In a matter of days, Geneseo men’s soccer seemed almost like different teams in its games against Ithaca College on Saturday Sept. 14 and the University of Rochester on Tuesday Sept. 17. The Knights recorded their first home win against Ithaca in the home opener, but they opened the game slowly.
Ithaca forward freshman Sean Forward scored an unassisted goal in the fifth minute off of a set-piece play - something that head coach Dominic Oliveri was unhappy about.
“It was a set-piece goal, and we have been really struggling defending serves into a box, so this was another example of [set pieces costing] us a goal,” Oliveri said.
The Knights rallied back, with help from Ithaca, who scored in its own goal, and midfielder senior Craig Schackner adding the eventual game-winner goal. Midfielder junior Connor Beisner tallied the assist.
Oliveri said he credits the win to the improved play of his midfielders, with two of them, Schackner and Beisner, playing an important role. The midfielders contributed nine out of the 12 shots recorded in the game.
“Our central players in the midfield have really been struggling getting organized at times, and I thought, for the first time this year, they were organized for the full 90 minutes, which helped us immensely,” Oliveri said.
The Knights managed to seal the victory without forward senior Ryan Yurchak, who is nursing a hamstring strain. Oliveri said that he was looking to keep him out of the lineup against Rochester, but the Knights could have used his talent the following game.
Oliveri said Rochester was a good team and that his team needed to be ready for the matchup.
“They will be very organized.” Oliveri said before the game. “They play a very offensive-minded game when they get a lot of players forward.”
This time, however, the midfielders were unable to continue their successful playing against their opponents. Rochester kept Geneseo from scoring or shooting on goal. Meanwhile, Rochester scored through two headers, one of which came off a set piece and another goal from 25 yards out.
The Knights aim to improve consistent midfield play at Hobart College on Saturday Sept. 21.