The Geneseo field hockey team kicked off SUNYAC play on Saturday Sept. 20 with an impressive 7-2 victory over SUNY Morrisville. This five-goal differential was the largest winning margin of the season for the Knights, whose record sits at 3-5. “We started off the season with a really tough schedule, playing a lot of teams in the top 10, and also teams on AstroTurf, which for us was a big transition going from our grass field,” head coach Jess Seren said. “We are putting in the work everyday and we are getting better as a team and to finally see a favorable outcome such as that … was really good for our team morale going into, and starting, our conference play.”
The key player in that match was freshman forward Emma Dempsey. Standing at only 4-foot-11, she certainly is not the biggest player on the field by any means, but her two goals and two assists had a large impact on the outcome of the Morrisville game.
“[Dempsey] and the other first-year players have been contributing on offense for us,” Seren said. “Going into conference play we are still going to look to them to be aggressive on the attack and to be either a playmaker for us or put numbers on the board.”
The Knights’ roster consists of an almost even balance of upperclassmen and underclassmen, which Seren credits for how well the team handles high-pressure situations.
“There was definitely an expectation from the upperclassmen as far as stepping into those leadership roles that we lost,” Seren said. “I do not tend to differentiate roles between classes. The returning players have game experience, but I want the incoming freshmen, especially with the talent we have, to feel integrated right from the start.”
SUNYAC play is important because the winner of each conference gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, regardless of record. That’s what Seren is focusing on.
“I don’t want to measure our success based on our record because when you look at a 3-5 start, it tends to not look favorable,” she said. “But when you look at the teams we have played … it will really help us make a statement in the playoffs.”
The Knights will look to stay undefeated in SUNYAC play on Sunday Sept. 28 when they take on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.