Defensive drives Knights undefeated start

The Knights have always played some of the best defensive soccer in SUNYAC. The women’s team made sure to uphold that reputation, allowing just two shots on goal in two games at the Herb Lauffer Memorial Tournament in Pennsylvania on Aug. 30 and Sunday Aug. 31.Sophomore Patricia Galán was named SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Week for her performance in the tournament. “I was having a very bad morning… then my friend told me [I won the award],” Galán said. “There was a smile on my face the rest of the day.” In the first game, Geneseo topped Baldwin Wallace 2-0 with goals coming from freshman back Leah Greene and senior midfielder/forward Jori Semrau. Greene also picked up an assist on Semaru’s goal. They dynamic between the nine veteran upperclassmen and the 19 freshmen and sophomores will be interesting to watch as the season progresses. “Our upperclassmen are very instrumental,” head coach Nate Wiley said. “Even though they’re smaller classes [than the freshmen and sophomores], they’re very good classes.” The sophomore class is particularly large, comprising more than a third of the team. According to Wiley, the experience that the athletes gained last year will help a lot this season. “The experience those young players gained last year is helping us with the depth early on,” Wiley said. “We came in this year with players already having the expectation of… playing and being valuable contributors game in and game out.” “This year we’re just so much more connected,” Galán—a member of that sophomore class—said. “We’re like a powerhouse.” Game two of the tournament highlighted the team’s growing cohesiveness even more. Sophomore midfielder Emily Green came off the bench and scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Oberlin College. Coach Wiley said that even the players who did not take the field during this tournament will probably have the opportunity soon. “Out of the 28 players on our roster, I’m confident in all 28,” Wiley said. “Players like Leah [Greene] and Emily [Green] coming off the bench are just prime examples of how we’re able to change the game a little bit and still have great success.” The Knights have six games before SUNYAC play begins, the most important of those being at home Sept. 16 against the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Tigers are ranked 21st in the preseason poll and beat 2013 SUNYAC Champions SUNY Oneonta 2-0 to start their season. Although the hurdles are there, Wiley has high expectations for his team this season. “Our goal is—as it is most years—to win the conference. I feel that we’ve got a team that could do that,” he said. “This is a team that should at least be competing––if not winning––a conference championship.” “I hate losing,” Galán said. “I’m really aiming to go as far as we can, maybe win the SUNYAC Championship and go to the NCAAs.” Geneseo hosts Nazareth College at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 4 and plays at St. John Fisher College on Saturday Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.