The Geneseo men’s soccer team seems to hit its stride as the team won the last three games against Buffalo State College, SUNY Fredonia and Nazareth College. It wasn’t enough for the Knights, though, who had two games that went into overtime. In both games against Buffalo State and Fredonia, the score line read 3-2 with the decisive goals both in overtime.
Even though the games were closer than the team would have liked, head coach Dom Oliveri said that he was encouraged by the team’s effort.
“Overtime is one of those things that I’m a big believer of,” he said. “Whoever finishes the half the strongest typically comes out in overtime and plays the best.”
In the game against Buffalo State on Sept. 27, however, the Bengals finished the second half strong with two goals of their own, shutting out the Geneseo offense.
“I didn’t like our second half performance at all,” Oliveri said. “However, even though they found a chance to tie [the game], we still found a way to win. They had the momentum going into overtime, but we took it back and we scored a great goal to get the win.”
Freshman Matt D’Amico tallied the winning goal five minutes into overtime to seal the deal for Geneseo.
On Saturday Sept. 28, the Knights faced the Blue Devils of Fredonia and also went into overtime. Just like against Buffalo State, the Knights scored the winning goal within 10 minutes of overtime, clinching the 3-2 win. Co-captain defender senior Pat Lynch stepped in and scored on a free kick from 30 yards out to secure the win. The Canandaigua, N.Y. native earned SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Week and Geneseo Athlete of the Week for his performance.
“[Fredonia] came out in the opening 10 minutes and scored a leading goal, which gave them momentum,” Oliveri said. “But as soon as they scored that second goal to take the lead, we just took the game over and we played our best 30 minutes and overtime so far this year.”
Nevertheless, Oliveri said that he did not want to see another nail-biting overtime finish, and the Knights granted his wish on Tuesday Oct. 1 against Nazareth. Forward senior Ryan Yurchak and midfielder senior Craig Schackner were able to find the back of the net, each assisted by forward sophomore Stanley Egbuchulam.
The Knights have “a big challenge” ahead of them, though, according to Oliveri. The Knights travel on Friday Oct. 4 to SUNY Oneonta, once a Division I program and the defending SUNYAC champion. Geneseo visits nearby SUNY New Paltz the following day.