The women’s lacrosse team have dropped their last four conference games, including losses to State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) rivals Geneseo and Oswego on April 7 and April 10, respectively.
“We started off the season strong and really built our chemistry that would carry over into SUNYACs,” said second-year goalkeeper Nicole Sheintul. “Unfortunately, we’ve hit many roadblocks against good teams that put a lot of pressure on our defense. We’ve had trouble clearing the ball which gave teams second and third chances which stopped any sort of momentum we could have gained.”
Away at Geneseo on Saturday, New Paltz lost by a score of 15-3.
The Knights got off to a quick start, notching two goals in the first four minutes. At seven minutes in, New Paltz answered back with a goal from second-year midfielder Emily Puciloski.
Geneseo responded with seven unanswered goals to finish off the first half with a commanding 9-1 lead.
In the second, the Knights found the back of the net first with a free position shot at 28:07 to go up by nine.
At 26:20, fourth-year attacker, Kayla Massena, helped New Paltz chip into the deficit with a tally of her own.
New Paltz scored again at 16:27, again from Massena, this time on a free position shot to make it a then 12-3 contest.
However, Geneseo notched three more goals to go up 15-3, the final score of the game.
The Knights bested the Hawks in shots (46-12), shots on goal (33-11), ground balls (29-17) and free position shots (18-6). Second-year goaltender Nicole Sheintul made 18 saves in net.
On Tuesday at the north turf field, New Paltz hosted Oswego and lost 15-4.
Oswego lit the lamp first in just under three minutes in the game, and went up 4-0 with just under 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
New Paltz responded at 15:44, however, when second-year midfielder Jennifer O’Leary hit a free position goal.
Just under two minutes later, first-year attacker Amy Hofer cut the deficit in half with a free position goal of her own.
At 11:34, first-year attacker Tara Bovich got the Hawks within one, but Oswego answered back to go up 5-3.
The Hawks remained within striking distance, and ended the half down just 6-4 when Bovich put the biscuit in the basket yet again with just over one minute remaining.
However, Oswego came out guns blazing in the second, scoring seven unanswered goals before fourth-year attacker Caitlyn Morris gave the Hawks hope before the end of the game.
Oswego had the upper hand in shots on goal (24-14), draw controls (16-5) and free position shots (9-4), while New Paltz had three less turnovers (18-15), more saves (10-9) and equal ground balls (23).
Despite the losses, players such as Bovich are trying to embrace the positives.
“Our team has definitely grown from the beginning of the season,” Bovich said. “We’ve been successful in games where we communicated well with one another. Getting goals on offense and making stops on defense all happened when both units were on the same page.”
“I think there’s a lot of talent on this team, and making better decisions when transitioning the ball in the middle of the field will really help show it. Improving on our spacing and opening up for each other will bring us to the next level.”
New Paltz will next travel to Buffalo to take on SUNYAC rival Buffalo State on Saturday, April 14 with a 1 p.m. start, followed by home matches against SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Fredonia on Tuesday, April 17 and Saturday, April 21 with start times of 3 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
“Buffalo State has shown this year so far that they are just as much of a threat as any team in the conference and not to be taken lightly,” Sheintul said. “But right now, winning is not about our opponent, it’s about us and what we need to improve internally to perform at the level we know we can achieve. We understand how important every point in the SUNYAC is which gives us a strong sense of urgency to step our game up.”
The Hawks will close out the regular season on the road at the College at Brockport on Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m.