The field hockey team has won three-straight games, improving their record to 10-2.
First the Hawks defeated The College at Brockport by a score of 3-0 on Friday, Oct. 2. This was the Hawks’ seventh-straight win against the Golden Eagles dating back to 2009.
Third-year forward Erin Landy led the Hawk attack with two goals and second-year forward Sam Eberle scored the other New Paltz goal in the match. Hawks fourth-year co-Captain Jessica Caruana and second-year midfielder Hayley Kim were each credited with an assist on Eberle’s goal, scored off a corner. Hawks fourth-year goalkeeper Alayna Wageman turned aside two shots in the shutout victory.
The Hawks outshot the Golden Eagles 22-7 and held a 16-3 cushion in penalty corners.
“The win against Brockport was another test for us for the season,” Caruana said. “It was another opportunity for us to prove to ourselves that hard work pays off and that we need to continue training hard.”
The following day, the Hawks defeated SUNY Geneseo by a score of 1-0. This was a rematch of last year’s SUNYAC Tournament Final match, which the Hawks won 4-0 on Nov. 8, 2014.
“Geneseo is the kind of team that hustles endlessly and plays hard for 70 minutes and it felt great to come out on top,” fourth-year co-Captain Dani Ackerman said. “This victory was a total team effort from start to finish and I’m proud of the way we played.”
Eberle scored the lone goal in the game and Kim was credited with an assist on the goal. The Hawks held a 17-14 advantage in shots but the Knights had a 9-7 advantage in penalty corners in a losing effort. Wageman notched 10 saves in her second-straight shutout.
Hawks Head Coach Shanna Vitale credits Wageman and the defense for coming through in a close game.
“Defensively, our goalkeeper [Alayna Wageman] came up really big with some beautiful saves,” Vitale said. “Our backs also stayed really poised inside the circle. Our defense is smart. They played with great patience which in return made them successful.”
Wageman was named SUNYAC Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 4. This is the third time this season and fifth time in her career she earned the award.
It was announced that the Hawks slid down to the No. 19 ranking in the Oct. 6 edition of the 2015 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) NCAA Division III National Coaches Poll with 158 points, as announced Tuesday by the NFHCA.
New Paltz held the No. 17 spot the past two weeks but dropped down two places despite wins over Brockport and Geneseo.
On Wednesday, Oct. 7 the Hawks continued their three-game homestand with a 4-1 win against Stevens Institute of Technology in a nonconference matchup at home on the North Turf Field.
The win improved the Hawks home record to an undefeated 6-0.
The team is proud of their undefeated home record, but they understand they need to be prepared to play on surfaces different than the one on the North Turf Field, Ackerman said.
“A 6-0 home record is an awesome achievement,” she said. “We definitely love playing our games at home, but we have come to accept the uncontrollable factors that are posed by playing on different surfaces. At any time we could be expected to play on AstroTurf or longer grass turf. We have to be ready to quickly adjust to any surface we play on in order to be successful throughout the remainder of the season.”
The win also improved the Hawks’ record to 3-1 in conference play. The Hawks currently hold the No. 2 seed in the SUNYAC conference, trailing only SUNY Cortland who holds a 3-0 record in conference play.
The Hawks’ next match will be a nonconference game against No. 7 William Smith College on the road on Saturday, Oct. 10 at noon.