SUNYAC title within reach for women's soccer

The women’s soccer team is right where it wants to be: one win away from its first SUNYAC title since 2009. Geneseo upset third-seeded SUNY Cortland in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 tie in 110 minutes on Saturday Nov. 2.

Both goals came early in the first half with freshman Erin O’Connor striking first in the 18th minute.

“Scoring early was something that we knew would be a tremendous advantage,” head coach Nate Wiley said, “With [Cortland], we don’t score a lot of goals … getting an early goal was certainly good for our confidence.”

That confidence carried over into the penalty kicks, when forward senior Kelly Quinn scored the deciding goal to carry the Knights into the SUNYAC semifinals.

“The biggest thing for us was that Cortland is one of the best teams in our conference,” Wiley said. “Scoring a goal early and giving us the confidence on the road I think is something we’ll hopefully be able to do on Wednesday [Nov. 6 against Buffalo State College].”

In the midweek matchup at Buffalo State, the Knights did just that. Geneseo jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes off goals from O’Connor and freshman Emily Green. The Knights held on to win 2-1.

Although she let in a goal, goalie senior Julia Sanger was instrumental in the victory. Her three second-half saves helped keep the Bengals at bay.

This win was a redemptive one for the Knights, who lost the first matchup with Buffalo State 1-0.

“We’re more of a different team from [the first game] than Buffalo State is,” Wiley said. He added that the players on the team are figuring out the roles they need to play to be successful. One of those players is certainly O’Connor, who scored four goals in the last five games.

The Knights take on top-seeded SUNY Oneonta on Saturday Nov. 9 for the title. This comes after a 2012 campaign in which the Knights went 3-10-3.

“We’re hitting our stride at the right time of year,” Wiley said.