Following a loss to Penn State on Sept. 3, the Geneseo men’s soccer team found success, defeating Morrisville State College 2-1 on Friday Sept. 8, tying Skidmore College 2-2 on Saturday Sept. 9 and winning 2-0 against Houghton College on Wednesday Sept. 13. Returning home after two away games propelled the Knights toward success, as the home field proved advantageous with continued support from fans.
The match against Morrisville opened with a goal off of a penalty kick from senior forward Joey Vucic in just the sixth minute. Another goal from junior defenseman Greg Baumstein in the second half secured the victory for Geneseo, as Morrisville was only able to score once.
Although the team finished with a preferable result against Morrisville, head coach Dominic Oliveri said he believes the Knights played better in their tie with Skidmore.
“[Friday Sept. 8] we struggled a bit,” Oliveri said. “[Morrisville] wasn’t as talented as [Skidmore], and I think that got in our heads … We got away with a win, but I expected a much better effort, and [against Skidmore] we got that effort.”
Geneseo scored first with a goal from junior midfielder Gavin Gleasman off an assist from freshman defenseman Jack Maher against Skidmore. After two Skidmore goals, a header goal by senior defenseman Nick Keneally in the 80th minute tied the Knights 2-2, bringing the game into overtime.
Despite several chances, including a missed shot over the crossbar by Geneseo, neither team managed to score in two overtimes, so the match ended in a draw.
“The result of a match is not as important as the experience gained from the match itself,” Oliveri said.
The team played strongly, according to Oliveri, and he believes that giving a solid effort matters more for future success than winning. He wants the team to learn from each individual game and to then bring that new information into each successive game.
“The whole team is working really hard,” Oliveri said. “Tactically, we’re doing some things the guys aren’t used to, but I think it’s working.”
Oliveri pointed to the guidance of senior defenseman Kevin McGrath and senior midfielder Josh McIntosh. Additionally, Oliveri was pleased with the freshmen’s performance, naming Maher as an example.
Oliveri expressed his happiness in the team playing well this early on in the season and hopes that they can maintain their energy and focus.
“There’s not one particular thing I’d say we need to work on,” Oliveri said. “I just want to keep seeing growth. Last weekend compared to this weekend, I’ve seen improvement. As long as we’re improving and gaining confidence, I’ll be happy.”
Oliveri stresses the importance of a balanced mindset for players during a match. He said that there is a healthy medium between being overconfident—like in the Morrisville match—and not being confident enough. He hopes that as the season progresses, the team will become accustomed to this levelheadedness.
Now with a record of 3-1-1, the Knights aim to carry the momentum into their next away match against Hobart College on Saturday Sept. 16.
Oliveri knows the upcoming weeks are crucial, and if these Knights can keep playing well going into conference play, the team will be very successful.u