The Geneseo field hockey team had previously expressed their confidence about earning the SUNYAC title going into the SUNYAC Tournament, but they fell to SUNY New Paltz with a 2-1 loss in the SUNYAC semifinal on Wednesday Nov. 4. The women had a very intense season that proved to be successful, however, up until the final game.
Having only three losses throughout October, the Knights went into the semifinal at third place in the SUNYAC standings. They had a solid start to the game against New Paltz, too. Sophomore forward Diana Ruggiero put them on the board during the first half of the game, giving them an advantage going into the second half. By the 54th minute in the second half, however, New Paltz tied up the game at 1-1 and then shortly after put away their second goal, allowing them to take the win.
Even though they may not have won the game, the Knights still left the tournament with several accomplishments—both individually and as a team. This was the women’s sixth consecutive time in the SUNYAC Tournament, demonstrating how hard they have worked these past few years. For senior goalkeeper Dayna Mercer, this was an impressive way for her to end her field hockey career—she made 14 saves for final record of 474 saves throughout these last four seasons.
While this season is now over, head coach Jess Seren pointed out how far the players have come as a team. One of the key things that Seren worked on throughout the season was bettering her players both as athletes and as teammates.
“Our goal going into each season is to focus on improving each day. We want our players to be committed to the process of getting better after every practice and every game,” Seren said. “Looking back to August when we started, it's extremely satisfying to see how much this team has transformed and grown on the field because of their dedication and work ethic throughout this season.”
After welcoming such a large amount of freshmen, it could have been a difficult season, but Seren and the upperclassmen’s leadership contributed immensely to the team’s success. The Knights’ new players will allow them to start off next season very strong, especially considering they already have a great team dynamic.
“We are graduating five incredibly talented players and leaders this year, so we will use our spring season to get an early read on the new dynamic our 2016 season will present us with,” Seren said. “Having a solid core of skilled returners leaves us feeling very optimistic and excited to build on our success [that] these five seniors have worked hard to achieve throughout the course of their four years with us.”