The Geneseo women’s soccer team opened its season with losses to Salisbury University in Maryland and Western Connecticut University on Friday Aug. 31 and Saturday Sept. 1, respectively, at Long Island’s Farmingdale State College Rams Classic.
In the season opener, Geneseo fell to Salisbury, 2-0. The Knights played a sound first half but had difficulty getting past the Seagulls’ defense. Junior goalie Julia Sanger saved six total, but the Seagulls found the net twice in the second half. By the final whistle, the Knights were outshot, 14-4.
The team is adjusting to some significant changes in the roster this season. In 2011, the Knights’ nine graduated seniors scored 31 of the team’s 50 goals. Returning players, as well as seven freshmen, are responsible for filling the gaps.
Head coach Nate Wiley said he is very aware that Geneseo “is a young team this year and some players are having to take on bigger roles than they’re used to.” He added that new players’ confidence will “come with time.”
Throughout the second game, Geneseo showed improvement against Western Connecticut with more aggressiveness on offense. The Knights raised their shots on goal to 12 but still had trouble getting those shots where they needed to be. Western Connecticut shot 10 times, two of which ended up as goals. Sanger showed consistency with four saves, but the Knights fell to the Colonials, 2-0.
Wiley said he was impressed with the players’ progress in such a short amount of time, especially with so little time to rest between games. His said his overall outlook on the weekend was positive.
“Obviously you never want to lose games, but it was a good opportunity to get players’ feet wet and gain experience in the field,” he said.
The Knights will have a chance to use that experience next weekend, as they travel to SUNY Fredonia to face Allegheny College and the University of Rochester.
The Knights will host their first home game of the season against Nazareth College on Thursday Sept. 13.