The Geneseo women’s soccer team was ranked No. 15 in the nation by the United Soccer Coaches’ Division III Top 25 poll for the week of Sept. 12 after sweeping their first four games and not allowing one goal since the first match. The team then went on to be 5-0-1 after winning on Sept. 13 against No. 3 ranked William Smith College and tying to Farmingdale State on Sunday Sept. 17.
Sophomore forward Domenica Piccoli scored the match’s only goal against William Smith off an assist from sophomore back Sarah LeFrois; additionally, junior goalie Emily Janiszewski recorded five saves.
“The confidence we should take away from beating William Smith College is that we are a good program,” head coach Nate Wiley said. “We can play against some of the best in the country, but we can’t take anybody for granted.”
The team then took the trek down to Long Island for a matchup against Farmingdale State. The Knights let up a goal in the third minute, but junior midfielder Jennifer Moran netted the team’s only goal off an assist by freshman midfielder Ellie Gregory. Janiszewski saved three shots, despite the one goal, which was the first scored on Geneseo since the season opener against St. Lawrence University.
“We talk a lot about defending as a team, not just our backline and goalkeeper,” Wiley said.
The Knights had gone 435 consecutive minutes without allowing a single goal to be placed in the back of their net. When talking about the team’s defense, senior forward Audrey Reid said knowing team shapes and keeping up the pressure has made the defense consistently strong.
“We started off slowly against them; in the first 15 minutes, we didn’t take care of them,” Wiley said. “But for the rest of the game, we showed we were the far superior team.”
And they did just that—the Knights outshot the Farmingdale Rams 9-1 in the second half and the two overtimes.
Wiley said that the team learned its lesson, reiterating that they can’t underestimate anybody for the remainder of the season. He spoke of his approach of focusing both on the upcoming opponent and on improving as a team overall.
“Whether we are the No. 150 ranked team going against the No. 1 team in the country or the No. 1 playing No. 150, I think for us it is just about focusing on who the opponent is, and not worrying about what those numbers are,” Wiley said.
The coaching staff and the players are all focused on the upcoming SUNYAC play that is about to begin for the Knights, starting with Buffalo State College on Friday Sept. 22 and SUNY Fredonia on Saturday Sept. 23. Both Reid and Wiley are most looking forward to the upcoming trip to Buffalo.
The 2016 season ended with a loss to the Buffalo State Bengals in the SUNYAC Championship—a place the team is anxious to get back to for the fourth time in five years.
“I think we have a strong enough team to bring us farther than we ever have,” Reid said. “Personally, I think this is the strongest we have ever been.”
“It is difficult to sustain [this] kind of success,” Wiley said. “We are as prepared as we could have imagined we would be at this point."u