advantage. They would win the match by that score.
“Having a lot of talent in all the classes gives us a lot of depth, which is huge when it comes to playing back-to-back games in a weekend,” Doorley said. “When we play it doesn’t seem like we are guys of different classes, but more just as one.”
Taking the successful weekend with them, the Hawks travelled to Connecticut on Monday, Sept. 3 to face Albertus Magnus. New Paltz scored twice within the first 10 minutes of the match, coming from a goal by Martinez and one by third-year defensemen James Hennessy to give them the 2-0 advantage.
At 10:14, however, first-year midfielder Peter Rivera got the Falcons on the board, scoring on a assist by fourth-year defensemen Tyler Saad.
The goal would not hurt the Hawk’s pace. In the closing minutes of the first half, New Paltz found the back of the net again. Off a corner kick, Dole scored a header to take a 3-1 lead.
With New Paltz controlling the tempo, Doorley scored the first goal of the second half off of a penalty kick at 68:15 to raise the lead to 4-1. A late penalty kick goal for Albertus Magnus was no match for the Hawks, who would go on to take the win at 4-2.
Playing at home for the first time of the season on Saturday, Sept. 8, the Hawks could not continue their winning ways, losing to NYU 1-2. They would not let the loss haunt them, however, returning to the field on Sunday and routing Lehman College, 5-0.
The Hawks attack was led by fourth-year defensemen Sebastian G-S archer with two goals, while fourth-year midfielder Khalil Scott-Ludewig, fourth-year defensemen Brendan McGaley and Doorley each had one.
“This group is very special, and we’re all very hungry to win games,” Scott-Ludewig said. “I’m really excited to see what we can accomplish in the SUNYACs.”
The Hawks will take on Kings College on Sept. 15 for their last non-conference match before State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play.