Optimistic Ending for Women’s Soccer

Photo by Robin Weinstein.


Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The Women’s Soccer team ended their 2013 season Saturday with a tie in double overtime to Buffalo State.

The Lady Hawks’ 0-0 score against the Lady Bengals was the team’s fourth tie of the season and ended the 1-8-2 SUNYAC campaign for the team. The team, with an overall 3-11-4 record for the season, was unable to create scoring opportunities against the Lady Bengals despite putting 18 shots on goal.

Head Coach Colleen Bruley said the team’s record does not demonstrate the strides the team made from the beginning of the season to their last few contests, specifically against SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State.

“The season started out rough,” Bruley said.  “We have a whole new team, whole new system. We are in a different place now than we were in the beginning. We wish we had another twenty games to play the way we now know we can.”

The Lady Hawks’ 1-0 loss against Oneonta Oct. 19 and 2-0 win over Fredonia Oct. 20 demonstrated to Bruley and their opponents that this was not the same Lady Hawks who were competing at the start of the season.

“We had people from the other teams saying how they couldn’t believe we were in last in the SUNYAC conference,” Bruley said.

Players understanding their roles and maturing throughout the season, as well as placing the right people in the right spots, are the factors Bruley said pushed the team to a higher level of competition and allowed players to click on the field.

“Toward the end of this season we were finally really clicking and starting to figure things out. We ended the season off on a good note and I think that definitely helped set the tone for next year,” third-year Captain Eleni Anselmi said.  “This year is in the past and we have learned from it and look forward to showing everyone the team we really are next season.”

Anselmi, along with second-year defender Allie Festa, second-year midfielder Kristina Gandolfo and first-year midfielder Sloane Lipshie were standout players of the season, Bruley said.

“I think our team played well together considering that we lost eight starting seniors from last year and we are a young team,” Gandolfo said.

Anselmi and second-year forward Chelsea Weir led the team in goals with four and three goals a piece, and respectively were tied for the team lead in assists with two.  Second-year goalie Krysten Kane led the team in saves with 112 on 330 shots faced.  She also had a 1.36 goals against average.

Bruley said while she is used to heavily recruiting potential players after a season’s end, the 11 first-years on the Lady Hawks’ means less new faces needed.

“You always worry there might be someone out there that could really help the team,” Bruley said of “toning down” recruitment this year, adding that she remains on the lookout for a reliable goal scorer to add to the 2014 roster.

Looking forward, Bruley said the team will partake in group activities during the off season to further grow the bond the Lady Hawks have in hopes the connection will continue into next season. The team will also begin training with New Paltz’s new Strength and Conditioning Coach Gary Gall next week.

“In the last huddle after the Buffalo game, they talked about how they are so excited for next year,” Bruley said. “They’re ready to get back on the field and start playing again.