Field hockey finishes regular season with 16th win

With each passing week the number of creative ways to write about the field hockey team's continuing dominance has shrunk, significantly. So, quite predictably: The Knights finished their last regular season game on Saturday in the same fashion they had done 14 times previously, with a victory.

This time Geneseo defeated No. 20 William Smith College, 2-1 on its way to a 16-1 overall record, earning the honor of hosting the SUNYAC tournament this weekend. Now only two games separate the Knights from their first SUNYAC title in Geneseo field hockey history.

"We're excited," said head coach Jessica Seren about the possibility of her team walking away with a piece of history. "Our team knows we have the ability to win. Right now the players have that mindset that they're going to do whatever it takes to win, so we're very excited."

Against William Smith the Knights did what they do best: play defense. Though outshot 15-6 by the Herons, the Knights made the most of their offensive chances and sealed the victory with a first half point by freshman Kayla DeAngelis and a second half goal from senior Erin Zalewski.

"We took advantage of our scoring opportunities," Seren said. "The biggest thing about that game was hands down our defense; we held our own. Our defense held our own."

The Knights lead the conference in almost every single meaningful category including shots, points, goals, assists and of course, wins. The statistic that is most directly related to the team's success, however, deals with defense. That defense begins with the forwards and ends with sophomore goaltender Caitlyn Dowell, who has allowed a miniscule 0.82 goals per game this season. The Geneseo defense will have to be at its best this weekend.

"When it comes to postseason play, you have to throw records out the window because every team is going to come into the game playing differently," Seren said. The Knights could rest upon their regular season laurels, but because they have their eye on the ultimate prize of the SUNYAC championship, that is certainly not an option.

"I'm confident in my players and their mindset going into this tournament," she said. "They've been very grounded this whole season and they want this more than anything. This is what we've worked for."

The Knights put their season on the line at 11 a.m. this Friday against SUNY Brockport in the semifinals of the SUNYAC tournament.