In years past, the Geneseo field hockey team and its rival, the University of Rochester, have always matched up very well, resulting in a number of close contests.
"U of R is very good this year. Our game has always been very close," head coach Jessica Seren said before her team's matchup against the Yellow Jackets. That prediction once again came true, as the Knights won in overtime 4-3 on Saturday Sept. 10.
The game got off to a quick start, with two goals in the first five minutes. Rochester drew first blood, but sophomore forward Kayla DeAngelis tied it up off a pass from junior forward Kelsey Horan.
"We came out a little flat," Seren said. "But it's reassuring knowing that we can come back from a decit."
The Knights had to come back from a shortage twice against Rochester. The second came off the stick of sophomore defender Bridget McGovern just a few minutes before the half, to tie the game at two goals apiece.
The Knights struck first coming out of the half to take the lead 3-2, but it didn't last long. "We had just scored to go [up a goal], and they worked the ball down the field and responded," Seren said.
Regulation ended with the game deadlocked at 3-3. Going into overtime, coach Seren and the Knights had confidence they would pull out with the victory.
"We knew we were the faster and more individually skilled team. I think that gives us the advantage, lets us get the ball downfield and get a quality shot off – and we were able to do that," she said.
Indeed, less than five minutes into overtime, DeAngelis came down the field and took a shot that was looking to be the game winner. A Rochester defender, however, swooped in at the last minute to interfere with the ball – a clear violation. DeAngelis got to take a penalty stroke and drove it to the top corner for the win.
After the exhilarating win, Geneseo took a few days off before matching up with Houghton College on Sept. 13. This one wasn't as much of a sweat for the Knights as they improved their record to 3-1 with a 2-0 victory.
McGovern scored the first goal of the game halfway through the first half off a penalty corner from DeAngelis. Later, DeAngelis scored the final goal of the game with sophomore forward Kerry Hosford providing the assist.
There was a new face in goal for the Knights and coach Seren said she was impressed. "I thought my goalie, [junior] Nicole Zito had a good game in goal," Seren said after the win. "This is the first time she's played this year so for us to earn the shutout is a credit to the defense adjusting and Zito stepping up for us."
Geneseo kicks off conference play with a pair of home games on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 - 17 against SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Cortland, respectively.