On Sept. 21, State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz forged ahead to beat the No. 24 nationally ranked Rochester Yellow Jackets, 2-1 in overtime.
“We went into our game against Rochester feeling like it was an opportunity for us to prove we can compete at a national level,” said second-year midfielder Jessica Ascencao.“We all really wanted it and had spent the whole game focusing on improving from the past.”
In the first quarter, second-year Mackenzie Mortimer started in goal for the Lady Hawks and fourth-year Kate Kujawa in goal for the Yellow Jackets. At 4:58, first-year midfielder Jamie Wagner scored her fourth goal of the season with an assist by second-year midfielder/forward Shannon Bernhardt. The remainder of the quarter consisted of substitutions, putting New Paltz in front 1-0.
Kujawa started off the second quarter with a save against third-year forward Carly Croteau at 16:20. U of R then followed with consecutively saved shots from second-year attack Amanda Strenk (20:03), fourth-year midfielder Colleen Maille (20:10) and second-year midfielder Julia McDonough (28:32).
New Paltz’s offense put pressure on the Yellow Jackets in the third quarter with shots from second-year midfielder Morgan Gunter (34:45), Wagner (34:53 and 38:18), second-year midfielder/back Jessica Ascencao (36:26 and 36:36). Rochester was pitted against the Hawks’ six shots on goal compared to their three.
The fourth quarter consisted of two shots by Rochester at 57:44 from Maillie, with a defensive save from second-year goalie Courtney Kruzikas, and the final goal of the game. The Yellow Jackets tied the game at the buzzer (59:57.3) with goal from third-year midfielder Kria Ozer, assisted by first-year attack Susan Bansbach, to rack in Ozer’s second goal of the season.
“As soon as you give a team like Rochester, a team of that caliber, any wiggle room they are going to take advantage of it and that is why they scored with 2.7 seconds left,” Szablinski said.
The Yellow Jackets started hot in the first five minutes of overtime, with four shots from Ozer, and one from Maillie, fourth-year midfielder Maya Haigis and Strenk, respectively. New Paltz maintained their defense and Ascencao came in with her fourth goal of the season at 65:51 for the game winner.
“We were a man down in overtime and our goal keeper, Mackenzie, did a really good job at holding her own and making sure the ball didn’t hit the net,” Szablinski said. “As soon as we were up a man, we were able to capitalize once we got everything together.”
This past Saturday, Sept. 28, the Lady Hawks came back with the heat against SUNY Oswego, taking the game 6-1.
“Our goal is to defend our SUNYAC title,” Ascencao said. “We want to be undefeated in the conference to show every team that we aren’t settling for less.”
Ascencao started the game off with a give-and-go goal with Gunter at the top of the arc at 2:43.
Oswego’s offense started with two shots on goal, compared to New Paltz’s five, from third-year forward Kathleen Little (17:30) and second-year defender Abby Testo (17:40). The Lakers tied the game with a deflected shot by second-year forward Alyssa DeMichael after Testo’s send off from a penalty corner.
The Lady Hawks answered Oswego with two shots from fourth-year forward Kaitlyn Gunter (24:53) and Ascencao (26:02). Ascencao took a wide shot attempt 19 seconds later to redirect the ball past the goalie to take the lead 2-1, respectively.
Wagner pushed the ball from the corner to Ascencao at the point of the arc, who sent it to Bernhardt to the back left of the box for the goal, leaving the score 3-1. The Lady Hawks continued with another goal at 44:37 from a shot to Croteau from Bernhardt, allowing Plunkett to get the goal and put New Paltz up by another, 4-1.
In the fourth quarter, New Paltz upped the score to 6-1, with a goal from Ascencao after dribbling up the middle arc and shooting inside left at 47:56, followed by a goal with 10 seconds left in the game from second-year midfield/forward Erin Weimann, assisted by Ascencao.
“Beating Oswego was exactly what we wanted to do, while also not underestimating [them],” Croteau said. “We wanted to set the tone for the rest of play for our season.”