Women’s Soccer Looks To Rebound

The Women’s soccer team dropped their record to 1-4 after a 1-0 loss against The Sage Colleges on Sunday, Sept. 13.

The Hawks have not won a match since their 4-1 season opening win against Purchase College on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The team was originally scheduled to play its home opener on Friday, Sept. 4 against Medgar Evers College, but after the game was cancelled, the home opener was pushed back to Sunday, Sept. 6 against Stockton University. The Hawks were shutout 5-0 for their first loss of the season.

The Stockton Ospreys outshot the Hawks 13-9 and held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks. Four of Stockton’s five goals came in the first half.

In the second half, Hawks first-year goalkeeper Mary Flanagan recorded three saves while third-year forward Kara Butzke, third-year midfielder Skye Kaler and third-year defender Allison Vaccaro each fired off a shot for the Hawks.

The Hawks then faced Ramapo College on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and lost by a score of 5-1.

Butzke scored the lone goal for the Hawks and Kaler led the team with two shots. Hawks fourth-year co-Captain Kristina Gandolfo, fourth-year midfielder Chelsea Weir and second-year defender Monica Rouse each had a shot as well. Hawks’ second-year goalkeeper Katelyn Cordero notched seven saves between the posts.

The Hawks would then suffer back-to-back  1-0 losses over the weekend. The first defeat came at the hands of Skidmore College on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The team’s defense was on display during the game as the Thoroughbreds outshot the Hawks by a margin of 24-4, but they only scored once and New Paltz held a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.

“We were pretty happy with the way we played on Saturday,” Hawks Head Coach Colleen Bruley said. “We actually played really well but could not get those final passes to connect in order to get many good opportunities on goal. But we had played much better than we have been playing and we felt we were beginning to see the light down the black tunnel we are in.”

Gandolfo, along with third-year co-Captain Sloane Lipshie, third-year midfielder Hannah Moran and third-year defender Alex Miller each fired off a shot. Lipshie and Miller’s shots were on goal but failed to reach the back of the net. Flanagan made her first career start in net and notched nine saves in a losing effort.

The next day the Hawks surrendered a loss to The Sage Colleges.

A penalty kick by Gators’ third-year midfielder Nicole Maher with just 2:49 left in the contest netted the lone goal of the game. The Gators outshot the Hawks by a slim margin of 10-9, both teams had six shots on goal and one corner kick.

“From the 1-0 losses against Skidmore and Sage, the team had the opportunity to feel what it was like to be in the game,” Lipshie said. “A one or two goal lead in soccer is the most dangerous position to hold so any play could have changed the game.”

Gandolfo led the team with three shots on the day, and first-year defender Raven Blake followed with two shots. Kaler, Moran and Weir, along with second-year midfielder Danielle Grossi, each fired off a shot on the day as well.

Bruley noted that lack of communication has been a problem for the team and has been a part of their recent struggle. In order to turn things around, Bruley is waiting for someone on the team to step up and help right the ship.

“We are struggling with leadership and communication in the middle of the field and if we can’t figure this out it’s going to be a long season,” she said. “Everyone needs to step up and play better if we are going to have any success this season. We will keep working hard in practice but the players need to work hard to get it done on the field, and we need someone to step up and take charge.”

Butzke believes that the team is slowly improving with each game and learning from their mistakes.

“One of our team mottos is ‘get one percent better every day,’” she said. “Although this weekend’s results weren’t what we wanted, we realize it’s a work in progress and we definitely got one percent better each game. We look to continue this improvement throughout the season.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 16 the Hawks were defeated by Union College 2-0, dropping their record to 1-5.

The team will next face Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, Sept. 19.