Men's soccer starts off conference play by splitting pair of home games

The Geneseo men's soccer team split two home conference games on Friday Sept. 25 and Saturday Sept. 26, defeating SUNY Fredonia 3-0 and then losing to Buffalo State 2-1 respectively. Those were the first two SUNYAC games of the team's season, and the first home games since opening up the season against the University of Rochester on Sept. 1. The Knights are now 5-2-3 overall.

It appeared that the Knights controlled the entire game against Fredonia. Goals from junior forward Ethan Gunty, senior backer Brad Campion and senior midfielder Stanley Egbuchulam took care of offensive production while senior keeper Logan Calvey finished with six saves to preserve a shutout. Regardless of the box score, head coach Dominic Oliveri was not entirely pleased with the effort.

"If you just see the score, it looks like we dominated—but that really wasn't the case," Oliveri said. "We got off to a slow start defensively, even though we didn't give up a goal. They got into our defense a couple of times and Logan [Calvey] had to come up with a couple of big saves just to keep it at 0-0."

The Knights faced a tougher opponent in Buffalo State. Although the match remained close, they failed to capitalize on some late-game scoring opportunities. Once again, Oliveri emphasized the importance of starting games off strong.

"It's a little worrisome,” he said. “You always like to get two wins or at least one tie and a win at home, so a split is just okay. We're going to try and change some personnel this week before we go to [SUNY] New Paltz and [SUNY] Oneonta."

Geneseo senior forward Jesse Levy was able to tie the game up in the 38th minute only a few minutes after entering the game. It was Levy's first goal of the season.

"For me, that was huge,” Levy said. "I came into this year with a little bit of an injury so coming back has been slow and I've been working really hard to come back to where I was. I think it's paying off and it was really nice to score that goal, but unfortunately we still lost the game."

Levy studied abroad last semester in the Netherlands, where he pulled his groin playing indoor soccer. He is once again fully participating in games—the game against Fredonia was his fourth of the season.

Although the playoffs are still very far away, the Knights are about halfway through their season and are starting to prepare for some key upcoming conference games that will affect the playoff picture. The team will face two very challenging opponents on the road to start October—the first game is against New Paltz on Friday Oct. 2 and Oneonta on Saturday Oct. 3.

"Our goal is still to finish top two or three, to get a first round bye or at least host the first-round game and we're still very much in the mix for that,” Oliveri said. “In the coming weeks, we'll get a better idea."

The Knights topped Nazareth College 5-1 on Tuesday Sept. 29.