GENESEO — Both SUNY Geneseo soccer teams kicked off their seasons this past weekend with two game tournaments and while both teams returned home with a starting record of 0-2, the young squads returned with valuable experience.
The girls traveled Long Island and began the season Friday against Salisbury from Maryland. The girls were able to maintain a high level of play for extended periods of time, but their lack of experience came through in the end, as they gave up two goals off of restarts in the game while failing to score, losing 2-0.
In their second game on Saturday, the Lady Knights came out flat, allowing two goals in the first 10 minutes of play before waking up to put together some solid play. After those first few minutes of dismay the girls came back to dominate possession and tempo, but were unable to capitalize on several chances in front of the net, leading to another disappointing 2-0 loss.
“We continued to improve throughout the weekend, and have a lot positives to look forward to and build off during the remainder of the season,” said Coach Nate Wiley.
The coach and team will have a week of practice to fix their first week jitters before playing in another tournament this weekend at Fredonia against Allegheny and Rochester respectively.
The men’s soccer team started their season with a very difficult test for a young team against nationally ranked side Ohio Northern. The Knights went into half time down only 1-0, after a defensive miscue led to an opportunity for the Ohio team. Geneseo then came out strong and was able to possess the ball well, before a few more defensive lapses led to three more goals and a final score of 4-0.
“Pleasantly surprised on how well we passed the ball around and held possession” was coach Dominic Oliveri’s response to how his team played in their first game after implementing a new formation and philosophy.
Ohio Northern was ranked 12th in the country coming into the game, then jumped to 4th after winning the opening tournament in Erie. The Geneseo Knights had five freshman in their starting lineup, including three defenders that held strong for the majority of their opening game.
In their second game, against host Penn St.-Behrend, the team played more consistently and purposefully, recording their first two goals of the season. Senior captain Alex Stephan had a superb free kick that beat the goalie to find the side netting, and Ryan Yurchak was able to capitalize on a scrum in front of the net. The two goals did not turn out to be enough however, as more defensive miscues led to a disappointing final score of 3-2.
“Defensive miscues and lack of experience cost us, but we continue to get better back there every day,” said coach Oliveri.
Oliveri hopes to improve that back line for the upcoming home opener for the team on Friday at 4:00pm against Clarkson.