The men’s soccer team gained momentum on Sept. 16, traveling east to face Ithaca College and coming away with a 1-1 result against the always-dangerous Bombers.
The draw comes at a pivotal point in the season, with the brunt of the SUNYAC conference schedule starting next week. Citing this, head coach Dominic Oliveri said in a pregame email that his team was bolstered in the long week of practice preceding the contest due to the importance of the upcoming games.
“We worked really hard as our biggest stretch of the season comes upon us with our next four games in a row on the road and conference play opening up at the same time,” Oliveri said. “It is a very important time of the year for us.”
Oliveri said that Ithaca is a formidable opponent who plays a cautious, defensive brand of soccer.
“We play a very attacking style of play, so it will be an interesting contrast of styles,” Oliveri said, adding that his team will also have to limit the defensive miscues that have plagued the young squad in three of four games so far this year.
Through five games prior to Sunday’s matchup, Ithaca was 2-1-2, with one of those wins an impressive shutout of No. 11 Muhlenberg College.
As in all three of Geneseo’s losses to date this year, the team found itself in a hole early on, as a pair of Bomber freshmen connected on a cross in the 11th minute to beat junior goalkeeper Dan Maddock in his first game of the season. After this initial mishap, however, the defense and Maddock did not allow another goal for the remainder of the game.
Though the Knights outshot the Bombers 18-11, they could not muster a goal until the 83rd minute, when junior midfielder Craig Schackner found himself with the ball in the penalty area. Schackner cut the ball back across the goal and slipped a shot past the Ithaca goalie for his first goal of the season.
With the game tied at 1-1, the teams headed into overtime. Although the Knights managed to get four shots off in the extra frames to the Bombers’ three, they could not find a second goal and the game ended in a tie.
Next week, Geneseo will embark on a western New York road trip, which includes stops at conference rivals SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State College. The next home games for the Knights fall on the weekend of Sept. 28, with SUNY New Paltz Hawks visiting Friday afternoon and the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons taking the field for a Saturday matinee.