The Geneseo men’s soccer team is off to a great start so far for the upcoming 2016 fall season. The men’s opening tournament started Saturday Sept. 3, which took place in Philadelphia at Swarthmore College. The Knights won both of the games that they played in. The first of the two games concluded with a 5-0 win over Rosemont College, while the second game was a 2-0 victory over Swarthmore. Senior captains forward Ethan Gunty and midfielder Matt D’Amico each had two goals in the tournament—one in each game—contributing to the team’s success.
The men have boosted their confidence with a strong start to the season, and they are looking for more wins in the rest of their upcoming games. These victories have given them the perfect attitude to start off the season, and they will hopefully be able to maintain both the success and the confident mindset.
After enduring a difficult preseason schedule, the men experienced both negative and positive results. There have been several injuries amongst the team due to the intensity of their workouts and their overall rigorous schedule.
Before preseason even began, the athletes were instructed to follow a three-month workout packet throughout the summer to guarantee that they came back to Geneseo in top shape. Fitness testing was one of the first tasks of preseason in order to show the coaches which players really prepared for this season.
Additionally, a new season comes with a new set of players. While the Knights may have lost 10 seniors at the end of last season, they came into the season with a solid group of freshmen and transfer students. These new players have already proven to be useful, showing plenty of potential for the rest of the season.
“We believe we have enough talent to win the SUNYAC Tournament this year. Being an upperclassmen this season, many of the younger players begin to look up to you for advice. Having been here for two years, I am able to help the newcomers adjust to being a member of the Geneseo soccer family,” junior back Nick Keneally said. “We have a very young team this year, but it’s also a very talented team. As a junior, I am now looked at to be a leader, and without upperclassmen leadership and experience our team would not be successful.”
Even though there may be an abundance of new players, the team has not made too many big changes overall from last year. The biggest change, however, may be their two new assistant coaches. The new coaches consist of 2016 Geneseo soccer graduate, Chris Kanaval, and 2014 Geneseo soccer graduate, Alex Stephan. With this new leadership, the team can be exposed to different ideas and methods, making them even better than they currently appear to be.
Last season, the team was ranked in the national top 25 early on, during the non-conference portion of the season. They lost this advantage during their conference play.
The men are prepared to carry their excitement and energy from this past tournament throughout the rest of their upcoming season. This level of confidence should be what they need to take them all the way to the SUNYAC title.