The women’s soccer team started State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play over the weekend and lost both matches.
Despite the losses, there were a few positives that the team displayed.
The Hawks have had trouble scoring this season, but against SUNY Oswego on Friday, Sept. 23, third-year midfielder Gabriela Cabello found the back of the net at the 29:14 mark off an assist from first-year midfielder Jessica Fox.
That goal gave New Paltz a 1-0 lead, but the Lakers tied the game 29 seconds later and Oswego went on to score three more goals in the second half and win the game 4-1. Third-year midfielder Emma Geyer tallied a hat trick for the Lakers.
“We scored a goal on Friday, and we were actually playing really well,” Hawks head coach Collen Bruley said. “Then they scored right away, I don’t even know if our heads went down, but we finished that half pretty well. Then we just lost it in the second half.”
The following day against SUNY Cortland the Hawks allowed two first half goals to the Red Dragons, but held them scoreless in the second half. This was an accomplishment against a Cortland team that scored 24 goals in eight games played.
New Paltz still has plenty of time to rebound from their first two conference losses, as the team’s remaining seven games in the season are all SUNYAC matches.
“In order to improve our performance in SUNYAC games we need to work specifically on finishing in the offensive third,” Hawks fourth-year captain Sloane Lipshie said. “You can’t win a game by playing beautiful soccer. We need to find the net.”
The Hawks will next play The College at Brockport, (4-2-1), and SUNY Geneseo (3-1-3). Geneseo will face SUNY Oneonta before coming to New Paltz this weekend. Both are solid teams, but they are beatable.
Lipshie explained that this is a very important weekend coming up and the team has been working hard in practice to prepare for these upcoming games.
“This week we have been focusing on shooting and fitness to make sure that we can capitalize on the chances we get during the games,” Lipshie said. “This is a huge weekend for us. We need the points. We have been playing every practice this week as game-like as possible.”
Bruley believes that the team is capable of being successful; they may just need a different mental approach.
“This team is very talented,” Bruley said. “What they need to work on is their mental toughness. Their ability to be strong when they’re facing adversity. Right now they’re losing, and it’s tough and that’s something they mentally have to just get over and start believing that they can win.”
• Friday, Sept. 30 Vs. The College at Brockport, At South Turf Field, 3 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 1 vs. Suny Geneseo, At South Turf field 4 p.m.