The Geneseo men’s soccer team has been unable to string back-to-back wins this season. The Knights secured a 4-2 win against Alfred State on Sept. 17, but fell to Hobart College on Saturday Sept. 20 by a score of 3-1. The squad began the week against Alfred and was able to overcome a first-half deficit en route to victory. The Pioneers scored two early goals to put them up 2-0 against the Knights. Geneseo sophomore forward Mike Skrzypczyk was able to strike first for the Knights, but the team was still down one going into halftime.
The Knights drew first blood in the second half, as senior forward Richard Bellusci scored the equalizer in the 47th minute. Geneseo did not look back, scoring two unanswered goals. Junior forwards Stanley Egbuchulam and Jesse Levy were the scorers of the Knights’ third and fourth goals, respectively.
Head coach Dominic Oliveri said he was very impressed with the turnaround—attributing the win to sparks off the bench.
“The biggest difference-makers were obviously from the bench,” Oliveri said. “I went to six or seven guys in the first half which I typically don’t do... We weren’t playing well at all and I just needed a different energy level and those guys came in and won the game for us.”
The sparks off the bench were key to Geneseo’s success in the second half.
“They played the majority of the game—for the rest of the game,” Oliveri said. “I didn’t take many of them out so it was nice to see.”
Oliveri said that because of the impressive play from the bench, he gave a few of the role players a chance to start against Hobart.
“Against Hobart, I changed some of the lineup and I put some of those guys in the starting lineup,” Oliveri said.
The Knights were unable to keep their momentum in their loss to Hobart. Oliveri said that Geneseo did not play badly, but the team simply failed to capitalize on opportunities. The Knights tallied 17 shots against the Statesmen, while Hobart was only able to get 9 shots.
“We didn’t play a bad game,” Oliveri said. “We dominated the first half. We had a lot of scoring opportunities that we were unable to convert. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
The Knights begin their SUNYAC play this coming week and Oliveri said that he is still searching for the answer for the team’s success.
“I’ve been with the same starting 11 for … five or six games,” Oliveri said. “After Alfred, I thought we needed a change because we were not off to good starts. Against Hobart, the energy was great, but we found ourselves down ... At this point, it’s just finding the right combination of players to set the tone for the game.”