The Geneseo field hockey team defeated SUNY Oswego on Saturday Oct. 25, securing them the fourth seed in the upcoming SUNYAC tournament. The Knights will be squaring up against the top-seeded SUNY Cortland on Nov. 5. The two-seed is SUNY Oneonta and the three-seed is SUNY New Paltz. Geneseo will have a tough, uphill battle against these teams, but head coach Jess Seren thinks her team is more than ready for the challenge. “Playoffs are always exciting because you can take seeding out of the picture,” Seren said. “Every team knows what is on the line and mentally, you go in with more urgency. Even though we had a tough game with Cortland during the regular season, we feel OK about playing them in the first round because we know we did not play our best last time.”
The one issue for the Knights will be fatigue. They had a tough, double overtime loss to Ithaca College on Tuesday Oct. 28. The Knights also took down St. John Fisher College 2-1 on Wednesday Oct. 29 and they play a game at nationally-ranked University of Rochester on Saturday Nov. 1. They play these three games within five days of each other, which could be a significant factor going into the SUNYAC playoffs.
“I think mentally our team is in a good place right now and they are focused on playing these last three games to prepare for our playoff game,” Seren said. “We are not overlooking these teams by any means, but again, we are using these games as a last chance to prepare for a postseason run.”
Geneseo is going to have its work cut out for it when the team travels to face Cortland. The defense has been strong all year, but Seren believes that offense will win them games.
“We need to make sure we are smarter in the circle and capitalizing on the chances and opportunities that we get,” Seren said. “Especially when we play tougher defensive teams, we need to find other ways to score and to take advantage of the breaks in defense to run our plays.”
With the Knights split almost evenly between upper and underclassmen, there will be many questions as to how the team will prepare for SUNYAC play.
“There [are] pros and cons to being a younger team in postseason play,” Seren said. “Where you might not have the experience factor, you make up in excitement of not knowing what to expect and going out and playing hard.”
The Knights final tune-up at UOR takes place on Saturday Nov. 1 before taking on the Cortland Red Dragons at Cortland on Nov. 5.