NEW PALTZ, NY — The SUNY New Paltz Hawks field hockey team, under second year head coach Bill Davidson, begins their fourth season as a varsity program in 2003. Last season the Hawks went 3-14 and posted the highest win total in the program s brief history. They were 1-4 in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) with three of those losses decided by one goal. Five sophomores and three seniors constitute the eight returning players for the Hawks from last season.
New Paltz will welcome back their two leading scorers from 2002 in sophomore attackers Patricia Erikson (Massapequa Park, NY) and Musu Jackson-Buckner (Buffalo, NY). Erikson topped the Hawks with five goals, two assists, and 12 points while Jackson-Buckner notched eight points on four goals.
Sophomore attack/midfielders Lisa Wong (Colts Neck, NJ) and Shannon Stokes (Accord, NY) are capable of providing some offensive punch for the Hawks. Wong, a 2002 SUNYAC second team all-conference midfielder, recorded three points on a goal and an assist while Stokes scored a goal last season.
Senior midfielders and twin sisters Allison and Lisa Taub (Greenlawn, NY) along with Wong were sturdy players who played in all 17 games last season.
The top defender returning to the field is senior Kelly Anderson (Kingston, NY). Anderson was a key player in a defensive unit that recorded two shutouts and allowed two goals or fewer in seven games. She will also be a leader on the field for the young Hawks this season.
The goalkeeper duties will be handled by sophomore Erica Engstrom (Montauk, NY). Engstrom started 13 games last year, recorded one shutout, and had a goals-against-average of 3.44. Her play improved against conference opponents where she had a 2.44 goals-against-average and a .718 save percentage.
A few new faces will attempt to make their presence felt on the field this year. Freshmen Jaime McCarty (Gansevoort, NY) and Tania Govanlu (Delmar, NY) will be competing for time at the midfield positions while the defense will have a new look with freshmen Kerry Beyrer (Cortlandt Manor, NY) and Aislinn O Grady (Rockville Centre, NY). Freshman Nicole Kovac (Manlius, NY) will display her versatile skills as a midfielder and defenseman.
The Hawks have a balanced schedule in 2003 with eight home games and nine road games. They open their season at Kean University on Tuesday, September 2nd at 7:00 pm. Their home opener is September 6th at 1:00 pm against Richard Stockton College.