The Geneseo women’s soccer team beat out SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday Nov. 4 in a 4-0 bout to secure the SUNYAC Championship—and an automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament. This is the Knights’ sixth tournament appearance and the second time in four years.
Before they met Plattsburgh in the finals, Geneseo had to get past an athletic rival—SUNY Oneonta—who had given the Knights trouble in their previous game during the regular season. When they met in September, the match went into two overtimes, with Knights’ senior forward Audrey Reid scoring the game winner to notch a hat trick along with the win.
While it was Reid who scored the game winner in that game, others stepped up in this semifinal matchup, which was Geneseo’s eighth semifinal match against Oneonta in program history.
Junior midfielder Jennifer Moran took advantage of a loose ball to net the first goal at the 34-minute mark, but the Red Dragons tied up the game only 13 seconds later. It was not until the 86th minute that the tie broke when sophomore forward Domenica Piccoli scored the game winner—tying Reid with five game winning shots this season.
Geneseo then moved on to their final opponent of the tournament—Plattsburgh.
“It was all about coming out with the right energy and tempo and really taking control of the game right from the start,” head coach Nate Wiley said.
Wiley added that this is how the team played against the Cardinals in the first match up of the season.
In the championship game, Geneseo had an early lead and never looked back. Moran opened the match with a goal assisted by freshman midfielder Ellie Gregory at the 10-minute mark. In the 32nd minute, sophomore defender Taylor Clar added to the lead thanks to an assist from sophomore midfielder Grace Dunnigan.
In the second half, Reid solidified the win with a goal in the 64th and 66th minute. Junior goalkeeper Emily Janiszewski had five saves—giving her 11 shut outs for the season.
Janiszewski was thrilled by the win.
“I knew since freshman year that the one thing I wanted to do before I graduated was to win the SUNYAC championship,” Janiszewski said. “And just the fact that it actually happened, and we went through it all this whole season, it’s just incredible.”
Janiszewski was concerned about how well the team would perform this year.
“We lost a big senior class this year,” she said. “I lost some defenders, who were in front of me, which I was very concerned about.”
For Wiley, this was no unexpected result for this squad.
“We felt that there was just this whole boatload of potential,” Wiley said. “It was a matter of how much of that potential could they reach. It’s just a phenomenal group of young women.”
Wiley also spoke very highly of the team’s work ethic and understanding of the game.
Geneseo will match up against Pennsylvania State University-Berks, who are 15-5-1, in the first round of the NCAA tournament this weekend. Both Wiley and Janiszewski said they were prepared for success, and hope the team will continue working toward the goals they have set.
“We have to take it day by day; every game is a new game,” Janiszewski said. “We just keep pushing.”u