The SUNY New Paltz women’s lacrosse team have earned themselves a 2-0 record with a 15-9 win over Hartwick College on Sat. March 10 to kick off the season.
The Hawks will look to build off their 5-9 record from last season and achieve their first ever State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) berth.
Despite two early season rainouts, the Hawks didn’t miss a beat; the game against Hartwick was a competitive one through and through. New Paltz started off strong, as they took possession off the opening draw and logged a few shots on goal. Hartwick broke the stalemate with a goal by second-year attacker Emma Knapp early into the first half. The Hawks answered back quickly, however, with first-year attacker Amy Hofer scoring the team’s first goal of the game, with the assist from fellow first-year attack Tara Bovich.
Both teams fought neck-and-neck from that point onward, with Hartwick’s third-year attacker Ashley Werner scoring on a free-position goal, and the Hawks’ Hofer scoring her second in a row to bring the game to a 2-2 tie. Hofer scored her third goal less than two minutes later off of a free-position penalty. Hartwick responded with a goal by first-year midfielder Michaela McKernan. This back and forth scoring was par for the entirety of the first half, with the score at half-time being tied at 6-6.
The second half is where the Hawks took flight. After third-year midfielder Rachael Purtell won the draw, Bovich scored her third goal of the game 17 seconds into the half. The shot went unanswered for 13 minutes, a period of strong defense on both sides. Finally Hartwick came back with a goal of their own, bringing the score to a 7-7 tie. From that point on, however, the Hawks offense proved hard to stop, scoring six goals in a row until Hartwick answered back with 6:30 left in the half, bringing the score to 13-8. The Hawks finished the game off with a pair of goals by Hofer and first-year attacker and midfielder Miranda Rhodes.
While the team’s offensive efforts were spearheaded primarily by attackers Bovich and Hofer, who both scored six goals, the Hawks’ success was made possible by the coordination and cooperation of the team as a whole. For her strong play, Bovich earned the SUNYAC Women’s Lacrosse Offensive Athlete of the Week.
“It feels great to see my hard work paying off and to watch my team grow as a whole so early in the season,” Hofer said. “Being the SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Week shows other schools that New Paltz is ready to compete and is really pushing to make playoffs this year, and ultimately receive a higher ranking.”
The Hawks first win of the season came off a 22-11 win against Elmira College on the road.
New Paltz got on the scoresheet first with three unanswered goals to kick off the contest. Bovich logged a pair of goals while third-year midfielder Ashley Seiter scored 40 seconds into the game. Elmira answered back with one tally, but the Hawks went on a six goal tear to give them a commanding 9-1 lead.
Elmira recouped three goals, but New Paltz ended the half up 11-5. Purtell kicked off the second half with a goal, one of four on the day. At 16:22, Elmira cut the deficit to a then-score of 16-9, but New Paltz would limit them to just two more goals the rest of the game. The Hawks would go on to complete the win, capped off by a Rhodes goal at 4:02.
Bovich sees the potential in her team to go far this season.
“I definitely see big things coming for us in the weeks to come,” Bovich said. “Although I am a freshman on the team this year, I really think that we’ll be able to make it farther this season that than the program has in the past.”
Hawks head coach Keith Detelj commended his teams strong preparation that led to their two wins.
“I am not surprised at any particular specifics or person per se,” he said. “Whether it was offense clicking or playing solid defense throughout a game, to fighting for every scrappy ground ball or draw, it was groups of performances that have been exciting these past two games.”
The Hawks will host Marywood University on Friday, March 16 at the North Turf Field at 3:30 p.m., followed by an away game at Stockton University in Pomona, New Jersey on Monday, March 19 at 3 p.m.