Men’s soccer season ends in SUNYAC semi-final against Brockport

After advancing to the SUNYAC semifinals with a 3-2 triumph over SUNY New Paltz on Oct. 29, the men's soccer team ended its season with a 0-2 loss to SUNY Brockport on Nov. 2. The Knights finished their season with a 9-7-3 overall record.

Going into the match against New Paltz, head coach Dominic Oliveri said he "knew it'd be a tight contest. Both teams didn't want to lose."

Throughout the first half, the teams traded possession, shots and goals. Geneseo was quickly put on the board as junior Jop Smit sent a pass to senior James Hainsworth who netted the ball far-post in the third minute. Oliveri described the goal as "the jump-start we needed."

New Paltz leveled the score in the 27th minute off a shot from 20 yards out. Play went back and forth for the remainder of the half until the Knights found their second tally in the 42nd minute.

Senior Nick Cava sent a ball into the 18-yard box where classmate John Piaggione headed it over the keeper in a 50-50 battle to put the team up 2-1 right before the halfway mark.

The Knights opened the second half the way they had ended the first, securing possession, winning 50-50 balls and creating chances. New Paltz battled back and 20 minutes into the half, netted a shot from 15 yards out to even the score.

The teams fought for chances for the remainder of the half, but regulation time ended in a 2-2 draw.

As the remaining seconds of the first overtime dwindled, Geneseo scored to secure the 3-2 victory and a spot in the SUNYAC semifinals. Sophomore Ryan Yurchak collected a through ball from senior Colin Begy and netted the winning goal. Senior Sam Murphy posted eight saves.

Despite all the momentum from the previous game, the Knights could not contain second-seeded Brockport from the start of the match. Geneseo conceded an intentional handball in the eighth minute, resulting in a player being sent off and a penalty kick opportunity for the Golden Eagles. Brockport netted the penalty kick to earn an early 1-0 lead.

Oliveri noted that the penalty kick "changed the whole complexion of the game."

"We had to make adjustments on the fly and play defensive-minded for the rest of the half," he said.

Geneseo conceded its second goal in the 67th minute and battled the remaining minutes to their 0-2 defeat.

"I was proud of their effort. It's extremely difficult to play with 10 men against a good team," Oliveri stated.

"With it being my first season as head coach, I had high expectations, especially having 13 seniors on my squad. Making it to the conference semis is a good year."