Winning Ways For New Paltz Field Hockey

Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.

The field hockey team began a five-game road trip this weekend by winning two more SUNYAC matchups against The College at Brockport and SUNY Geneseo.

The Hawks defeated Brockport 3-1 on Friday, Oct. 3. Fourth-year forward Deridre O’Neill tallied the first goal of the game for New Paltz in the 7th minute. First-year forward Justine O’Reilly then scored twice for the Hawks, scoring goals in the 33rd and 42nd minutes.

Golden Eagles first-year forward Amy Masciale broke up the shutout in the 64th minute. New Paltz did not allow a shot for the remainder of the game, outshooting them 28-6.

On Saturday, Oct. 4 the Hawks defeated Geneseo 3-1. Second-year forward Kayla McKeveny found the back of the net in the 21st minute to put her team on top 1-0.  Third-year co-captain Dani Ackerman scored twice for New Paltz in the 34th and 47th minutes. New Paltz outshot Geneseo 12-4 in the matchup.

“We needed to win in order to still have the opportunity to host the first round of SUNYAC,” Head Coach Shanna Vitale said. “That all depends on our next SUNYAC game against SUNY Oneonta. I think for us, it was a morale booster and building that confidence again of what our abilities are and what we are capable of doing. It was a very good weekend.”

The Hawks continued their road trip as they defeated Stevens Institute of Technology 4-2 on Wednesday, Oct. 8 in a non-conference matchup. McKeveny scored two goals and tallied one assist. O’Neill and O’Reilly each scored goals in the second half for the Hawks during the game as well.

The team has really begun to capitalize on their strengths at this point in the season, Ackerman said.

“We refuse to underestimate any of our opponents and we will continue to be relentless throughout our season,” she said. “We refuse to settle for good and are fighting to be the toughest opponent on the turf—fighting for greatness.”

Vitale said the team is going to continue to work on some main components; overall defense, changing the point of attack, the passing game and making sure that the players are recognizing their space.

“For the rest of the season, we’re going to be playing great hockey,” she said. “What we expect is for everybody to show up, work hard, be focused and present in the now. Things should fall into place. We’re not taking any teams for granted – we’re going out with the mentality of ‘hard work and communication is going to take us to where we need to be.’”

The team has an edge unlike any other, Ackerman said.

“We know what we did yesterday means nothing if we settle for the memory of greatness instead of trying to exceed it,” she said. “Every win is a crucial building block and small victory on the road to a championship.”

The Hawks have an overall record of 8-4 and a 3-1 record of in SUNYAC play. They next take on Kean University in Union, New Jersey on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. They will continue SUNYAC play and close out their five-game road trip on Wednesday, Oct. 15 against SUNY Oneonta at 4 p.m.

About Melissa Kramer 157 Articles
Melissa Kramer is a fourth-year journalism major who lives for sports and music.