The women’s lacrosse is now 4-4 on the season after dropping their first two State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) games to start the season.
The Hawks have surpassed their win total from last season. They finished the 2016 campaign with a 3-13 record and an 0-8 record in SUNYAC games.
Hawks interim head coach Keith Detelj noted the team’s mentality switch since taking over as head coach this year.
“They’re switching over to a conference schedule so we’re looking to tighten up our consistency with our sticks and limiting our turnovers,” Detelj said. “We switched our goals to becoming a playoff berth team, so I think they’re ready to take on the challenge.”
The Hawks played their SUNYAC opener against No. 9 SUNY Cortland on Saturday, April 1, which featured a strong first half from both teams. The Hawks kept within four goals at the end of the first half, but were unable to keep the pace in the second half after being outscored 11-1.
Fourth-year midfielder Alexa Criollo finished the game for the Hawks with a hat trick, which gave her 12 goals on the year.
Fourth-year midfielder Nicole Gottschalk, who was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence on Wednesday, April 5, contributed to the offensive output with two goals and a team-high four ground balls.
Fourth-year attacker Kristen Ohberg led the Red Dragons with six goals and two assists and fourth-year goalie Jaclyn Beshlian took home the win for Cortland, making one save in the net.
“From our Cortland game we were up 9-5 in the first half but we ran out of gas and that happens,” Detelj said. “But I was very excited about the way they played and the steps we’re taking to organize again and go at it.
“With Cortland being ninth in the nation, holding your own against them and making them worry about us for a whole 30 minutes is definitely going to turn some heads. I think the players were excited in understanding what they were capable of doing and now they can do it again.”
On Wednesday, April 5 the Hawks suffered a 17-3 loss against Catskill Cup rival SUNY Oneonta on the road to start 0-2 in SUNYAC play.
Criollo contributed two of the three goals on her two shots, giving her 14 goals for the season. The other goal came from third-year midfielder Kayla Massena.
Oneonta opened up the game scoring the first 10 goals of the contest before Massena stopped the bleeding with a score at 4:15 in the first half as the Hawks trailed 12-1 at halftime.
Last season, the Hawks were unable to defeat Oneonta, resulting in a 15-8 loss in the second to last game of the 2016 season.
“It was a pretty close game last year,” Detelj said. “I think that from where we were last year to now, we’re much better. But it’s a SUNYAC game and it’s our rival in the Catskill Cup, so everyone is going to be excited to show the conference we’re a different team from last year.”
With the loss, New Paltz will gear up for their upcoming matchups against SUNY Geneseo (3-5) on Saturday, April 8 and SUNY Oswego (3-5) on Tuesday, April 11. The Hawks were unable to beat Oswego or Geneseo last season, after suffering 20-3 losses in both games.
“Right now it’s putting together a full 60 minutes,” Detelj said. “I think we’ve showed in spurts that we’re a good team and can handle anything. I think that our consistency throughout a game is huge, along with keeping people healthy and making sure that we are continually disciplined in our preparation is huge.”