With the regular season winding down, both the Geneseo men's and women's soccer teams are looking to improve their place in the conference standings before playoffs begin.
The women's team did just that, coming out victorious against two conference opponents. The Knights defeated SUNY Cortland 1-0 on Friday and SUNY Oswego 2-1 on Saturday.
Head coach Nate Wiley called the Cortland game a "grinder." The teams played to a scoreless first half before sophomore Molly Bralower scored her second goal of the season during a scramble in front of the net later in the game.
The Knights outshot their opponents, recording 13 shots to Cortland's seven. Their defense was as strong as it has been all season, recording its seventh shutout.
On Saturday, the Knights allowed an early goal to Oswego as senior Eileen Coyle scored from just inside the 18-yard box to tie the game at 1-1. Five minutes later, Geneseo took the lead when senior Melissa Beale knocked in the eventual game-winner on a corner kick from junior Jane Matejcik.
The defense allowed just four shots, as the offense poured on 16 shots against the Lakers defense. "Our play led us to believe that it should have been more than 2-1, but we were happy to get the win," Wiley said.
A tweak in practices might have affected their recent success. "We made some adjustments in training to make ourselves more dangerous in front of the goal," Wiley said.
The Knights travel to Buffalo State and SUNY Fredonia next weekend. These two wins put them at 9-4-1 overall but just 3-3-1 in conference play. "Winning both could possibly put us in a position to play at home in the first round," Wiley said.
According to men's soccer head coach Mike Mooney, the men's team played one of their better games of the season against SUNY Brockport in a 1-0 win on Oct. 10.
The Blue Knights peppered the Eagles with 20 shots while only allowing eight. Senior Jason Tartick scored the lone goal of the game unassisted late in the second half.
Mooney said the team knew of two Brockport players that could really score and successfully kept them away from the net.
"The key was playing defense as a 'team' … to stop them from getting opportunities on offense," Mooney said.
Last Friday, the team fell to Cortland 2-0. They had several opportunities to score, as they outshot the Red Dragons 16-10, but couldn't manage a goal.
Starting defenseman and senior Joey Mort went down with a knee injury during the game. Mort missed the rest of the game as well as the following game against Oswego on Saturday.
Despite losing Mort, Geneseo continued to play tough against Oswego, again outshooting their opponent, this time 17-6. This was no easy task as sophomore Matt Solimano received a red card in the 52nd minute and the team was forced to play a man down. "It's hard enough to play this game even-up … but we competed, we didn't quit or lose our composure," Mooney said.
The game ended in a 0-0 tie, Geneseo's sixth defensive shutout this season. Mooney said that the team still needs to find ways to be more opportunistic and score more goals. The 1-1-1 stretch moved them to 7-4-2 overall and 4-2-1 in conference play.
The Geneseo men's team hosts Buffalo State at 3 p.m. on Friday and Fredonia at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Victories this weekend can improve their chances to get a home game in their conference tournament. If not, Mooney said the Blue Knights will try and continue to be "road warriors" after playing only four home games this season.