The regular season for the Geneseo women’s soccer team has come and gone. After a regular season in which the women went 11-4-1 with an astounding 6-2 record in October, the women find themselves back in the SUNYAC Tournament for the third straight year. Going 6-3 in conference—a record that is good enough for the third seed—the Knights are in prime position to repeat as SUNYAC Champions.
Arguably, the biggest asset for this team throughout the season was their strong defense. This defense gave up the lowest goals against average for the Knights in the past three years with .61 goals per game. What makes that even more impressive is that in nine of the 16 games this season, the Knights were able to shut out their opponent.
The strong play of the defense is especially apparent when considering that freshman keeper Emily Janiszewski started 15 games and allowed only eight goals all season. Janiszewski contributed to the team’s success not only with her talent, but also by adding to the team’s sense of unity.
“I think we finished strong because at that point in the season, the team as a whole got stronger,” Janiszewski said. “The chemistry and team dynamic improved greatly since the beginning of the season and as a result, we just played better soccer.”
With the regular season over, it is time for the Knights to focus their energy on the playoffs. The women look to recreate the success they exhibited last season—they not only won the SUNYAC Championship, but they also won a game in the NCAA Tournament. Solid defense will be undeniably important for a title run, but winning it all will rely on the scoring of junior midfielder Emily Green, sophomore forward Leah Greene and the rest of the attack.
“We have to finish every offensive opportunity that we get,” Janiszewski said. “We have to put the ball in the back of the net to win these games. Our defense is strong, but we can't win games if we don't score.”
This mentality appears consistent throughout the team as they hope to advance. They can’t become inconsistent with their play—especially when it matters most.
“At this stage of the season it is about consistency; not only consistency in performance but consistency in effort. This is a team with a lot of experience so I look forward to seeing how far we can go,” head coach Nate Wiley said. “Our approach never changes. We want to play the best soccer that we can and we feel that that is good enough to take us into the NCAA Tournament.”
The women begin the playoffs at home on Saturday Oct. 31 against SUNY Oswego, whom they previously defeated on Oct. 15 2-1. As the Knights were 5-1 at home throughout the regular season, this setting should help the women on their road to the title.