Field hockey splits William Smith, Utica

After a disappointing loss to 19th-ranked William Smith College, the Geneseo field hockey team bounced back with a win over Utica College, 3-2.

The Knights traveled to Geneva on Wednesday Sept. 12, but fell to the Herons 4-0. While the score makes the game seem a bit one-sided, head coach Jessica Seren said she was very encouraged by the team’s performance.

“I think it was one of the best halves we played so far this season,” Seren said in a postgame recap. “I think that there were times in that period where we dominated play.”

Geneseo went into the half down by only one goal. In the second half, William Smith scored the other three of its goals, including one soon after the half started.

“Our biggest downfall in that game was mental,” Seren said. “We had stuck with them in the first half and played so hard. Them getting a quick goal in the second half definitely deflated us [and] sank our spirits a little bit. We were never able to recover after that.”

William Smith outshot Geneseo, 18-5, but Seren said she was undeterred by the statistic and sees an opportunity for a learning experience.

“These kinds of nonconference games against nationally ranked teams are just going to help us when we get into our conference plays” Seren said. “We use those games to play good competition, evaluate and learn from our mistakes and continue to [grow].”

While she does have an experienced team boasting upperclassmen, Seren said she is encouraged by underclassmen progress.

“We actually have good, young talent,” Seren said. “The players understand that playing time is performance-based, and it’s whoever that can get the job done.”

In a pregame interview, Seren said that she looked forward to the game against Utica College. She emphasized “[setting] the tone of the game and just [being] ready to play.” She said she wanted the team to not only show its presence in the first half but also in the second half of play.

“We need to focus on controlling the game from the start and just making sure that we carry that through throughout 70 minutes,” Seren said.

Despite the slow start, Seren said, “We feel that we can compete with [ranked] schools, and we’re hoping to get another SUNYAC title.”

The Knights did so by scoring two in the first half against the Pioneers. Sophomore Brianne Campagna added a backhand shot from 12 yards out in the second half to close the game. The Geneseo defense held Utica to two shots in the second and they held a one-goal advantage for the final 28 minutes.

The Knights move to 2-3 on the season and host SUNY Brockport at 4 p.m. on Friday Sept. 21 to open SUNYAC play.

Editor’s note:

Sports Editor Rebecca Fitzgerald contributed to this story.