This past Saturday, April 2, our ambitious and spirited New Paltz Women’s Lacrosse Team had the perfect opportunity to check off yet another program first from their SUNYAC to-do list: beating the Brockport Golden Eagles. The girls had been preparing extra hard the week prior to take on the No.14 team, and it showed. Knowing very well that possessing the initial draw control is crucial in setting the tone of the game, the Hawks wasted no time off the starting whistle and third-year midfielder Shannon Brosnan made sure that the first draw was in New Paltz’s favor.
“Going into this game we had nothing to lose, so having the chance to almost beat the top 14th team was pretty amazing and all of us should be so proud,” Brosnan said. “We came out on the field with 100% intensity and heart. We can only go up from here and this game just shows how us ‘underdogs’ can handle any team in our conference.”
The first five minutes of the game consisted of two unassisted goals from third-year midfielder Maddie Gillis’ rocket-launcher of a stick, an important message to the Golden Eagles that their win was sure not going to be an easy one. The rest of the quarter was completely dominated by Gillis and by the end, she single handedly brought New Paltz to a one-point lead with a hat trick, a personal game-to-game pattern that has kept the Hawks alive and healthy in this SUNYAC season.
By halftime, the Hawks had doubled Brockport’s goals, a novel feat for the history of matchups between New Paltz and the Golden Eagles. With the score being 8-4, the Hawks were sitting at a (seemingly) comfortable four point lead, but with another 30 minutes to go and the 2022 roster’s major tendency to come out flatter in the second half, it was still anyone’s game.
Brockport began chipping away at their deficit in the third quarter, bringing the score within three by the 45 minute mark. The Hawks were able to hold on to their hopes until the last 10 minutes of the game, when the Golden Eagles had finally tied the score 9-9. After that goal, Brockport got angry that their winning streak against New Paltz was in dire jeopardy for most of the game. In a burst of intense energy, they were able to secure their win by scoring three more back-to-back goals, bringing the final score to a 12-9 heartbreaking Hawk loss.
Ever since 2019, our Lady Hawks have been achieving program firsts each (non-COVID-19) season, proving to their conference that they are finally a legitimate threat, especially to Geneseo, an all too familiar face to the SUNYAC title. Our Lady Hawks’ first program win against a serious competitor was in 2019 where they beat Buffalo State, even though it was just by a singular goal in overtime. Later that same season, they completely demolished Fredonia -— where it was not only their first program win against the Blue Devil’s, but it was the first time they even came within a five goal differential, exceeding that expectation entirely with the final score being a cool 24-7. Then, last season after COVID-19 had settled down, the girls were able to beat Oneonta, a long-time SUNYAC rival.
With the Brockport Golden eagles having lost only by two to Cortland last year in the SUNYAC finals, if our girls can play like they did on Saturday for the rest of the season, they may have a real chance at breaking their program-long losing streaks to both Cortland and Geneseo. However, the girls must now focus all their energy on the upcoming game this Saturday against the Oswego Lakers, who they have not beaten since 2015. Stay tuned for the outcome of that game, because at this rate, there’s no doubt it’ll be an interesting one.