Women’s Soccer Falls Short of Playoffs

After two losses this weekend, the Women’s Soccer team is officially eliminated from postseason contention.

On Friday, Oct. 24 the Hawks fell to Buffalo State 2-1.

The game remained scoreless into the second half until Buffalo scored a pair of goals in the 71st and 73rd minutes to put the Hawks behind 2-0. In the 77th minute, fourth-year Hawks Captain Eleni Anselmi drew a foul inside the box and used her penalty kick to bring the score to 2-1. First-year goalkeeper Katelyn Cordero made five saves while facing 18 shots from Buffalo State.

Buffalo State outshot the Hawks 18-10 during the match. Third-year midfielder Kristina Gandolfo led the offense with five shots and Anselmi with three. Fourth-year midfielder Sarah Painter and second-year forward Kaite Mulry each had one.

“The Buffalo game was a strange game,” Head Coach Colleen Bruley said. “We could not connect and we found it difficult to work together. We were just not able to play our game.”

The Hawks were also defeated by  SUNY Fredonia 2-1 on Saturday, Oct. 25, conceding the first goal in the 16th minute. New Paltz tied it up in the 23rd minute as second-year defender Sloane Lipshie scored her second goal of the season from an assist by Anselmi. The match remained tied well into the second half when Fredonia scored in the 64th minute, putting New Paltz in a 2-1 deficit.

Only one shot was mustered the rest of the match by the Hawks; in the 72nd minute, fourth-year defender Bryce Kristall fired a shot high of the cage.

“They took advantage of our mistakes and we could not capitalize on theirs,” Bruley said. “The season, for a second year in a row now, was a huge disappointment.”

Winning their final two matches of the season against Buffalo State and Fredonia was necessary for them to continue the season and make it to the SUNYAC playoffs. Both games were fraught with opportunity, but the team fell short, Bruley said.

“It was in our hands and we blew it,” she said.

Though the season came to an abrupt end, Kristall said, the sense of togetherness the team felt until the end was very meaningful.

“We put a lot of time, heart and effort into this team over the past four years and wanted to end our careers here the way we started them as freshmen by winning the SUNYAC championship,” Kristall said.  “We did not meet our goals, but along the way we created a strong family bond with our teammates.”

The Hawks had a better record this year than last, going 8-8-2 overall and 2-5-2 in SUNYAC play. They held a 2013 overall record of 3-11-4 and 1-6-2 in conference play. Overall the team scored 30 times out of 346 attempted shots, outdoing their opponents’ 22 goals.

The team loses four members to graduation this season: Anselmi, Kristall, Painter and defender Christine Lacaria. Saying goodbye to the graduating fourth-years is tough, Bruley said, but she is grateful for everything that they have put into the team over the years.

“They have meant so much to me, and to the team,” Bruley said. “They have all gone through a lot over their four years and I can’t thank them enough for the effort and love they have given to our program. The culture and atmosphere will be different next year as we will have different types of leaders. Even though it’s early, we are very excited about the prospects of next year.”