The Knights women’s soccer season came to an end on Saturday Nov. 9 in a 4-1 loss to SUNY Oneonta in the SUNYAC championship. Freshman Erin O’Connor had the only goal for the Knights. O’Connor’s play stepped up for the Knights down the stretch, scoring three of her eight total season goals in the playoffs.
“Everyone had momentum knowing we were going to SUNYACs,” O’Connor said, attributing much of her success to her teammates. “We practiced more set plays … [head coach Nate Wiley] would also give us scouting reports to study.”
O’Connor’s performance throughout the season earned her third-team All-SUNYAC selection. Her play in the tournament earned her a spot on the 2013 SUNYAC All-Tournament team.
SUNYAC also honored midfielder senior Alexa Krebs and defender freshman Alexa Wandy at second-team, and goalkeeper senior Julia Sanger on the third team.
“We had good senior leadership,” Wiley said. “You deal with [losing players] every year … Some years it’s a bigger hit than others. This is one of those years.”
The Knights had eight seniors on the roster for the 2013 season, their most successful season at Geneseo.
“Everyone was really pleased [with the season], especially the seniors that had never made it to the finals,” O’Connor said. “Every step was new to everyone.”
“These are players that we’re going to miss a lot … not only for their play on the field but what they brought to our program off the field,” Wiley said.
Despite the loss of senior leaders including Sanger, Krebs and midfielder Alexa Vojvodic, the Knights are looking strong entering the 2014 season. One thing they will not lose is confidence.
“The success that we had at the end of the year will add to the confidence going into the offseason,” Wiley said. “We’ve got a pretty good [recruiting] class coming in for next year. We’ll be able to fill the gaps and replace those seniors that we lost.”
O’Connor echoed Wiley’s positivity.
“Our seniors were big, but we’ll find players to go in,” O’Connor said. “We [will] all know [Wiley’s] style of play.”
Next season, the Knights will want more than just a SUNYAC championship appearance.
“Going to SUNYAC finals your first year makes you want to do it every year,” O’Connor said.
“Next year [won’t] be about making it to the championship game but what are we doing all the way up to then,” Wiley said. “We’re not going to come in as a six seed next year. We need to come in as a top three or four seed.”
The desire to win and the talent will certainly be there for the Knights in 2014.
As Wiley said, there are “only good things to come.”