With the third season for the SUNY New Paltz Women’s Lacrosse team underway, the squad is looking to improve from their 4-11 and 0-8 record in SUNYAC play.
The Hawks enjoyed their first win against Ramapo College on Wednesday, March 11 in their spring opener after more than a month of pre-season training. The Lady Hawks have had two seasons of working to grow as a team and this year they hope to emerge as winners.
“This win really set the pace for the season,” Head Coach Heather Semelmacher said. “We still have work to do but it’s the first ‘W’ and it’s one more step for our team.”
This was the first recruiting season for Semelmacher. Two first-years in particular, defender Maggie Rose Melito and midfielder Talia Tesler, are expected to add their talents to the starting line-up as integral players.
Returning second-year Brittany Hunt tied for the team-lead in assists with third-year teammate Sam DelGaudio last season.
“Because of a much more competitive roster, pre-season was a lot tougher this year and I think we will be more successful in SUNYAC play,” Hunt said.
After the Hawks prevailed on Wednesday, Hunt praised starting goalie Stephanie Mignone’s performance.
“I can see such improvement since last season and Steph works so hard in practice every day, it was great to see that highlighted during the game,” Hunt said.
New to the program this year, attacking second-year Meagan Keller also has a positive outlook.
“We are still a developing team but our freshmen look so promising and after six weeks of morning practices consisting of very demanding conditioning drills, I think we are ready to prove ourselves this year,” Keller said.
With returning co-captains Gabrielle Dewey and Brittany Bennett, the team has a core group of players who hope to be a force to be reckoned with in the SUNYAC. The team’s chemistry this year is going to add a lot to the way they play.
“They are all in tune. Practices are aggressive and competitive and you can see the girls have a bond on and off the field,” Semelmacher said.
The Hawks hope that their new assistant coach, Lindsey Grundfast, will be able to help the team. Grundfast was coached for seven years by Semelmacher before attending and starting in goal at Dominican College for four years. The team hopes that Mignone is going to reap the rewards from working with Grundfast.
Semelmacher hopes that her motto of “One practice at a time, one game at a time” will help the team going forward this season.
The Hawks will continue their season against Smith College on March 22.