By Amy Whitman
NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz had a successful Green Out for Mental Health Awareness Game on Saturday, defeating the Manhattanville Valiants 4-0.
The first half proved the Hawks’ offensive ability, with them having 14 shots on net as opposed to the Valiants’ singular shot attempt. In the 28th minute, Parris Burke was able to feed Laney Schmitz for a goal, the Hawks’ first of the game. Not even two minutes later, a corner kick by the Hawks led to a goal by Mia Baldinger, assisted by Kelly Licata. Despite many more shot attempts by SUNY New Paltz, they would end the half with a comfortable lead of 2-0.
Going into the second, both teams increased their shots on net, SUNY New Paltz with 16 and Manhattanville with three. After four unsuccessful attempts, Rachel Eisert was able to connect off an assist by Alexis DeLeo and put one in the back of the net, increasing the Hawks’ lead to 3-0. Laney Schmitz would get her second goal of the game in the 70th minute off a through ball by Addison Weiner. SUNY New Paltz would keep this 4-0 lead until the 90th minute to take the match.
On the defensive end, Goalkeeper Maddie Franklin had two saves and the Hawks’ back line limited the Valiants to only four shots. But SUNY New Paltz had both defensive and offensive control of the match. “This game I think we connected super well with each other and got into a great rhythm.” said Baldinger, a sophomore midfielder. “We executed the different patterns we have been working on super well.”
“I think that we did well with finishing a variety of different chances, driving the end line, creating a lot of different corners, which is certainly something that we train a lot and we emphasize a lot,” said SUNY New Paltz Coach Mike Eckberg, regarding the team’s offensive abilities. “We executed in the final third, so really happy with their ability to do that throughout ninety minutes and put away some chances.”
“I am so happy about this win today and I think it adds momentum going into Scranton on Wednesday and SUNYAC play on Saturday.’ said Baldinger. “Every day we are building more connections on and off the field and improving. This group is special, and I think all these non-league games helped us grow as a unit both going into conference play and eventually winning the SUNYAC Championship.”
SUNY New Paltz will travel to face their final non-SUNYAC opponent of the season, Scranton University, on Wednesday at 7 p.m.