After nearly a decade of not making the SUNYAC tournament, New Paltz women’s soccer team earned a home game advantage in the quarterfinals against Fredonia State on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Unfortunately for the Hawks, history repeated itself: just like their last playoff appearance, the Hawks lost to Fredonia after double overtime in a PK shootout.
After tying Cortland the week prior, the team had high hopes going into the game. The Hawks were the fourth seed in the tournament, which gave them home field advantage going into the game.
Hundreds of excited fans lined the sidelines waiting to watch the Hawks take flight. However, just over two minutes into the game Fredonia scored after a cleared ball from their back line went over the heads of the New Paltz’s defense where Katie Sellers of Fredonia was there to monopolize the opportunity.
For the first part of the first half, the Hawks were being outperformed by the Blue Devils. Multiple shots taken by Fredonia were stopped by second-year goalkeeper Kyra Russo.
Around the 20 minute mark, the Hawks shifted gears and began to test Fredonia’s goalkeeper Sabrina Suriani. The most dangerous attempt came from a slick pass by third-year midfielder Dana Salinas to midfield graduate student Lisette Palomo. Salinas tucked a pass in behind the Fredonia back line to create a one on one situation with Palomo and Suriani. Suriani was able to get her foot on Palomo’s shot, and sent it wide of the goal for a New Paltz corner.
The Hawks scored a good percentage of their goals off of set plays – particularly corner kicks. This game was no different.
First-year Alexis Deleo took the corner kick and found the head of third-year Jess Funke. The ball ricocheted off the crossbar of the header, where fourth-year Cailin Ruoti was there to finish the job. Using her left foot, Ruoti put the ball over the head of the Fredonia defender, tying up the game 1-1.
Ruoti’s goal was the first goal scored in the postseason by the Hawks since 2012, when Chelsea Weir scored a loose ball inside the 18 to tie the game against Fredonia.
The rest of the game was a draw with both sides nearly scoring the winning goal, but were stopped by the keepers.
After not scoring in regular play, the teams headed into overtime in hopes of making a golden goal for their team. Attempts were made by both teams to score, but just like before, both keepers kept any balls from finding the back of the net.
Heading into the PK shootout, the Hawks put fourth-year keeper Danielle Anygal in the net in hope that she could take home the win. The first shots looked promising for the Hawks: Palomo stepped up and made her PK and Fredonia missed the net entirely. However, the rest of the shootout did not go as planned for the Hawks.
Although she chose to dive to the right side of the net four of the five shots, Anygal was unable to prevent any of the shots on frame from going in. The Hawks made three of the five shots where Fredonia made four of five.
It’s an unfortunate end to a great season by the Hawks, who finished with a record of 7-5-4 overall and 5-2-2 in SUNYAC, including 5-0-4 at home. This record surpassed their last two seasons win totals combined and conceded five or less losses for the first time since 2012. After making history this past season, the Hawks are looking forward to redeeming themselves next year.