The men’s soccer team’s season ended on Saturday Oct. 27, as host SUNY Cortland shook off a slow start to defeat the Knights 3-1. With the loss, Geneseo was eliminated from the SUNYAC tournament with a 6-10-2 record.
The Knights opened scoring in the ninth minute, when junior Pat Lynch sent a corner kick to co-captain senior Rob Loccisano. Loccisano, who sat out part of the season with a leg injury, volleyed the ball into the net, earning his first goal of the season and giving Geneseo the advantage.
Cortland responded to the goal by turning up the intensity. The Red Dragons scored in the 27th and 32nd minutes to retake the lead before halftime.
The second half ran much like the first, with Cortland commanding most of the opportunities. Despite taking 13 shots, Geneseo was only able to put six on frame, while the Red Dragons placed six shots out of a total of eight on goal.
“Offensively we struggled to hold onto the ball at periods of time, which really hurt our flow going forward,” head coach Dominic Oliveri said in an email interview.
Cortland scored once more in the 70th minute to go up 3-1 and held on to preserve its victory. For seniors Loccisano, Alex Stephan, Nick Voggel and Sam Lentine, it was the end of their collegiate soccer careers.
“I knew we would be talented but very young,” Oliveri said. “Looking back on the first half of the year, our schedule was very difficult leading into conference play, and our confidence took a little bit of a hit.”
“We hung in there and really had an incredible weekend going up north to beat both [SUNY] Plattsburgh and [SUNY] Potsdam to get us into the playoffs,” he said.
Stephan led the Knights in points at the close of the season. His nine points from four goals and one assist placed him just ahead of sophomore Rich Bellusci, who also registered four goals.
Junior Ryan Yurchak netted three goals, tying him in points with Lynch, whose team-leading six assists established him as a dominant free kick receiver.
In goal, Voggel made 69 saves and earned a .719 save percentage along with four shutouts.
Despite the loss, Oliveri said there is much to look forward to for next year.
“We are losing only four out of 28 players due to graduation, so I am expecting us to compete for the conference title next fall,” Oliveri said.