For the first time in the program's history, the Geneseo field hockey team beat SUNY Cortland in a 2-1 overtime thriller last Friday.
The win guaranteed home-field advantage for the Knights throughout the conference championships, as the top four seeds will come to Geneseo to play for the SUNYAC title.
Going into the game, Cortland was riding a 26-game winning streak and a remarkable 32-game winning streak in SUNYAC play. The Knights were 6-1 on the year, their only loss suffered to Hamilton College early in the season. The game was poised to potentially decide the conference championship.
It was a defensive battle the entire first half with neither team able to find the back of the net. It seemed, however, that the Knights were able to control the pace of the half, outshooting the Red Dragons 6-3.
"I'm extremely proud of the way we came out and executed our game plan," head coach Jessica Seren said. "We were able to dictate the flow of the game from the start and never let Cortland take control."
That ability to control the pace of the game finally manifested itself for Geneseo right out of the gates in the second half. Just five minutes in, freshman Katie Farley scored her fourth goal of the season, breaking the 0-0 tie.
Cortland had no intention of relinquishing its winning streak that easily, as senior Brianna Yetsko tied the game up halfway through the second half. The Knights continued to control the ball and the clock through the end of regulation, but were unable to net a game winner.
The entire dynamic and momentum flipped in overtime, when Cortland outshot the Knights 4-1. Geneseo sophomore goalie Caitlyn Dowell came up huge in the OT session, making three key saves. Only one goal was needed to finish the game, and senior forward Michelle Milkovich was able to come through with it. The Geneseo all-time points leader received a pass from senior midfielder Erin Zalewski on a breakaway and ended the game just six minutes into overtime.
Coming off the huge win from the day before, one might have expected a letdown Saturday when the Knights took on SUNY Oswego.
"We knew coming off of such an emotional win Friday there was going to be that challenge of going into Saturday's game re-charged and re-focused on Oswego," Seren said. She made sure that didn't happen, and Geneseo continued its streak with a 2-0 win.
Like clockwork, Milkovich scored the two goals, both in the second half. Dowell also continued her outstanding play, recording four saves in the shutout win.
Looking forward, the Knights take on SUNY Brockport on Saturday as they .approach the home stretch of the season.
Ed. Note:The Knights extended their winning streak to eight games on Wednesday defeating Nazareth College 1-0 in overtime.
Senior Stephanie Maisonet scored her fifth goal of the season 3 minutes, 37 seconds into overtime as Geneseo came away with the last second victory.
The Knights improve to 9-1 on the season and travel to SUNY Brockport on Saturday.