The Geneseo men’s soccer team has been experiencing both victories and losses, leaving them at an interesting place in their conference. They have the opportunity to change this in a positive or negative way. Starting the season off with a couple of wins was advantageous for the men because they now have the positive energy to carry them through the season—regardless of their recent losses. One of the biggest fears for any team is to lose a player to an injury. After only a few games, the Knights have already lost two of their starting upperclassmen players for the rest of the season. This loss has caused head coach Dominic Oliveri to make some adjustments to the starting lineup, but they are adjustments that he feels confident with.
Due to the fact that the majority of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores, Oliveri has to start giving the younger players more minutes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, since these young players have already proven to have the skills to keep up with their older competitors.
“We have been struggling a bit substitution wise, so some of the younger guys are going to be playing a little more than I expected,” Oliveri said. “We aren’t starting over completely, but it’s close.”
Despite his foreboding words, this is not something that Oliveri showed any concern for. He is self-assured that the younger players will be just fine once they fully adjust.
While the men may appear to be comfortable and prepared to continue on in the season, they have some weaknesses that need to be worked on. One of the main weaknesses that Oliveri addressedwas how the men play under pressure.
“I think just holding onto the ball when we are under pressure is our biggest weakness,” Oliveri said. “A lot of the top teams we play against really pressure us, and we sort of struggle holding onto the ball and making good decisions while under pressure.”
Being that this is a weakness that Oliveri is able to notice so early on, he feels as though it can be fixed soon and that it will no longer be an issue throughout the remainder of the season. Another weakness that Oliveri acknowledged was the team’s ability to mark up in the midfield. Midfield is a crucial part of the game and if the wrong people are left unmarked due to a careless error, it could potentially cost the team a goal. But again, this is a weakness that Oliveri has full confidence in fixing over time.
“These improvements will come with time. We are relatively young, and we have to learn how to communicate and go from there,” Oliveri said. “I see improvements every day, but we are not fully there yet.”
One of the most important things a coach can do for his team is express his confidence in their skills. With Oliveri in charge of the Knights, they are likely to be successful soon, just in time to be prepared for the more difficult challenges that they will face as the season continues.