Men’s soccer splits weekend match-ups

The men's soccer team continued its season over the weekend, defeating Clarkson University 3-0 on Sept. 9, then dropping a 2-3 decision to St. Lawrence University on Sept. 10.

The Knights were off to a slow start as they opened against Clarkson. Geneseo allowed a few early chances for Clarkson to score, but the teams still remained scoreless at the 24-minute mark. Soon after, sophomore Ryan Yurchak fed a cross to senior Ian Mort, who netted the shot to put Geneseo on the board in the 25th minute. The goal "got the players into the game," said head coach Dominic Oliveri, and this proved true as the team picked up its second goal in the 44th minute. Mort took the ball wide then crossed the ball to the other side of the net, where senior Ken DiDonna finished on a header to put the Blue Knights up 2-0 at halftime.

Geneseo opened the second half with as much focus and control with which it had finished the first half. In the 56th minute, junior Rob Loccisano found the net in a goalmouth scramble to secure a 3-0 lead over the opposition. Senior Sam Murphy posted three saves in goal as the Blue Knights cruised to victory.

"Even though it took us 25 minutes to get into the game mentally, I was very happy with Friday's result," Oliveri said. "I was able to play a lot of different players."

The Blue Knights carried their momentum into the next match, scoring twice in the opening 20 minutes against St. Lawrence. In the seventh minute, senior John Piaggione fed a threw ball to Mort who fired a shot past the keeper to give his team an early 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Mort scored his second goal of the match, as he gathered a loose ball at the top of the box and placed it in the upper right corner. St. Lawrence made their mark with two minutes remaining in the half, cutting Geneseo's lead to 2-1 at halftime.

"We had a terrific start, but it woke the other team up and motivated them going into halftime," Oliveri said.

Geneseo conceded a penalty kick 25 seconds into the second half, and St. Lawrence converted the goal to level the score. The teams battled for possession for the remainder of the half, and the match appeared to be a stalemate until St. Lawrence capitalized on a direct kick opportunity with two minutes remaining in regulation. With little time left, the Blue Knights couldn't find an answer and took a 2-3 loss. Murphy finished with seven saves.

"I was proud of how we hung in there for the entire match. We kept our focus and played well." Oliveri said.  

"As a team, we need to get tougher mentally," he added. "We also need to work on our defensive shape and being more compact defensively under pressure."

The Blue Knights host York College on Sept. 17, then travel to face Medaille College on Sept. 18 as they look to improve their 2-1-1 record