Men's soccer still having hard time against set pieces

The Geneseo men’s soccer team continued its losing streak this week as the team lost to Hobart College on Saturday Sept 21. Being the third loss out of four games for the Knights, it seems as though the team might have to head back to the drawing board. Head coach Dominic Oliveri said that he was tense about the game against Hobart because of the team’s performance against the University of Rochester as well as the similarity in playing styles.

“In formation, they play very attack-oriented soccer, they’re very technical and their movement off the ball is really good,” Oliveri said.

Nevertheless, Oliveri said that he felt the team performed well against Hobart despite the score. He said that the team played differently and with more effort against the Statesmen.

“Honestly, I think my [players] are a little embarrassed after Tuesday’s performance,” he added. “The effort was embarrassing [against Rochester], and I think that stayed in their head. They knew they had to come out and play a better ball game.”

Even though Oliveri said that Geneseo played well against Hobart, the team still has not improved its defense on set pieces. Both goals by the Statesmen were allowed off corner kicks. Six out of the 13 goals against the Knights this season came from set pieces. In the game against Hobart, Geneseo surrendered eight corner kicks, while the Statesmen did not allow any.

Because of this, Oliveri said he has started to rethink how the Knights defend set pieces.

“So I play man to man, but I think, starting today, I’m going to start playing more zonally-approach defensively and see if that gets them engaged mentally on set pieces,” Oliveri said. “Hopefully that will work.”

Oliveri also said that he hopes to tackle the problem by working on the formation of the team as well as the type of defense when playing against corner kicks.

“[The team] wanted to play a traditional 4-4-2 formation,” Oliveri said about one of the team’s improvements during the game.

Although the formation change has only been implemented against Hobart, Oliveri said he hopes the team will feel more comfortable playing in the formation.

The Knights can test out their new formation on Friday Sept. 27 against Buffalo State College and Saturday Sept. 28 against SUNY Fredonia.