By Greg Allen
NEW PALTZ – Playing in its second overtime game of the weekend, the State University of New York New Paltz women’s soccer team tied Fredonia State, 2-2 on Saturday at South Turf Field.
After scoring two first-half goals, the Hawks (3-6-2, 0-2-1) were held scoreless in the second half. The Blue Devils (4-5-2, 1-1-2), however, found the back of the net twice in the second half to earn the draw.
“It was great to get up early,” said SUNY New Paltz coach Mike Eckberg. “It was nice to score two goals in the run of play. Both were good finishes. In the second half, we saw moments where we didn’t see the same type of energy, composure and urgency.”
The Hawks came out of the gate looking to attack. After a shot from sophomore Cailin Ruoti that was saved in the 11th minute and a shot from freshman Ally Donovan that sailed just high in the 13th minute, Ruoti was able to find the back of the net in the 15th minute. Just outside the box with a defender close by, Ruoti fired a shot that snuck past the fingertips of Blue Devils keeper Sabrina Suriani.
“I think we moved the ball really well in the first half,” Hawks freshman Victoria Maffettone said. “We really worked as a team the entire half and did a good job of finishing a couple opportunities.”
Less than five minutes later, Maffetone scored a goal of her own when she beat her defender into the left side of the box. From there she fired a shot off her left foot towards the far post, 2-0 Hawks.
“I saw a pocket, and I used a touch to get around my defender,” Maffettone said of her first-career goal. “At that point I didnt even see the goal, but I just went for it and swung away.”
Maffettone converted another opportunity in the 36th minute that would have extended SUNY New Paltz’s lead to three, but a questionable offsides call took the goal off the scoreboard.
Fredonia State made the necessary halftime adjustments and scored two goals early in the second half to tie the game. Lauren Cullinan scored the first goal in the 50th minute, and Haley Elsey found the back of the net just more than four minutes later.
“We saw our lead disappear quickly,” Eckberg said. “Now we have to choose if we’re going to learn a lesson from this or not. We’re only going to find that out next Friday.”
The Hawks had plenty of opportunities to regain the lead, as they took 19 shots in the final 32 minutes of regulation and overtime. The closest opportunity came in the 85th minuted when senior Alex Wild nailed the post. Wild’s shot marks the second time in as many games that a go-ahead goal was denied by the post.
Unable to convert any of their final 19 shots, SUNY New Paltz was forced to settle for a draw. The tie marks the second time this season the Hawks have tied. They will be back in action on South Turf Field Friday when they take on SUNY Cortland at 4 p.m.