Defense great women's soccer, offense still struggles

On Saturday Sept. 21, the women’s soccer team found itself a second-straight draw, tying the St. Lawrence University Saints 0-0. There are mixed signals coming from this result, a theme that seems to surround the team this season. Goalkeeper senior Julia Sanger had five saves to keep the Knights alive. The conference recognized her efforts, naming her the SUNYAC women’s soccer defensive player of the week on Monday Sept. 23.

Sanger has not allowed a goal in nearly six hours of playing time. Head coach Nate Wiley said it’s her leadership that really sets her apart from other players. He added that her saves in one-on-one situations have been boosting the team.

But of course, it takes more than one player to keep a streak like that alive.

“Defending is key to our success,” Wiley said. He added that Geneseo’s four starting defenders have been playing beyond their years, and there will always be a “learning curve” when playing with two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior.

While the defense seems to have things figured out, the offense continues to struggle. In the last seven games, the Knights have scored eight goals. Not a bad ratio until you learn that seven of those goals came in one game. This inconsistency is what the team struggles with.

“That’s something we’ve been working quite a bit on,” Wiley added. He pointed out that the team has made plenty of opportunities but just hasn’t finished.

One player who has had more opportunities than most is forward and midfielder freshman Erin O’Connor.

The Remsen, N.Y., native has “great pace,” Wiley said.

“When she puts together her eye for through balls and her ability to recognize gaps, she will be able to put away more shots,” he said.

In many situations, numbers can only say so much but they seem to be telling the whole story for Geneseo here. They need to get on the good side of the statistics sheet and things will likely turn around then.

The Knights begin SUNYAC play Friday Sept. 27 at Buffalo State College, so time is running out for them to work on what has been troubling them.

Going into the weekend, the Knights have the sixth-best record in the conference.