By Skyler Cain
NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz’s hosted the Lakers of Oswego State Saturday afternoon and came away with a 2-2 draw on Senior Day to close out their impressive regular season.
The Hawks (10-3-2 overall) came out slow in the opening half as the Lakers held them to just two shots in the first 45 minutes. Oswego (8-5-4) took advantage of its defensive efforts and grabbed a 1-0 lead after Amber McDermott scored in the 29th minute off a lofted attempt just outside the box.
SUNY New Paltz went into halftime with the one goal deficit, but came out and had a strong performance, applying more pressure on offense during the second period. Gaby Treble got her team on the board in the 48th minute off a cross from Mia Baldinger, which leveled the score at 1-1. Then, in the 69th minute, Addison Weiner put the Hawks up 2-1.
“It’s the biggest testament that I can give our team is their ability to come back and score two goals after being down 1-0 at halftime. It’s just a testament to the team, individually and collectively,” said Hawks coach Mike Eckberg. “I felt like we made some really good personnel changes in the second half that created some really dynamic opportunities in the second half. We hit the post twice, had numerous opportunities that we just didn’t burry. We’re sitting in a position where we’re at 2-1 and just have to do a much better job managing that game at that point.”
The defense was able to hold the Lakers to just three shots in the second period but gave up the equalizer in the 77th minute when Graisa Madden scored to level the game yet again at 2-2. SUNY New Paltz created chances, evening hitting post in the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net once more before the final whistle and took the 2-2 draw.
The Hawks out-shot the Lakers, 11-8 and garnered six corners to Oswego’s four. Treble led the team with three shots, followed by Siena Diaz-Colon and Weiner with two apiece. Kyra Russo earned the start and made one stop with Maddie Franklin coming in the second half and registering two saves.
SUNY New Paltz, which had locked up the No. 3 seed heading into the match, finishes SUNYAC play at 6-2-1 overall – its best conference record since 2011.
The Hawks honored its seven senior members Saturday prior to the game in Russo, midfielders Diaz-Colon, Dana Salinas, Jillian Dantona, center backs Jess Funke, Katie Buquicchio and forward Ally Donovan. The seven were integral in helping the program to back-to-back playoff appearances for only the second time in program history and first since the 2011-2012 seasons.
SUNY New Paltz will face No. 6 seed Brockport in the quarterfinal round Oct. 29 at South Turf Field. The Hawks defeated the Golden Eagles on the road earlier this season, 2-0.
“Brockport is a tough team, very tough regardless of what results show,” Eckberg said. “I think our process and preparation needs to be elite each and every day and that’s the only thing we can control. I think we have to be mindful of what we’re putting into each and every day to prep for Saturday.”