Positive Start to Season Pushes Women’s Lacrosse

Fourth-year attacker Taylor Russell hit the game-winning goal in overtime Saturday for the 9-8 win over Hartwick College. (Photo courtesy of Robin Weinstein/Office of Communications and Marketing)

The New Paltz women’s lacrosse team got back to it this week with three matches. The Hawks fell to Stockton University 4-15 on Monday, defeated Hartwick College 9-8 in an overtime thriller on Saturday and steamrolled Farmingdale State College 17-7 on Wednesday. 

Early on at Hartwick, the match was back and forth with three ties and two lead changes in the first half alone. The scoring got started just three minutes in on a goal by second-year attacker Tara Bovich, assisted by fourth-year offensive midfielder Rachael Purtell. However, Hartwick immediately answered back just a minute later evening the score at one. 

The two teams would continue to trade goals until the final two minutes of the half when Bovich put another one in the back of the net, her fourth of the half, off another assist by Purtell. The scoreboard read 5-4 Hawks at half, however, the Bovich goal would be the first of a 3-0 run that would extend into the second. 

“We set up a different offense down low that allowed our outside girls to feed into the eight, where I was most of the game,” Bovich said. “We pushed to play confident and take risks.” 

In the second, Bovich picked up where she left off, scoring just 45 seconds into the half to extend the Hawks lead. Less than five minutes later, second-year attacker Amy Hofer added a goal of her own increasing the Hawks lead to 7-4 with less than 25 minutes to play. 

However, Hartwick would not go away. They immediately answered back with a pair of goals by second-year attacker and midfielder Gina Marie Wilson in a four-minute span to draw near at 7-6. 

Just five minutes later, Hawks fourth-year defensive midfielder Ashley Seiter looked to have scored the insurance goal putting them up 8-6 with just 11 minutes to go. However, as they did all day, Hartwick remained relentless with fourth-year attacker Emma Knapp putting two past New Paltz second-year goalie Haley Timarky to even the score at eight as time expired. 

The match moved into a five-minute sudden death overtime period. Less than a minute in, Hawks fourth-year attacker Taylor Russell secured her team the victory on her first goal of the season. 

“Starting with the draw possession, every single person played a crucial role in those final seconds,” Russell said. “We ran the play perfectly and I was able to get a shot off from it. Hugging my team and celebrating with them after the goal was an unforgettable moment.”

After a 15-4 loss to Stockton in their home opener just two days later, the Hawks were back with a vengeance as they faced off against Farmingdale State College on Wednesday, March 13. 

“We did not play our game [against Stockton]. We need to play as more of a unit offensively and capitalize on opportunities when our defense makes stops that keep us in games early on,” said Hawks Head Coach Keith Detelj. “We are looking to bounce back and learn quickly and are very excited about having another opportunity to get better before we head into the SUNYAC’s.”

The Hawks did just that as New Paltz put together their best offensive performance of the season, hitting the back of the net 17 times. 

After Farmingdale struck first just a minute in, the Hawks took off and never looked back. Four consecutive goals by third-year attacker Jennifer O’Leary, a free position goal by Zito, and goals by Bovich and Russell started the scoring frenzy for the Hawks. 

The Rams would make a push minutes later to bring the score to 4-3, however, that was the closest they would get all day. The Hawks continued to score in bunches, winning handily by the eventual final score of 17-7. 

Bovich led with seven points in this one, tallying four goals and three assists in the victory. Hofer, Purtell and Russell followed, each adding three points of their own. 

New Paltz now sits with a 2-2 record before the start of State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play. Up next for the Hawks is a clash with Manhattanville College on the North Turf Field Saturday, March 16.