The New Paltz women’s soccer will be concluding their 2017 season this upcoming weekend with two State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) home games against Fredonia on Friday, Oct. 20 and Buffalo State on Saturday, Oct. 21.
The Hawks currently hold a record of 4-11-1; the last few games have been a tough go for New Paltz, as they lost two conference matches against Potsdam on Oct. 6 and Plattsburgh on Oct. 7 by final scores of 4-0 and 5-0 respectively. Despite those two conference losses, head coach Mike Eckberg liked the team’s effort in both of the matches.
“It was an encouraging effort by the team in the Potsdam and Plattsburgh matches despite the final scores,” Eckberg said. “The team has shown a strong fight and a no-quit mentality.”
The Hawks also dropped 4-0 and 8-0 matches to Western Connecticut and Oneonta. Eckberg believes that getting off to a good start could help the Hawks break out of their current five-game losing streak.
“We need to focus on being sound when the game is 0-0 or 1-0 and grind out defensively in tough moments,” Eckberg said.
Fourth-year defender Julia Friedman talked about how the team is looking to redeem itself this weekend.
“This week, we have put all other distractions aside and we’ve been continuing to push by achieving personal bests each day at practice, in lift, and in our pool session,” Friedman said. “We will not be complacent with simply going through the motions.”
With his first year as Hawks head coach wrapping up this weekend, Eckberg looked back on some of the finest moments from this past season.
“The opening weekend in Alfred, New York was defining for us. Defeating Alfred University and the tough overtime loss against the University of Rochester instilled an early belief in the team,” Eckberg said. “Some of the conference matches such as the tie against Brockport, we executed what we trained that week.”
For the final two matches coming up this weekend, Eckberg talked about playing the role of spoiler against SUNYAC rival Fredonia.
“Fredonia is battling for a conference playoff spot, so it would be good to be the spoiler to their postseason chances,” Eckberg said. “The game against Buffalo State will be about pride and closing the season out strong.”
These matches will be the final home games for the graduating student-athletes, Eckberg is appreciative of the fourth-year player’s efforts this past season.
“The fourth-year players have obviously been through a lot and as a first-year coach here. I appreciate them putting their blood, sweat and tears into pushing this program in the right direction,” Eckberg said.
Friedman is looking forward to playing her final home games as a Hawk for this upcoming weekend.
“Our senior class has dedicated so much to this program the past four years and now we are ready to prove ourselves in our final weekend,” Friedman said. “I want these to be games that people will remember us by, in hopes that we will inspire our underclassmen to continue to battle up until the very last second.”