By Amy Whitman
BUFFALO — The State University of New York at New Paltz fell to the Buffalo State Bengals in the SUNYAC Quarterfinals Saturday, narrowly losing in a 1-0 match.
To start the game, the Hawks were producing opportunities, as they kept possession for most of the first half and created runs to keep the Bengals from making any scoring plays.
Throughout the half, SUNY New Paltz had 11 shots and six corner kick opportunities in the first half but were denied in their efforts to score. The Buffalo State keeper kept the Hawks from putting one in, as he had six of his seven saves in the first. At the end of the half, both teams were scoreless.
The Bengals came out in the second half with a newfound intensity as they were able to put more pressure on the Hawks’ defense, starting to make more scoring opportunities for themselves, which was missing in the first. Both teams were determined to score, pushing offensively with each possession. Hawks goalkeeper Christian Micheli collected seven saves in the second, a drastic difference from his singular recorded save in the first. Still, for the majority of the second half, both teams were unable to score.
In the 79th minute of play, Buffalo State threw a ball in from the sideline toward a cluster of players in the Hawks’ 18-yard box. A Bengals player found contact with the ball, which ricocheted off his back and trickled into the goal, putting Buffalo State up 1-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Despite the efforts by the Hawks and the final minutes of the game, the Bengals were able to defend their lead, and when the final buzzer sounded they were victorious punching their ticket to the semifinals as well where they’ll face the Cortland Red Dragons on Nov. 1.
The Hawks end their 2023 campaign with a 9-2-4 record, going 4-2-3 in SUNYAC play.