Bellusci shines in men’s soccer 1-1 weekend

The Geneseo men’s soccer team split a pair of games between Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University on Sept. 6 and 7.The Knights handled Clarkson with a 3-0 final score, while the team struggled through overtime with St. Lawrence, indicated by the 2-1 final score. Despite the outcome, the story of the weekend seemed to revolve around forward junior Rich Bellusci. Recently named Geneseo’s Male Athlete of the Week, Bellusci started the season with aplomb, scoring in three of the last four games. He is ranked first in the SUNYAC conference in goals, goals per game, points and points per game. It should also be noted that Bellusci is accomplishing all of this while coming off the bench. “He’s an absolute sparkplug off the bench,” head coach Dominic Oliveri said. “He brings athleticism and speed. He’s just at the right spot at the right time over and over again. Hopefully he can keep it going.” Oliveri said that Bellusci is one of his most improved players this season. “[Bellusci] has improved drastically from last season,” he said. “He’s playing at a very high level, and he’s confident with the ball.” Another Knight that Oliveri said has also improved is forward sophomore Stanley Egbuchulam. “Last year as a freshman, he came off the bench for us, but this year his role has changed a bit,” Oliveri said. “Between his freshman and sophomore year he has gained a little more confidence.” Egbuchulam showed improvement this past weekend when he scored his first goal of the season against Clarkson, while Bellusci piled in the other two to earn a 3-0 victory. Despite a strong campaign on offense, Oliveri said that the defense helped seal the victory for the Knights. “We played well defensively, and we didn’t give up a lot of scoring opportunities,” Oliveri said. “Our midfield really controlled the tempo and held onto the ball and didn’t [allow Clarkson’s] midfield to get into the flow of things.” Even though the Knights’ midfield was successful against Clarkson, it wasn’t able to come together against St. Lawrence. “To my surprise, we came out a little sluggish” Oliveri said. “Compared to how well our midfield started against Clarkson, our marking struggled centrally.” Oliveri said he hopes to work on midfield’s consistency this week as well as the Knights defense before the team plays upcoming Ithaca College, University of Rochester and Hobart College. “These next three games I scheduled on purpose,” he said. “I tried to find us really difficult opponents to get us ready for conference play.”