November 7, 2012
Forrester, Dragon trio honored
While New Paltz reaped the rewards of capturing its first-ever conference field hockey title with the help of Cortland High graduate Maddie Forrester, SUNY Cortland also had three players receive post-season league honors.
Senior forward Sara Woodward, junior midfielder Erin Smith and senior defender Liz DeWaters were Red Dragons named to the SUNY Athletic Conference All-Conference first team squad announced on Tuesday.
The Red Dragons finished 4-2 in conference play and 9-8 overall, and had a string of appearing in 13 consecutive NCAA Division III tournaments halted with the loss to New Paltz in the title game.
Top-seed New Paltz defeated Cortland 2-1 in that championship game this past Saturday in a shootout, the two teams tied at 1-1 through regulation and overtime. The victorious Hawks had head coach Shanna Vitale selected as Coach of the Year and junior goalie Antonija Pjetri the Player of the Year, while junior defender Forrester was among five New Paltz players on the first-team.
Forrester earned her second straight All-SUNYAC honor after being named to the second team last year. A staple on New Paltz’s back row this year, she has started in all 20 of the team’s games and has helped hold the opposition to a 1.02 goals-against average.
She was also named to the all-tournament team this past weekend.
Smith, the junior out of Greene, led Cortland in scoring with 13 goals and five assists this season. Senior Woodward had seven goals and three assists, while DeWaters led a stingy defense that allowed just 1.34 goals per game.
Goalie Pjetri became the Hawks’ first-ever Player of the Year after posting an 0.84 goals against average that ranks seventh best in the nation. Vitale received Coach of the Year honors for the second season in a row, as the Hawks went 16-4 overall and 5-1 in conference play en route to winning their first-ever conference title.
Prior to this year, New Paltz had never experienced a winning season in its history — the program starting up in 2000. New Paltz (16-4) is in Maine this afternoon to take on Bowdoin College in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
Cortland also had senior defender Brianna Petronio out of Holland Patent named to the second team.
WHILE CORTLAND will not be involved in NCAA field hockey play, the women’s volleyball and soccer squads are in the running for national titles while the Red Dragons cross country team heads to the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regionals being held Saturday at the University of Rochester.
The Atlantic Regionals are the first stepping stone towards qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships on Nov. 17 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Cortland volleyball team is the top seed for regional play being hosted by Clarkson, the Red Dragons to face Colby-Sawyer on Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
The Cortland women’s soccer team will be at William Smith in Geneva on Saturday to take on Springfield in a 1:30 p.m. first round NCAA contest.
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