Men's soccer bounced in SUNYAC semis

The Geneseo men's soccer team saw their season end last Saturday with a hard fought 1-0 loss to Plattsburgh.

The team knew it was in for a challenge heading into the SUNYAC semifinal game. After all, Plattsburgh had surrendered only four goals the entire season, compiling a 13-2-3 record. The Knights were certainly up to the challenge, executing six corner kicks and firing ten shots on the second-best defense in the nation. Unfortunately, none of them managed to find the back of the net, resulting in yet another shutout for Plattsburgh.

Plattsburgh's Chris Mitchell scored the lone goal 12:58 into the Cardinals' triumph. The Knights registered numerous chances after that, but failed to capitalize. Junior midfielder Nick Prosser headed a corner kick late in the first half, but Cardinals keeper John San Filippo stretched out to tip it over the net.

The save of the game came with just three minutes remaining, when San Filippo made a diving stop on sophomore Kurt Jameson's shot from just outside the box to preserve the shutout. Sophomore goalie Mike Madarasz made four saves in the loss for the Knights.

Head coach Mike Mooney praised his team's resiliency following the Plattsburgh goal.

"It would be easy to give up after they got that early goal on us, but we came right back with three or four good chances in the first half," he said. "The kids left everything on the field… We have nothing to be ashamed of, unfortunately we just ran into a hot, hot goalkeeper."

The never-quit attitude of the Knights during the season was a definitive bright spot for Geneseo, who dug out of a 3-4 hole early on and finished 8-3-2 down the stretch. "Because we were a very young team, the development over the long haul was very good," said Mooney. "Hopefully we can build on this for next year."

Senior leaders such as Ben Dobrzynski and Matt Robinson provided versatility and leadership throughout the season, helping to dig the Knights out of an 0-2 hole in the conference standings to make the semifinals. Robinson's move to marking back, in particular, was commended by Mooney. "It's not easy for a kid to be bounced around, but he did everything he was asked," he said.

Looking ahead to next season, the Knights figure to have nine returning seniors on a matured, battle-tested team.