Sometimes it takes some pressure to get a team to play to its full potential. The Geneseo men’s soccer team rose to the occasion on Oct. 19 and 20 against SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Potsdam, respectively.
Needing at least a win and a tie in order to be in contention for the SUNYAC playoffs, Geneseo handed the Plattsburgh Cardinals their second loss of the season before surviving an overtime affair with the Potsdam Bears the next day.
The two wins vaulted Geneseo into fifth place in the conference, allowing the Knights to travel to SUNY Cortland for the first round of SUNYACs. The Red Dragons fell to Geneseo during the regular season 2-1.
In an interview before the weekend, head coach Dominic Oliveri said that his team’s opponents are big, strong players who are “extremely dangerous on services into the box.” Oliveri also said the game would be played on Plattsburgh’s turf field, a surface that Geneseo does not often see.
Throughout the first half, both teams couldn’t produce a goal; Plattsburgh shot four times, while the Knights attempted twice.
The second half was a different story. Sophomore Jason Iannone beat the Plattsburgh goalie for his first goal of the season. Twenty minutes later, freshman Stanley Egbuchulam received the ball from sophomore Neil Allen, touched around the goalie and scored his first career goal.
The Cardinals, winners of the regular season conference title, put pressure on Geneseo, earning a goal in the 88th minute on a header. The Knights held on, winning 2-1 and escaping with their playoff hopes intact.
Potsdam was a different kind of opponent than Plattsburgh.
“Potsdam is more athletic and free-flowing offensively,” Oliveri said prior to the match. “[They] push lots of numbers forward and look to attack.”
Once again, both teams endured a scoreless first half. Geneseo gained the advantage in the 75th minute, when senior co-captain Alex Stephan scored on a direct kick for his fourth goal of the year.
Potsdam answered in the 88th minute, and the teams went into overtime. After a scoreless first extra session, Allen fed the ball to sophomore Rich Bellusci, who ended the game with his fourth goal on the season.
If Geneseo beats Cortland on Saturday Oct. 27, the Knights will face top-seeded Plattsburgh for the semifinals on Wednesday Oct. 31.
St. John Fisher College defeated the Geneseo Knights 1-0 in a double overtime game.
Fisher senior Garhett Varin found junior Jake Quattrini, who banked the game-winning goal off the left goal post in the 104th minute.
The Cardinals led the Knights in shots on goal and shots by two and four, respectively.
Geneseo senior Nick Voggel tallied four saves in the loss. The Knights move to 6-9-2 on the season.