Men’s soccer splits, looks to qualify for SUNYACs

The men’s soccer team split its final home matches of the season, holding off SUNY Cortland on Saturday Oct. 13 and losing to SUNY Oswego the day before.

Geneseo entered the weekend 3-7-2 and in contention for a spot in the SUNYAC playoffs. Perhaps fired up by the possibilities of postseason play, the Knights opened up the game against Oswego with what head coach Dominic Oliveri said was the “best half of soccer we’ve played all year.”

While Oliveri stated that the team had multiple scoring opportunities in the opening period, it only converted on one, when freshman Jaisen Clark sent the ball to junior Ryan Yurchak, who sent home his third goal of the season. The 1-0 lead proved to be fragile, however, as Oswego caught fire in the opening minutes of the second half, scoring three goals in less than 10 minutes.

Geneseo rallied late with yet another set piece goal when juniors Pat Lynch and Mat Rough connected on a corner kick. Rough, the replacement defenseman for injured senior Rob Loccisano, headed home with his first career goal.

The Knights could not muster another goal, however, and fell 3-2 to the Lakers.

The Cortland Red Dragons started out strong against the Knights, peppering senior goalie Nick Voggel with six shots while Geneseo shot twice.

Oliveri said his team was composed and they “hung in there and got a goal right before halftime.”

Sophomore Jason Falk found classmate Rich Bellusci near the goal. Bellusci deftly touched past a defender and the goalie to earn his third goal of the season.

Geneseo added to its lead just after halftime on another header by Rough, which came, once again, on a set piece taken by Lynch, who now has five assists on the year. Cortland scored a late goal on a wild scramble in front of the net, but the Knights were able to prevent a second goal and held on for the win.

Currently, the Knights sit seventh place in the standings, one spot out of the playoffs. With two wins in the upcoming games against SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Potsdam, Geneseo could finish as high as fourth, which would give it a first-round home game.

The team needs at least four points – one win and one tie – to have a shot at the playoffs and should hope for a loss by either of the teams ahead of them – SUNY Fredonia and Oswego – to have a chance of making postseason.

The two upcoming games will be pivotal in determining whether there are more games yet to be played for the Knights.