There is no doubt that the loss of five senior players has had an impact on the Geneseo field hockey team at the start of this season. The Knights have had a slow 0-5 start to the season, but they are taking the losses as learning experiences. “It allows [us] to look at games more critically, so we’re making adjustments after each game and talking about what we can improve on and get better at so we’re ready for our conference opponents,” head coach Jess Seren said.
With the influx of new players and the key losses, the team is still trying to figure out positions for the ultimate goal of sustaining offensive attacks throughout the game while cutting down on the opponents’ chances to score. A major aspect they are working on is “how to best utilize the players we have.”
Seren noted the difference between playing here at Geneseo as opposed to playing at other schools. “Anytime we play a home game, we’re comfortable. We practice on these fields, and it’s always nice to play in front of your home crowd,” she said.
Of course, the team knows that while home field advantage is beneficial, they are also always prepared to play anywhere on the road. The sharpest contrast is the surface change. The team must adjust each game to the surface they’re playing on. What is seemingly a minor detail for an observer is a different style of play for the players.
The team continues to hold a positive attitude, however, as they move forward into the season. “We want to face good competition early on to measure up and see where we stand,” Seren said.
The players know that ultimately it will help the team as a whole, and that matters the most when they reach their SUNYAC competition. Their ideology relies on improvement, not merely focusing on the wins and losses. Instead, these Knights take it one game at a time and one day at a time. Every opportunity they have, they try to play competitively.
So far this season, Seren said that the greatest strengths she has seen in the team is in their skill level and speed, especially the forwards and the midfielders. “We find ourselves in fast break situations a lot, and we’ve just got to do a better job of capitalizing on those kind of opportunities,” Seren said.
When discussing individual achievements, the coach pointed to sophomore midfielder Maria Dillingham, who has scored in three of the five games so far this season. Last season, she scored just one goal, so she has taken the message of improvement to heart. According to Seren, this season Dillingham has “stepped into a starting role,” and she’s been doing really well offensively.
The Knights played most recently on Tuesday Sept. 13 in a home game against Hamilton, losing 3-1. They take to the road once again on Friday Sept. 16 for a game at SUNY Cortland.