The Geneseo men’s lacrosse team lost its season opener to St. John Fisher College on Tuesday Feb. 19. This is coming off of last year’s late-season success when the team went 6-1 down the stretch – with all of those games featuring SUNYAC opponents.
“The team is really young this year, so that makes a huge difference,” defender and co-captain junior Kyle Johnson said. “Everyone’s still getting comfortable playing with each other right now.”
Some of that inexperience and discomfort was evident in the 12-3 loss.
Midfielder sophomore Steve Aziz took Geneseo’s first shot and scored the team’s first goal of the season about two and a half minutes into the game to tie the game at one. The Cardinals responded with a pair of goals from junior Bryan Dyer and junior Jeff Wester. Freshman Drew Huntington tallied Geneseo’s second goal before the half ended with the Knights trailing 4-2.
The second half opened with six straight goals from St. John Fisher and Geneseo never caught up. Sophomore Sam Thompson scored the Knights’ single goal in the second half.
“Defensive-wise there was a lot of communication problems, real simple stuff … and then on offense, you know, we just have to have longer possessions,” Johnson said after the game.
Geneseo struggled at the faceoff, as St. John Fisher took 14 of 19. The Knights lost preseason All-American faceoff man senior Frank DiSanti after he decided to leave the team when head coach Jim Lyons instituted a sober season for the full length of it, where players are prohibited from drinking if they wish to remain on the team.
“We’re kind of like a family, so it was kind of like losing a part of that family which sucked,” Johnson said. “But with the dry season, everyone’s in great shape so we have high hopes. I mean, everyone’s kind of bonded together and come together even stronger now.”
A trio of sophomores – Thompson, Andre Keating and Steve Cregan – enter the starting lineup and bring a unique set of skills to the offense that complements each other’s games.
Defensively, the team brings much more experience to the field as senior co-captain Erik Waltz joins Johnson with junior co-captain Ryan Zaremba in net. Sophomores Dom Infanzon and Matt Emmenegger will also contribute on defense.
The Knights’ next game is at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania on Wednesday Feb. 27.