The Geneseo women’s soccer team continued to impress this past week. With victories against SUNY Oneonta and SUNY New Paltz, the Knights are off to their best start in program history. Going 10-0-1 has distinguished the Knights from the successful 1994 team that was 8-1-1 after 10 games—and went all the way to NCAA national semifinals.
Although the current team captured the school record for most wins through 10 games, not all of the victories have come easily. Friday’s win against conference rival Oneonta came down to the wire.
Geneseo opened the game in the 28th minute with a penalty kick goal from senior forward Audrey Reid. Less than two minutes later, Reid followed up with another goal, this time a curled corner kick that just barely got past the goal keeper.
Oneonta persisted, however, tying the game up with two goals in the second half. The game remained tied at two goals apiece until the 103rd minute. In the second overtime, it was once again Reid who scored off a free kick to clinch the win and a hat trick.
While the Knights did get the win, head coach Nate Wiley believes that the team could have played better.
“Oneonta was a game where we didn’t necessarily play our best,” Wiley said. “[Oneonta is] a very athletic team who [is] difficult to match up with.”
Luckily for the Knights, the game against New Paltz on Saturday Sept. 30 was a very different story. Geneseo jumped out early, with Reid putting a pass from sophomore forward Domenica Piccoli in the back of the net in the 14th minute.
Senior midfielder Leah Greene put her team up 2-0 in the 24th minute, and Reid scored her tenth goal of the season off a free kick at the 31:19 mark. Less than two minutes later, junior midfielder Ashley Byrne netted her second goal of the year to put Geneseo up four goals to none at the end of the first half.
Even with the strong start, the Knights were not done—37 seconds into the second half, sophomore midfielder Grace Dunnigan got the first assist of her career with a goal from freshman midfielder Ellie Gregory. New Paltz finally got a goal in at the 54:16 mark, but junior defender Rachel Walsh scored her first career goal in the 64th minute to seal the win.
“New Paltz was a well-organized team, but not particularly athletic,” Wiley said of the team’s conference rivals. “I think our athleticism really was our advantage in that game.”
The Knights outshot New Paltz 27 to three in their fifth consecutive win against the Hawks.
“I tell my team probably once a week that they’re just a lot of fun to coach,” Wiley said. “They like to work hard; they enjoy the process. They are very receptive of criticism.”
With the record-breaking season only halfway done, Wiley is solely focused on the next game.
“For us it’s not about a streak or having the best start in program history, it’s about focusing on the task ahead of us and the games ahead of us,” Wiley said. “We need to make sure we take care of each individual game, and all those other things are just nice byproducts of focusing on the right things.”
The Knights face off against the SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles on Saturday Oct. 7.
“It is going to be a real good test for us … We’re really starting to ramp up our conference schedule,” Wiley said.u