Field Hockey Bounces Back From Hardships

Photo Courtesy of Mike Kelly Photos

The New Paltz field hockey team faced their first loss of the season, but they bounced back with a win. On Thursday, Sept. 16 they traveled to Skidmore College where they fell 3-0. On Saturday, Sept. 18 they turned it around and served Rochester a 4-3 loss. 

At Skidmore, the Thoroughbreds scored in period one to take an early lead. New Paltz attempted to come back with shots from second-year forward Hannah Ackerman and third-year midfielder Alexa Wentz, but Skidmore’s fourth-year goalie Jess Gaetgens was on top of them.

In period three, the Thoroughbreds scored twice more, and the Hawks could not recover. Only able to go up from here, New Paltz prepared to face the mighty Yellowjackets. Second-year forward Morgan Woolley said going into the Rochester game the team put a lot of emphasis on being focused from the time they step off the bus to the time they get back on.

It was New Paltz’s turn to score first: seven minutes into the game third-year back Julia Cummings found the back of the net, assisted by fourth-year midfielder Jessica Ascencao.

In period two, the Hawks did it again. This time it came from Woolley, all on her own. Fourth-year Ryan Dowling was goalkeeping for New Paltz, and she was saving multiple shots, keeping the Yellowjackets on their toes. At 28:23, one did make it in for Rochester, but New Paltz maintained a 2-1 lead going into the second half.

“We wanted to come out with a lot of energy from everyone on the team so that definitely helped us play our game and control the field,” Woolley said.

Things started to get dicey after that. In period three, Rochester scored early to tie the game 2-2. New Paltz was unwilling to give up their lead so soon, however. Two minutes and 18 seconds after the Rochester score, the Hawks took the lead again. Third-year forward Natasia Plunkett made it happen, assisted by fourth-year midfielder Shannon Bernhardt. Could New Paltz maintain a 3-2 lead with just 15 minutes left in the game?

Well, as it turns out New Paltz did not maintain a 3-2 lead, but they did maintain a 4-3 one. At 54:13 Rochester tied things up, but New Paltz bounced back, as they did the entire game. At 58:09, Woolley and Plunkett came together to score the game winning goal: Woolley with the score and Plunkett with the assist. All New Paltz had to do now was maintain for two more minutes; and they did.

Woolley said the focus came from the sideline and the desire to win from the whole team.

“I was able to get in two goals yesterday and help the team but I just happened to be the last person to touch the ball before it crossed the line,” Woolley said. “I was definitely excited for those goals and I was happy with how I played but I know there were still things I could have done better so I will be focusing on those fixes before our next game on Wednesday.”

New Paltz is going into their next set of games with an overall record of 4-1. Woolley said the team is all very excited. 

“We are taking the time to rest our bodies and really break down any struggle on the field that we may be having. The team has gotten very close so we are feeling confident that we can trust the person next to us to do whatever it takes to get the next win and hold each other accountable for playing standards,” Woolley said.

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About Emily O'Neil 114 Articles
Emily O’Neil is a third-year public relations major with a minor in creative writing, originating from Clifton Park, NY. This is her sixth semester on the Oracle and second as Sports Editor. Her favorite team is the New York Yankees even though they keep disappointing her. You can reach her by emailing