The Geneseo men’s soccer team went into the weekend of Oct. 25 and 26 with optimism for a playoff spot. The Knights needed to win one game to clinch the sixth seed of the SUNYAC conference. They lost both games, however, leaving the team winless since Oct. 12.
“All we really needed out of the four conference games was one win out of the four or two ties. We sort of mentally folded,” head coach Dom Oliveri said. “We weren’t the same team these last couple weeks of the season than we were in the first eight to 10 weeks.”
The Knights were one spot ahead of SUNY Potsdam heading into the contest on Oct. 25 but fell against the Bears 1-0. Potsdam scored on a corner kick header in the 53rd minute to seal the deal.
The following day, Geneseo took on SUNY Plattsburgh in a must-win game for the Knights. But two unassisted goals along with a Geneseo own goal left the Knights 0-2 on the weekend. The shutout game was the fifth scoreless game for the Knights in the season.
Already anticipating next season, Oliveri says he is looking forward to the improvements that will be made.
“In terms of team chemistry, we could have been a little stronger,” he said. “That’s something I want to improve on starting this spring.”
Also, as a result of the Knights’ final weeks, Oliveri said the team’s “mental attitude toward games have to be improved.”
The Knights will lose key components to the team next season, and Oliveri said that he hopes for current players to step up in their place, especially with the departure of senior captains Pat Lynch and Ryan Yurchak.
“[Lynch and Yurchak] were our emotional leaders out there. So we’re going to miss those two guys a lot,” Oliveri added.
In regards to offense, Oliveri said a few players could take over the void Yurchak will leave, albeit with some improvement.
“Upfront, we struggled at times this year. I played three, four, five different guys up there, and they never seemed to click,” Oliveri said. “[Sophomore Stanley Egbuchulam] has the potential to be really good for us. Junior Rich Bellusci started off the year really hot and sort of cooled down at the end, so we’ll see.”
Next season, Oliveri said he hopes to finish in the top six, something the Knights have never done under his tenure.
“It doesn’t feel good to not finish in the final six in the conference,” Oliveri said. “We just need to take each game one game at a time next season.”
The men’s soccer season ended Wednesday Oct. 30 in a 2-1 loss to St. John Fisher College. The Knights finished 6-10-3, 3-5-1 in SUNYACs.