The Geneseo women's soccer team won the SUNYAC championship last weekend, toppling top-seeded Oneonta in the semifinals and fifth-seeded Cortland in the championship. It was the team's first conference championship since 1994.
Friday, the Knights defeated Oneonta 1-0. Despite outshooting the Red Dragons 6-3 in the first half, the Knights went into halftime with a scoreless tie. Head coach Nate Wiley said he was "happy at half, playing as well as we were," but that he was concerned that the women were not leading on the scoreboard despite how well they were playing.
Senior Melissa Beale broke the tie late in the second half, scoring the lone goal of the game. "It was a solo effort of her part; she placed her shot in a spot no goalie could save," Wiley said. He added that he believed the team did a great job managing the last 10 minutes of the game, keeping Oneonta off the scoreboard.
Saturday, Geneseo took a 1-0 lead in the first half of the championship game against Cortland when sophomore Kelly Bergin scored off an assist from senior Eileen Coyle.
Senior defender Lindsey Feuz, who earned SUNYAC Player of the Year honors as well as first team All-SUNYAC, said scoring the first goal "always pumps up the intensity of the game." Wiley said leading 1-0 at half was a good confidence booster, especially when the Knights did not play extremely well in the beginning of the game.
Geneseo had a quick start in the second half, scoring just over five minutes into the half when Coyle capitalized off a feed from Bergin. "They have had a good understanding playing up top together the last few weeks," Wiley said.
Although Cortland added a goal with 15 minutes left in the game to make the score 2-1, the Knights were able to hold them off for the final minutes of play and take the championship.
Wiley said he felt pretty confident that the team would be able to hold onto each one-goal lead late in the game. He added that he was sure the "last line of defense was going to get the job done" and that the back four "were as good as any back four in the country." Feuz, a part of this defense, added, "The backline communicates really well."
The Knights, who stand 14-4-2, earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament and will face Endicott College on Nov. 14 in Grantham, Penn.