Men's soccer splits first home series

The men's soccer team advanced its record to 2-2-1 with two home matches over the weekend; the team lost 3-4 to Clarkson University on Friday but pulled out a 1-0 win over St. Lawrence University on Saturday.

The Knights' lost to Clarkson on Friday despite a first half that was nothing short of dominant on the part of the Geneseo offense. The men were on the board within the first six minutes as junior Will Slevin scored off fellow junior John Piaggione's feed to put the team up 1-0.

The Knights showed no signs of slowing down as sophomore Rob Loccisano headed in senior Yuta Shimizu's corner kick in the 21st minute of play. Later, freshman Ryan Yurchak posted the team's third goal in the 35th minute on an assist by Loccisano.

The Knights went into halftime confidently, head coach Mike Mooney said. Mooney said that the play in the first half was "as well as we've played in the past five, six years." Junior Ian Mort said he agreed: "It was the best half I've seen a Geneseo team play." Mort stated, however, that the team "thought the game was in our hands" from the 3-0 cushion at half, causing "complacency" in its members.

The opposition came out to answer at the start of the second half with Clarkson junior David Maiorino landing a direct kick in the 62nd minute. Teammate Bryan Malone, a sophomore, netted the next two goals just minutes after Maiorino.

With 84 minutes in, junior Tobin Boomer contributed the Golden Knights' last goal by knocking in a loose ball. Though Geneseo had several chances for rebuttal and junior Sam Murphy came up with big saves in goal, the team finished the game stunned and disappointed.

"Soccer is a game where there's no time outs," Mooney said. "When the flow of the game changes, there isn't much you can do." He added that giving up four goals in one half was "very uncharacteristic" of the Knights. Mort stated that though the result of the game was "pretty embarrassing," the team used it as a "wake-up call."

Saturday's match against St. Lawrence was decided early on as Mort scored the game's lone goal in the fifth minute assisted by junior Colin Begy. The team's defense was put to the test as its opponents out-shot the Knights 10-7. Mooney noted the importance of how well the team did preventing "easy, free goals." Mort said that the Knights went into a defensive "shell," shutting out the "very physical" Saints.

Senior Mike Madarasz's four saves helped earn the win for the Knights. Mooney said that the game came down to which team had more "heart and desire" and was pleased that his players "found it in themselves to bounce back and play" after Friday's devastating loss.

Both Mort and Mooney noted that putting together a full 90 minutes of consistent play is crucial to the team's success. Mooney said he hopes for "more goals, focus, and consistency" as well as "more change of field" from his men as the season progresses.

The Knights host Union College at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.