The Women’s soccer team began their final homestand of the season playing a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) game against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, Oct. 17 in hopes of making the playoffs within the last two games.
The Hawks lost by a score of 2-0 to their SUNYAC and Catskill Cup rival after the Red Dragons had goals from fourth-year midfielder Avery Serfis and fourth-year forward Kayla Ceschini, who scored on a penalty kick.
The Hawks were outshot 18-7 and the Red Dragons held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Although New Paltz’s defense stayed strong against a challenging Oneonta offense in the second half, Cescheni sealed the game in the 82nd minute with her penalty shot to give the Red Dragons the win.
For the Hawks, fourth-year midfielder Chelsea Weir led the offense with three shots. Second-year defenders Monica Rouse and Alexa Appel, third-year midfielder Hannah Moran and second-year midfielder Danielle Grossi also contributed one shot apiece.
Hawks third-year goalkeeper Mikaela Stiklickas notched eight saves for the Hawks.
Hawks Head Coach Colleen Bruley said that the upcoming games are going to be tough, but it’s the effort the team puts in that will determine whether they make the playoffs.
“I don’t know how confident I feel right now, it really depends on what team of ours shows up,” she said. “We have the talent, it’s just a matter of what kind of work ethic comes out these next few games.”
Weir said the main goal for the players is to make the playoffs for the second time in her four years at the school.
“Our goal for the rest of the season is to get into the playoffs,” Weir said. “The feeling is like no other and I want nothing more than for all the younger girls to experience what I got to four years ago. I will do whatever I can to help us get to this point.”
The Hawks have not found the back of the net since their 2-1 overtime loss against SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, Oct. 9.
In order to score, Bruley said the team needs to minimize turnovers and dominate possession of the ball.
“We’re giving away the ball too much in the midfield,” Bruley said. “If we can keep the ball and switch the fields and get forward with the ball, we’re going to get many more opportunities.”
The next two games will determine whether or not the Hawks have a chance for a berth in the 2015 SUNYAC Tournament. They have an overall record of 2-11-2 and 1-4-2 tally in conference play.
The Hawks finish their last two games at home against Buffalo State on Friday, Oct. 23 and against SUNY Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 24.
“These next few games are going to prove how badly we want it,” Weir said. “They are going to show the amount of heart, passion and determination that this team has in order to make playoffs. Anything can happen, and no matter what, we will not give up without a fight.”