Men’s soccer improves to 1-3

In its first home matches of the season, the Geneseo men’s soccer team posted a 1-1 record. After shutting out Clarkson University 2-0 on Friday Sept. 7, the Knights fell to nationally ranked St. Lawrence University 3-1 on Saturday Sept. 8.

Geneseo started off strong on Friday, scoring a goal off a corner kick in the 16th minute when junior Pat Lynch found senior co-captain Alex Stephan 15 yards from goal. After settling the ball, Stephan laced a shot into the upper-left side of the net to score. Just over a minute later, Stephan struck again. On a direct kick from 25 yards out, Stephan made a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar on its way into the net.

Stephan, following his strong performance, was named the SUNYAC Men’s Soccer Player of the Week on Sept. 10.

With a 2-0 lead, Geneseo continued to control the tempo of the game into the second half. Both sides had scoring chances, including a Geneseo shot that rebounded off the post and a hard Clarkson volley that was deflected over the bar by Geneseo’s senior goalie Nick Voggel. Neither team could capitalize, however, and Geneseo claimed its first win of the season.

“When you’re a senior captain, I expect you to lead by example, and that’s what [Stephan’s] doing,” head coach Dominic Oliveri said.

On Saturday Sept. 8, Geneseo matched up against the No. 9-ranked St. Lawrence University Saints, a team as imposing on the field as it is statistically.

With eight of the starting 11 for St. Lawrence over 6 feet tall, the Saints won many of the physical battles against the Knights. Throughout the game, St. Lawrence controlled possession, using size advantage to stop Geneseo’s forwards and controlling the ball with precision passing and judicious use of space.

The visiting team scored in the 10th minute and the lead doubled in the 24th minute after Voggel was beaten on a rebound shot.

“We played a really timid opening half,” Oliveri said.

With just over 19 minutes remaining in the game, sophomore Jason Iannone sent the ball to an open junior Ryan Yurchak. Yurchak collected the ball, made his way across the top of the box and fired a low shot past the keeper. The goal pulled the Knights to within a point of the Saints and provided the possibility of a comeback.

With less than six minutes left in the game, Geneseo scored on its own goal off a St. Lawrence corner kick, sealing the Knights’ fate.

Despite the loss, Oliveri said he is “seeing improvement every week.”

The Knights, now 1-3, will travel to face the Ithaca College Bombers on Sunday Sept. 16 in a non league contest.