The women’s field hockey team soared their way to a 5-1 victory over the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) Engineers on Sept. 11, earning their first home win of the season.
The team began their season on the right foot, defeating the Utica Pioneers 4-1 and shutting out the St. Lawrence Saints 2-0 on the road in late August. However, when the Hawks arrived on home turf a few days later, they lost to the Montclair State Red Hawks 1-0 on Wednesday, Sept. 4 before losing to the Vassar College Brewers 5-1 on Saturday, Sept. 7.
New Paltz started their game against the Engineers quickly, with a goal by first-year forward Natasia Plunkett at 1:35 in the opening period, putting the Hawks on the board early. The Hawks applied pressure off the get-go, firing 11 shots on net in the first 15 minutes. New Paltz’s offensive effort paid off not long after. Fourth-year forward Rachel Beam found the net at 14:22, assisted by second-year midfielder Shannon Bernhardt, putting the Hawks up 2-0 at the end of the first.
A little over six minutes into the second period, Bernhardt added another goal for the Hawks at 21:37 to give them a commanding 3-0 lead over the Engineers. Apart from a flurry of activity by the Engineers midway through the third period, it concluded uneventfully, which couldn’t be said about the match’s final period.
First-year midfielder Jamie Wagner put the ball over the goal line at 49:10, adding yet another goal to the Hawks’ already dominant lead. Less than five minutes later, Wagner tallied again, assisted by second-year midfielder Erin Weimann, leaving the Hawks with a 5-0 lead against Rensselaer. 52 seconds later, RPI’s fourth-year attacker and team captain Charisse Stakutis finally put the Engineers on the board before the game finished, giving the Hawks a decisive victory.
The Hawks finished the game with 28 shots on net to the Engineers’ 10. Wagner had a standout performance with five shots, two goals and an assist to lead the Hawks in those respective categories. Second-year Hawks goaltender Ryan Dowling only had to face nine shots, saving eight of them.
On Saturday, the team travelled to Pittsford to take on the St. John Fisher Cardinals. Although New Paltz was coming off a dominant win, St. John Fisher was undefeated at 3-0 going into the game. Their undefeated streak continued, with the Cardinals tallying five unanswered goals before the Hawks scored a pair in the dying minutes of the fourth period. The Hawks put up 10 shots in the final part of the game after only having two shots per period for the first 45 minutes. Regardless, the Cardinals pulled away with a 5-2 victory.
The field hockey team will face the University of Rochester Yellowjackets on Saturday, at 1 p.m at SUNY New Paltz’s North Turf Field.