The goal was simple for the Geneseo women’s soccer team: win two games. The Knights were able to accomplish this goal by beating both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, respectively. In doing this, they clinched the sixth and final seed in the SUNYAC tournament and will play at SUNY Cortland on Saturday Nov. 2.
“Our confidence is as high as it’s been all year,” head coach Nate Wiley said. “It’s all about playing well.”
Geneseo outshot Potsdam 15-2 on its way to the 1-0 victory; more than half those shots were on goal. Geneseo only had 13 shots, however, compared to Plattsburgh’s 23 in the second game. Despite that difference, the Knights came out on top 3-2.
It is the first time this season that the Knights won two games in one weekend. Two wins right before the conference tournament is a huge confidence booster for the Knights, despite losing a relatively meaningless game against Elmira College 3-2 on Tuesday Oct. 29.
“It takes some time for teams to gel,” Wiley said, “We’ve figured some things out [throughout the season].”
Freshman Erin O’Connor stood out in both conference games. She scored in both games, bringing her season total to five goals. They were the first goals she had scored since Sept. 28.
“This last weekend should be a confidence booster for her,” Wiley said. He emphasized that O’Connor’s success was all part of a greater team effort, saying, “It has to do with the type of balls we’re playing for her.”
The Knights will try to maintain this mindset in the match against Cortland. Geneseo drew with the 2012 SUNYAC champions 1-1 earlier in the season, something that keeps Wiley optimistic.
“If we’re playing good soccer, I don’t think there are too many teams out there that can beat us,” he said. “We don’t want to make too many changes.”
If the Knights win on Saturday, they would play Buffalo State College on Wednesday Nov. 6. In their meeting this year, Buffalo State edged out Geneseo 1-0.
Despite being the lower seed, the Knights do have some statistics on their side. Mainly, they have outscored opponents 9-4 in games when they have at least one full day of rest before and after.
If Geneseo wins its next three games, the Knights will be crowned SUNYAC Champions and would make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.