The women’s soccer team had a slow start to their season after dropping their first three home games. They look to become more of a scoring threat heading into their upcoming game.
Here are some ups and downs Hawks head coach Colleen Bruley and fourth-year captain Sloane Lipshie have seen over the first few games.
The Hawks were left scoreless over the first three games, and in order to produce wins, the team needs to produce goals. Bruley spoke about her team’s offense so far.
“We need to be scoring goals,” Bruley said. “There was an opportunity we had early in the game to score against Ithaca and we didn’t but it was close and definitely would have changed the whole game even more. We need to be able to finish and we’ve been working on it every day in training.”
Team chemistry is important on the field, as communication leads to better performance and more offensive chances. However, the chemistry off the field has been something that has been different so far this year according to Lipshie.
“We have a different player arrangement this year and they’re working on their cohesion and it’s coming together once they get more vocal and more comfortable in their positions,” Lipshie said. “The team chemistry off the field is also spectacular. I’ve loved everyone here throughout my four years but this group is spectacularly close.”
After going 3-11-3 last season, the Hawks look for a much stronger season, as their main scorers Lipshie and fourth-year midfielder Skye Kaler look to lead the scoring category for this year’s team.
Scoring may be a necessity for this team, but defense is something they look to improve on, as their opponents limited the Hawks to 0.53 goals per game, while the New Paltz defense gave up 1.65 goals per game.
“Since we started off on a rough foot, getting better everyday is our main goal,” Lipshie said. “Just doing better than last year wouldn’t be enough. Doing leaps and bounds better this year is where we’re looking to go. We have the same group of girls, a couple of new faces and a new mentality so we should be able to go further.”
If the offense can produce, they will be able to reach the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) playoffs for the first time since 2012, when they lost to SUNY Fredonia on penalty kicks.
“Our goal is SUNYACs,” Bruley said. “If we can get better every day until SUNYACs, I think we will be a much stronger team than we were last year. We did get better as SUNYACs approached, but this year we’re going to be even stronger because this group is learning faster and has more potential.”
The Hawks will participate in the Mount Saint Mary College Tournament on Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10. They will finish the week off with a matchup against Union (N.Y.) College on Wednesday, Sept. 14 in a rematch from last year where the Hawks lost 2-0.