Underclassmen have positive impact on men’s soccer team

Geneseo men’s soccer team is fired up with enthusiasm and determination for the 2016 season. Even though their last two games were losses, their first two wins of the season were enough to fill them with the confidence that they need to go far in the season. Head coach Dominic Oliveri is working on improving the team on a daily basis through their training. Oliveri hopes to ensure that the Knights are skilled enough to qualify for the SUNYAC playoffs. It seems as though this may be a possible and promising feat, as the men are looking to go all the way this season.

This year’s freshmen are already making an impact on the team, too. There is definite talent amongst them and the Knights are already benefitting from their new teammates.

“Several [freshmen] are already giving us quality minutes,” Oliveri said.

This year will be slightly different from years past, since the team now has a larger base of underclassmen than they do upperclassmen. The team consists of six seniors and nine juniors—otherwise it is primarily made up of freshmen and sophomores. While the team is full of both old and new talent, that does not guarantee the Knights the success they are expecting, especially if they do not have the team chemistry required to move forward together.

Team bonding is a crucial part of the overall success that they are looking for, so it is in their best interest to fix this issue quickly, as it could deem their talent to be almost useless. Oliveri said that they will get there soon and that it will no longer be a problem for them moving forward.

For some teams, two losses can really bring down the mood and motivation that they have for the remainder of the season. For the Knights, however, they are making sure to not let it get in their way. According to Oliveri, these losses will not have an impact on their level of play. “We need to forget about them right away and look ahead to our next game. Never focus on the past,” Oliveri said.

With this mindset, the men are going to be led to success, as Oliveri is making sure not to let the mood drop. If the Knights continue through the season with this mentality, then they will be sure to overcome much more detrimental obstacles.

No matter how good a team may be, everyone is going to have their weaknesses. For the Knights, they need to work on marking up in their midfield. This is one of the main problems that Oliveri acknowledges, and with the midfield being such a challenging position, it may not be the quickest fix.

Oliveri said that he may also change some personnel, but he will be waiting another week or so before making this decision. In regard to the team’s strengths, their back five are putting up a strong fight. Since it is so early in the season, they can only get stronger.

The men hope to battle for a top three seed in the conference, which looks promising considering how evenly matched the teams are this season.