Headed into the final month of regular season play, the women’s soccer team is right where it needs to be: the top half of the SUNYAC standings. To get there, the Knights beat SUNY Fredonia 1-0 on Saturday Sept. 28 and lost to Buffalo State College 1-0 the previous day.
“I think these are teams that we felt like we could have beaten both,” head coach Nate Wiley said.
Over both games, the Knights combined for 21 shots, four of which were from forward/midfielder freshman Erin O’Connor. O’Connor also had the go-ahead goal for the Knights against Fredonia, her third of the year.
“For [O’Connor] specifically, it was a matter of just getting herself closer to goal,” Wiley said. O’Connor’s ability to get behind defense lies mainly in her speed. In May, she ran a 60.73 second 400-meter dash - a time worthy of many Division I track teams.
On the defensive side of the ball, Wiley seemed pleased with how the team played in both games.
“We’re a little bit young in the back, but I think we’ve got the [high] quality of players,” Wiley said. “Having [goalie] senior [Julie Sanger], who’s having a great year, aids in the success that we have … The low number of goals against [us] is not a surprise.”
Sanger certainly is an asset to the Knights. She has allowed only five goals in nine games this season and ranks second in SUNYAC in save percentage.
Now that SUNYAC play has started, the games are becoming more important and the Knights have four of their next five games held at home after not having played a game in Geneseo since Sept. 14.
“I think we’ll be that much more excited to play at home,” Wiley said. Although he complimented the fans for traveling well, he said there is something different about playing at home.
“There will be a little bit extra motivation and some extra pride in playing at home and playing in front of a home crowd,” he said.
On Friday Oct. 4, the Knights will face first-place SUNY Oneonta and on Saturday Oct. 5 they will take on SUNY New Paltz – two important games that could knock Geneseo out of SUNYAC contention.