After starting the season 3-0, the men’s lacrosse team was dealt two losses on the road against St. John Fisher College on Thursday March 23 and against Skidmore College on Tuesday March 28. The Knights escaped the week with a win, however, as they came out on top over Olivet College on Saturday March 25. They now stand at 4-2 on the year.
The low-scoring affair against St. John Fisher saw Geneseo with a 4-0 lead in the third quarter, but a four-goal surge by St. John Fisher in a three-minute span tied the game going into the fourth quarter. The hosts were eventually able to pull away and win, 8-5, handing the Knights their first loss of the season.
“It was a tough game,” senior forward Tim Wright said. “We were up four and then they changed face-offs and it kind of set us back. They scored a couple quick ones on us and attacked a couple weak points we were not ready for, which cost us at the end.”
Wright saw limited action in that game due to an ankle injury and did not play in the games against Olivet and Skidmore. As one of the team’s leading players, Wright is tied for the highest number of assists on the team with junior midfielder Alex Leuze.
The Knights performed well in the 18-11 win over Olivet, who kept it close early on but found themselves down 12-5 after the Knights scored five unanswered goals to end the first half. Despite the score, Wright suggested that the team was not overly pleased with the performance and that improvements could be made.
“It was a good game to kind of show us where we are,” Wright said. “Coming into a game like that where we should have rolled them and then allowing 11 goals … we figured out where we made some mistakes and are changing them.”
Geneseo then traveled to take on Skidmore on Thursday March 28 and were handed a 10-5 loss, the fourth game in a row for the year in which a strong Skidmore defense held their opponents to just five goals. Now 5-3 on the year, one of Skidmore’s losses came against conference rival SUNY Plattsburgh.
An urgency to make the playoffs this season exists for the Knights’ group of seniors, who have yet to play in the SUNYAC Tournament. Only two non-conference games remain on the Knights’ schedule before they begin SUNYAC competition—games that will decide their playoff contention. Wright maintains that the team is confident in their chances of achieving that goal.
“That is goal number one, which we feel really good about,” Wright said. “[The SUNYAC] is pretty wide-open this year, so we have a chance. Whoever shows up to play that day is winning these games this year.”
Wright said that the level of togetherness that exists within the team this year could be a factor in the team’s ultimate success going forward—a quality inspired by head coach Nick Fiorentino.
“Coach [Fiorentino] is all about being a family,” Wright said. “We actually stayed here all spring break; he kept us together and we did a lot of team activities … We mesh very well, even our freshmen and transfers.”
Fiorentino seems to be making an early impact in his first year as the Knights’ head coach. Fiorentino’s new system was different at first, but the team is responding to it well, according to Wright.
“He fires everyone up every day,” Wright said. “You’re running around all the time at practice and excited to be there. Everyone’s getting in shape and it’s making us play better.”
The Knights will host Elmira College on Saturday April 1 at 1 p.m. and then travel to the University of Scranton on Wednesday April 5 for a final contest before beginning conference play.