With two games left in their regular season and a bid to the SUNYAC tournament on the line, the Geneseo women's basketball team enters hopefully into the crucial final stretch.
The Lady Knights have faced a long season riddled with adversity including devastating injuries that challenged the team's offensive plans from the beginning. Currently their overall record is 7-16; within the SUNYAC the team is 4-10, placing them in a tie with Buffalo State in contention for the eighth and final seed of the SUNYAC tournament.
As both teams are competing for that coveted position, the last two games of the season (for Geneseo, this includes contests against Fredonia and Brockport) hold considerable clout.
For both Geneseo and Buffalo State, a win over fellow, tough opponent Fredonia would almost guarantee a bid to the SUNYAC tournament.
The team, under the advisement of Geneseo head coach Scott Hemer, recognizes its strengths and weaknesses; a key element to success.
"We are what we are, that's what the players and I have discussed all season. We will continue to fight until the end and that means sticking strongly to our strategy of concentrating on the things we can control, like our defensive intensity, rebounding and limiting turnovers," said Hemer.
"[In Feb. 10's contest] against Oswego, our chances of winning the game were hurt by an unfortunate stretch of turnovers," Hemer continued. "Despite our loss against Plattsburgh [on Feb. 13], we held the team to only 44 points, a tribute to our defensive efforts. And in our most recent contest against Potsdam this Saturday, we ended up losing in the game's final minutes, but we fought hard until the end."
In addition to their fighting attitude, the team has benefited recently from the leadership of senior Tracy Wangelin.
"[Wangelin] was not originally a go-to player as a possible source of offense, but now, that's exactly how I would describe her. She's a true coach's dream," Hemer said. "Tracy is devoted and her hard work represents our program very well."
Hemer's pride in his team does not stop at his appreciation for Wangelin.
"I've always told my players, from the beginning of the season, that as long as they can look back at themselves in that mirror in the locker room after a game, knowing that they have dug deep and left it all out on the floor, they have been successful," he said. "That's all we can ask for."