The New Paltz Men’s Lacrosse Team began their season in a bit of a slump, losing the first five games. Things turned around on Wednesday, March 23 when New Paltz got the first win of the season.
The boys in blue and orange welcomed the Manhattanville Valiants to the South Turf Field at 4 p.m. Third-year goalie Nate Lindsey took his spot in the crease and it was time to begin. Manhattanville won the first faceoff and quickly scored less than five minutes into the game. New Paltz did not allow this for long, however. Third-year captain Thomas Armetta scored his sixth goal of the season to tie the score. Within the same minute, second-year attack John Reese found the back of the net, assisted by second-year midfielder Ryan Kaelin.
During the second period, it appeared that Manhattanville was getting a bit of a lead over New Paltz, however the Hawks were consistent and patient in their offense. Three goals were made: two by Reese (both assisted by second-year midfielder Matt Brignati) and one from second-year midfielder Elias Elcock.
“I always try to help the team as much as I can and being able to lead them to a much needed win was a great feeling,” Reese said. “We all have worked so hard this year and have had to deal with a lot of adversity so being able to compete with them by my side fuels me in a game.”
Manhattanville was up two going into the second half, but New Paltz stayed collected, as they still had 30 minutes to get their lead back.
During period three, New Paltz tied the score three times. First, Armetta scored a goal assisted by first-year midfielder Anthony Senecal to cut the deficit in half. Then, with 10 minutes left, Senecal assisted third-year midfielder Aidan Gregory’s tying goal (7-7). The Valiants clapped back with another goal, but first-year midfielder/attack James Flanagan scored his 10th goal of the season for the second tie of the period. Finally, Reese and Flanagan brought the score to 9-9 after yet another Manhattanville goal.
With the competition determined and strong, the last 15 minutes would be the most important of the game. Both teams were not wasting any time to shoot — but unlike the other periods, they were struggling to find the back of the net.
It was going to come down to the wire. New Paltz did not want to go into overtime. Who would be the hero?
With two minutes left, Flanagan scored with Senecal to bring the score to 10-9, Hawks. The Valiants could not recover in time, leaving New Paltz with their first win of the season. Reese said the mood of the team was electric.
New Paltz has begun their SUNYAC games. On Saturday, April 2, Geneseo will take on the Hawks at home. New Paltz has never faced Geneseo before so it should make for an interesting game regardless of what happens.
“One thing you can always expect from this team is that there is no quit in this group,” Reese said. “As a newer program, we are looked down upon by opponents and being the underdog only makes us more excited to get out there and compete. We are more than ready for these SUNYAC games and excited to show the rest of the conference what we’re made of.”