The women’s soccer team have started off the 2018 season at 0-5.
The Hawks lost to Vassar College 0-2, Smith College 2-3, Montclair State University 0-4, Skidmore College 0-3 and Bard College 0-1.
New Paltz opened their 2018 season against the Vassar College Brewers. The Brewers came onto the field with high intensity, scoring two goals against the Hawks in the first 25 minutes. Second-year forward and midfielder Ashley Ferry set the tempo in the 12th minute with a finesse shot, hitting off the left post and into the net. Just 12 minutes later, second-year defender Brenna McMannon fed the ball to Ferry right outside the six, ending in a one-on-one with Hawks second-year goalkeeper Megan Tornatore to put the score at 2-0.
Even though New Paltz’s defense limited the Brewers to four shots in the rest of the first half, the Hawks could not seem to capitalize offensively. The Hawks’ struggle to put the ball in the back of the net resulted in a 0-2 loss.
“Obviously scoring is important if we want a chance to win, because although defense is incredibly important it will not get us on the scoreboard or into SUNYACs,” said first-year forward Danielle Angyal.
The offense had a slow start against Smith College the next day, failing to play the ball into the box and capitalize on opportunities. First-year forward Zufan Bazzano scored the first goal for the Pioneers in the 28 minute of the game. Bazzano continued in the second half, scoring another unassisted goal. Fourth-year defensemen Aisling Keane also reached the scoring card for Smith.
Angyal scored the first goal of the Hawks’ season, assisted by second-year forward Monika Morasse. Then, with only two minutes left, forward Rachael Purtell played a ball into the box where second- year forward Kaitlyn Connolly connected it in the back of the net. The late surge would not be enough, as New Paltz lost 2-3.
The Hawks suffered a 0-4 loss against the Montclair State Red Hawks on Sept. 5, as well. The Hawks’ biggest achilles heel in this game was clearing loose balls out of their defensive third.
“From a technical standpoint, we need to concentrate on maintaining our shape in the back,” said second-year defender Kristin Lasker. “Most importantly, we need to communicate thoroughly throughout the entire game.”
On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Hawks faced another loss against the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds. With a strong performance by Tornatore in net and the Hawks’ defense working as a supportive backbone, the Hawks kept the game scoreless into the second half while Skidmore outshot New Paltz 16-2 in the first half.
The Hawks could not continue their early success in the second half, ultimately losing 0-3.
“With our stats on paper, it could be very easy to hang our heads, be we are doing the opposite,” Lasker said. “We are using our losses as fuel to prepare us for our conference games. Session after session, the girls are sweating more, tackling harder, and pushing themselves on physical and mental levels to impact this team positively.
New Paltz will face Manhattanville College and Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus before SUNYAC play starts.