With just two games left in the regular season, the New Paltz Field Hockey team has extended their winning streak to six. On Saturday, Oct. 23, New Paltz hosted SUNY Geneseo for a ‘Green Out Day’ in support of mental health awareness. The Knights took to the field and put up a formidable performance, but fell to the Hawks 3-1.
Fourth-year Ryan Dowling took her spot at the goalpost and the game began. Right off the bat, the goalies were hard at work saving shots made by both teams. The superb defense led to a quiet period one, as no goals made it to the back of the net.
In period two, second-year forward Hannah Ackerman was hard at work and attempted to score four times. Finally, at 28:36, she assisted third-year forward Natasia Plunkett’s goal, to put the Hawks on the board.
Period three was similar to the first in that both teams were putting on an impressive defensive performance. Plunkett shot, but it was saved by the Knight’s goalie Sarah Quinlan. Ackerman had two shots that were also saved by Geneseo. Dowling had lots of action, too, saving a goal from Geneseo’s first-year forward Emma Fon.
The last period of the game saw some exciting events. Ackerman quickly scored again, assisted by fourth-year midfielder Jessica Ascencao. Then, fourth-year midfielder Shannon Bernhardt took advantage of a penalty stroke, and got a goal to bring the score to 3-0, Hawks.
Bernhardt said she was happy with her performance in the game, but acknowledged that there are always improvements to be made as the team heads into the tail end of their season.
“I relied a lot on the communication I received from surrounding players on the field,” Bernhardt said. “Especially Julia Cummings, Morgan Gunter, Morgan Woolley and Ryan Dowling. Their constant communication helps myself and the entire team thrive.”
Dowling saved two more goals, but one got past her right at the end, although it did not matter. Geneseo would not have enough time to recover, and fell to our Hawks 3-1. This means New Paltz continues to be undefeated in the SUNYAC Conference, with an overall record of 12-2.
“Earning a win against Geneseo was super exciting and rewarding,” Bernhardt said. “My favorite part of any victory are the moments immediately after the game ends. Once the final buzzer sounds, the whole team runs towards our defensive end to celebrate our win by hugging and cheering. There is genuinely no better feeling than celebrating with the team after a big win.”
At the end of the day, New Paltz acquired 17 shots to Geneseo’s eight, certainly rewriting the story of the Hawk’s last appearance versus Geneseo, where they fell 3-2.
New Paltz has just one more regular season game left on Saturday, Oct. 30, where they are taking on Vassar and celebrating their Senior Day. With the way this team has played all season, it is clear that we are not done with the dominating Lady Hawks yet.
After the Vassar game, the SUNYAC tournament will kick into high gear with semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 3.
“Moving into playoffs, New Paltz is not an underdog. Based on our previous performance and success, it’s clear that our team has the grit, resiliency and skill to dominate the playoffs. I believe New Paltz will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, and I genuinely believe this team is capable of achieving any level of success we put our minds to,” Bernhardt said.