Heading into this past weekend's home matches against Buffalo State and SUNY Fredonia, the players of the women's soccer team knew that if they performed well enough, they had a chance to secure a place in the postseason SUNYAC tournament.
It didn't take long for the Knights to get on the board, with junior forward Kelly Bergin converting on a cross from fellow junior Anne Beinetti in the ninth minute of play.
The score remained 1-0 in Geneseo's favor until the 51 minutes, 40 second mark of the second half when Buffalo broke through and leveled the score at one. Buffalo's first strike sparked a scoring battle rarely seen in soccer; four goals were scored in less than 14 minutes of play. Geneseo was resilient and quickly regained the lead with Bergin's second goal of the night, a rebound buried in the Buffalo State goalie's net.
The flurry continued, this time with Buffalo State scoring just two minutes later to draw even once again. Possession went back and forth rapidly, and both teams had a plethora of scoring opportunities. The game winning goal came just minutes later when Bergin completed her third goal, putting away a pass from freshman defender Alexa Vojvodic. Head coach Nate Wiley said he was "not surprised by Bergin's outburst of goals … she has been building up to this all year."
Wiley also said he believed that the experience of giving up a lead and still coming away with the victory in the end gives the team a frame of reference should they face a similar situation in the playoffs.
"Anytime you're working hard and get demoralized, and you're able to come back twice, shows resiliency and character," Wiley said.
If confidence and momentum were ever to play a role in a game it would have been in Saturday's game against Fredonia. With Geneseo getting the last laugh against Buffalo State the night before and Fredonia sitting in the basement of the SUNYAC standings after coming off a loss, the Knights knew they needed to capitalize on this opportunity - a win would secure their spot in the playoffs.
Fredonia's play early on showed they had just as much to fight for as the Knights did. Geneseo's offense, however, broke the scoreless deadlock 26:51 into the match when junior Melanie Rocchio completed a beautiful left-footed finish served up from Beinetti.
That was all the scoring senior goalie Katie Clerkin would need to secure the win for Geneseo and record her 23rd career shutout, ranking her second in all-time program history. Beinetti scored a goal in the final minute and dished out another assist late in the game to none other than the red hot Bergin.
Bergin and Beinetti both scored their tenth season goal over the weekend, marking the first time Wiley has had two players reach that milestone in his five-year tenure.
The successful weekend gives the Knights a record of 11-5 overall and 5-4 in SUNYAC play. Geneseo looks to finish the regular season off with a victory in the final match against Nazareth College on Tuesday.
Ed. Note: The Knights defeated Nazareth on Tuesday, 1-0. Bergin was once again the hero, scoring Geneseo's lone goal off a penalty kick.