After an undefeated start to the season, the Geneseo women’s lacrosse team suffered its first loss at the hands of rival SUNY Cortland on March 28. Senior attack Caroline Buonocore scored four goals to become the first player in program history to surpass 200 career tallies, but it was still No. 2 Cortland who came out with the 15-6 win against the No. 9 Knights for both teams’ SUNYAC opener.
Senior midfielder Emily Haggerty added a goal to become the fourth player in program history to tally 200 career points.
Despite the loss, head coach Carly Ritchlin didn’t dwell on the negatives.
“The one message that I made sure the girls knew is that we lost to the number two ranked team in the country,” Ritchlin said. “It’s a loss that we learned from, a loss where I can look at the stats and see that we are very even with most of them. As far as being physically comparable to Cortland, we were right there.”
One of the biggest obstacles for Geneseo this season has been adjusting to the weather. In addition to rescheduling a number of games, the inability to practice outdoors has been the biggest issue for the Knights.
The field is currently unusable and therefore the team has been forced to practice in Kuhl Gymnasium. This severely limits the squad in what they can go over and practice, while the other schools have the luxury of using a turf field year round. It is something the Knights know they have to adjust to, but it puts them at a disadvantage right out of the gate.
“We are going against teams that practice outside on turf every single day and we are stuck in the gym,” Ritchlin said. “A lot of the things that we need to go over and practice to compete with schools we cannot do; we have to adjust while we are playing the game. Out of the top 20 teams in the country, we are the only team with grass. So we are the only team that is fighting to practice on a regular field.”
The Knights are not using the weather as an excuse for losing, however, and Ritchlin admits that the team still has things to work on; in particular, getting more shots off and maintaining a high level of intensity. These factors are crucial in order for the Knights to return to their winning ways.