The New Paltz women’s soccer team ended its season last Saturday at Oneonta, losing 5-1 to the Red Dragons.
The Hawks had a 2-14-1 overall record this year, with a 1-7-1 showing in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC).
“The team is very excited about the strides that they have made in terms of their culture,” said Hawks head coach Mike Eckberg. “I felt as though [the culture] got a lot better, and they are very committed and determined, regardless of what their circumstances are.”
The Red Dragons were the first to score in the 16th minute, gaining a 1-0 lead at 15:29. Second-year midfielder and second-year defender Jessica Levinson and Kristen Lasker both took shots on goal, but were not able to make contact with the net. First-year defender Erika McCue finally made it past the goalkeeper 12 minutes later at 28:13 for the Hawks, bringing the match to 1-1 into halftime.
New Paltz lost its momentum in the second half, with the Dragons gaining the lead only 45 seconds in. Oneonta continued to score, scoring three more times in the second half, ending the match at a score of 5-1.
With the Dragons ahead in shots, 11-1, the Hawks could not make their way to the back of the net again. Second-year goalkeeper Megan Tornatore had five saves in net on the day for New Paltz.
The women’s soccer team, although defeated this time, has made huge strides offensively and defensively this year.
“We just have to identify our attack, that one of our biggest concerns moving forward,” Eckberg said. “Everyone in our program knows that a lot of work needs to be done, and I think that [after this year] we finally have the right attitude and the right work ethic to find that next level.”
The Hawks are graduating three seniors this year, midfielder Raven Blake, forward Rachael Purtell and forward Alicia Fanni.
Blake finished the 2018 campaign with one goal and 10 shots in 2018. Fanni had three shots on goal while Purtell rounds her season out with one goal, one assist and four shots on goal.
“Sometimes you can do everything right and still not get to be a champion,” Purtell said. “That’s why there are so few of them. I am proud to have played alongside these girls and to have been a part of this program. I’m just as proud of the way we stepped off the field.”