Women's soccer playoff implications in limbo

With two SUNYAC games remaining in the season, the Geneseo women’s soccer team is transitioning into a must-win mindset. Despite a winless record over the past three games, the Knights hold the coveted sixth spot in SUNYAC standings. “A lot of our focus is just going to be on how we play – not focusing on wins and losses. Those things will take care of themselves,” head coach Nate Wiley said about the upcoming weekend. “Good soccer will win games for us. I think we’ve lost sight of that.”

Now is definitely the time for the Knights to regain that focus. Their last two conference games are Friday Oct. 25 at SUNY Potsdam and Saturday Oct. 26 at SUNY Plattsburgh – both opponents within two points of the Knights for the final playoff spot.

The way for the Knights to clinch a spot in the playoffs is pretty complicated. If they win both games, they’re in. If the Knights lose one game, they’re out. If they tie either game and win the other, then SUNY Fredonia has to lose or tie at least one of its games. The same goes for SUNY Brockport.

Basically, there are five teams playing for two spots: Brockport, Fredonia, Plattsburgh, Potsdam and Geneseo. All of those teams will play two games over the weekend.

With the intensified competition, the Knights are very lucky to have experienced goalkeeper senior Julia Sanger in net.

“She has certainly stood on her head at times and really given us an opportunity to stay in games and given us a chance to win virtually every game she’s stepped in net,” Wiley said.

Sanger has stepped up even more in her senior season. The Rochester native is fourth in SUNYAC in goals against average (.608), shutouts per game (.333) and saves per game (4.13). With her seven shutouts, she is undoubtedly the leader of this defensive-minded team.

Sanger is no stranger to winning either. In 2010, she helped the Fairport Red Raiders win the Section V Championship. That experience will be key to potential SUNYAC and NCAA tournament runs.

The SUNYAC tournament begins with a play-in on Nov. 2.