The Geneseo men’s soccer team opened the season up with the Drew University Men’s Soccer Fall Festival in Madison, N.J. Although the team did not achieve the results that it desired, head coach Dominic Oliveri said the team garnered some valuable experience. “This past weekend, we probably went to the toughest tournament we’ve been to in a long time,” Oliveri said. The Knights played against Johns Hopkins University and Haverford College, who Oliveri said are “both really strong clubs.”
Geneseo’s tournament campaign started on Friday Aug. 30 against Johns Hopkins with a 2-2 tie. Johns Hopkins senior Danny Reategui and Geneseo junior Richard Bellusci scored both of their teams’ respective goals. Sophomore goalie Logan Calvey saved three shots for the Knights.
Oliveri said that he was impressed with his team’s resolve despite starting the game with a goal down.
“Usually teams can’t get motivated when they’re a goal down, but this group came right back,” he said. “We tied the game 1-1, and it was really a competitive game from then on.”
The most important name of the game for Geneseo was Bellusci. The striker scored one unassisted goal and another assisted goal by midfielder senior Craig Schackner.
“[Bellusci] is one of those guys who comes off the bench for me who’s one of those really athletic guys,” Oliveri said. “He’s like a fireball for us.”
Despite the comeback effort from the Knights, they were still unable to come out with a win.
The Drew tournament continued on Saturday Aug. 31 against Haverford. Again, the Knights started off slowly when senior forward Ford Bohrmann scored the opening goal for Haverford. Geneseo answered with a goal of its own, scored by none other than Bellusci.
Despite balancing the game at one point apiece, the Knights were unable to hang on as Haverford scored two more goals before the final whistle.
“[Haverford was] a little better than Johns Hopkins. [The players] were technical and they liked getting the ball wide,” Oliveri said. “We struggled with that.”
The Knights bowed out of the tournament with a 0-1-1 start. Oliveri said the team needs to improve on its sluggish starts.
“It might have to do with personnel I’m choosing. But we’re not going to be able to afford, considering the schedule ahead of us, to take 25 to 30 minutes to get really emotionally involved in the game,” he said.
Oliveri also included defense as another aspect to improve upon.
“Our marking in the center of the pitch is lacking right now,” Oliveri said. “One-on-one defending down the flanks needs to improve too.”
The Knights head to Clarkson University Friday Sept. 6 and St. Lawrence University Saturday Sept. 7.
Oliveri said he expects the game against St. Lawrence to be a battle, since the Saints started the year as a top-25 Division III team.
“They’re a technical team that possesses the ball a lot, so it will be a big challenge on Saturday,” he said.