Hudson Valley Sports Report
Don't Miss

COLLEGE FIELD HOCKEY: SUNY New Paltz opens NCAA tourney with win over Keene

KEENE, N.H. – The State University of New York at New Paltz field hockey team has gotten used to playing in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and it showed once again on Wednesday afternoon as the Hawks used a four-goal second half to beat host Keene State College, 6-3, in the first round at Owl Stadium.

It marks the second straight year in which the Hawks won their first-round match-up, with their first-ever NCAA Tournament victory coming last season against William Smith College. New Paltz, which moves to 15-6 on the season, faces a tough task in the second round, as it takes on No. 4 The College of New Jersey on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m. in Ewing, N.J. Keene State ends its season at 19-5 and saw its 15-game winning streak come to an end.

Both teams struck early in this high-scoring affair, with Keene State netting the first goal in the fourth minute. Senior back Melissa Habelow rattled the back of the cage off a pass from sophomore midfielder/forward Brittney Cardente. Junior back Jessica Caruana countered in the eighth minute, however, beating the goalkeeper to her right on a penalty stroke to knot the score at 1-all.

The Owls went back on top in the 15th minute, as sophomore forward Sami Smith scored unassisted, but less than two minutes later, freshman forward Sam Eberle answered with an unassisted marker of her own. That 2-2 score stood through the rest of the first half, and even though New Paltz held a 12-6 edge in shots through 35 minutes of play, Keene State managed to keep the score level.

The Owls made a goalkeeping change to start the second half, putting junior goalkeeper Shauna Whittemore in the cage in place of the team’s starter, junior Meaghan Dwyer. The Hawks tested the new goalkeeper early on in the second period, with Whittemore springing into action to make a save just 33 seconds into the new half and sophomore forward Erin Landy giving New Paltz its first lead of the game off an unassisted goal 1:05 later.

Smith found the stick of freshman forward Mariah Barnett in the 47th minute, and Barnett cashed in to tie the score once again. New Paltz struck pay dirt on a penalty corner that was taken in the 57th minute, as sophomore midfielder/back Marita Brothers made a defensive save before senior forward Alex Gallo scored just seven seconds later. In the 64th minute, sophomore forward Kayla McKeveny added an insurance goal off of a feed from Caruana, and following that marker, Keene State took a timeout.

The Hawks completed their scoring spree in the 67th minute, as senior midfielder Deirdre O’Neill buried a goal off of a saved shot by Landy. The Owls were unable to get anything going offensively in the final moments of the contest, and New Paltz secured the NCAA Tournament first-round victory.

New Paltz dominated the stat sheet, finishing with a 27-8 margin in shots and a 12-6 cushion in penalty corners. Junior goalkeeper Alayna Wageman made four saves in the win, while Whittemore was tagged with the loss, making seven saves in 28:14. Dwyer also made seven saves, doing so in 41:46 of action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *