With the end of the season in sight, the Geneseo men’s soccer team continues to have mixed results.
The Knights tied SUNY Brockport 0-0 after two overtimes on Oct. 7, while on Friday Oct. 13 the team fell to SUNY Cortland 2-1, despite an early goal from senior forward Joseph Vucic. The next day, goals from senior midfielder Nick Keneally and Vucic secured a 2-1 victory over SUNY Oswego.
The team has played five double-overtime matches this season, already three more than last season. Playing for 110 minutes is tiring, but a positive attitude can triumph over exhaustion. This attitude toward these games has paid off with a 2-1-2 double overtime record.
“You can’t let the fatigue get to you,” head coach Dominic Oliveri said. “The team that makes one clutch play will likely win the game. Keeping yourself together and pushing yourself to the max is the only way to come out on top in these long matches.”
“Playing these long games, it is easy to lose focus just for one play, and one play is all it takes to win these close games,” Keneally said. “We are often very drained after these games and it is essential for us to have a couple recovery practices where we work on getting everyone healthy during the week to be prepared for games to come.”
Although the team has a record of 7-5-2, they likely aren’t reaching their full potential, according to Oliveri.
“The issue is not in our play. We’re playing good soccer. Our schedule has been difficult, and we’ve been really close against tough teams, but we can’t finish,” Oliveri said. “So, the bad results don’t necessarily mean bad soccer, just an inability to persevere against good teams.”
In short, if the team can stay strong in the final minutes of matches, they will win more. Despite disappointing losses, the team has been able to bounce back in subsequent games.
“We’ve been able to continuously rebound from losses. During conference play, we play games every weekend Friday and Saturday,” Keneally said. “We have lost all three Friday games but we have rebounded to win all three Saturday games. This team’s resiliency puts us in a position to be able to win any game, even after a tough loss.”
Heading into the last three games before the SUNYAC Tournament, the team must buckle down and try to come out with wins. All three of these games are at home, which gives the team an advantage. The Knights face SUNY Potsdam on Friday Oct. 20, SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday Oct. 21 and St. John Fisher on Wednesday Oct. 25.
“We are very excited to close out the year at home,” Keneally said. “We believe we can win our remaining games on our schedule. We had a big win this past Saturday at Oswego which put us in a good position for the conference tournament.”
“We are in a decent position as of now,” Oliveri said. “This is a big weekend coming up. With all home games, I think the boys can win.”
Oliveri said the team’s chemistry is his favorite aspect this season.
“We have a really good group this year,” Oliveri said. “It’s the first time in a while where everyone is getting along. The guys all seem to be having a great time together.”