Despite setbacks, field hockey remains optimistic

The Geneseo field hockey team looks to bounce back after losing their last two games on the road—four of their last five in total—in SUNYAC play. Despite goals from senior forwards Cara Stafford and Giovanna Fasanello in regulation, the Knights were unable to score in overtime or double overtime on Friday Sept. 22, falling to SUNY Oneonta 3-2. The next day, Fasanello was the only Knight to score in a 4-2 loss to SUNY New Paltz after a back-and-forth game. 

Staying positive after losses and assessing strengths keeps the team motivated. Head coach Jess Seren was impressed with several individuals, naming freshman defender Kelly McKeveny, sophomore defender Julia Kim and junior defender Lydia Volpe as stand-out players. 

While acknowledging different strengths helps the team develop, it is equally important to evaluate weaknesses. Seren believes her defense could still use some improvement. 

“We think that if our defense is stronger, it will translate to better offense. Reinforcing defensive strategies and emphasizing its importance will make us better as a whole.” 

The transition from the nonconference into conference play can prove difficult for a team. Approaching these highly competitive games with the right mentality is essential for success.

“We like to go into all games with the same mindset and philosophy. There isn’t too big of an adjustment between regular [nonconference] and conference games,” Seren said. “We set up our nonconference schedule to be tough to put us in the best position for conference play.” 

Maintaining the same attitude from nonconference into conference games should keep the team focused and relaxed. Setting up the nonconference schedule to mimic the competition in conference play helps the team stay sharp. The idea is that as conference matchups continue, the team will find rhythm and better understand how to approach this type of contest. 

Seren believes the team’s biggest strength is its chemistry. 

“We’re a very skilled team. We know how to communicate. We focus on playing together as one unit on both ends of the ball,” Seren said. 

Similarly, Volpe believes the team works well together and has developed a strong bond.

“It is beyond important to stay positive as a team. Once one person is down and pessimistic, it translates on the entire field,” Volpe said. “We are constantly pumping each other up and rooting for the best for our teammates. On and off the field we are all such great friends.” 

The Knights return home this week—playing Elmira College on Saturday Sept. 30—hoping a home turf advantage will spark some life into the team and generate wins. The home field advantage is similar to switching from nonconference to conference games, according to Seren.

“I don’t like to put a lot of discrepancy between playing at home and away,” Seren said. “We look to stay focused no matter where the game is played, and are ready to execute our gameplay anywhere.” 

Despite a rough patch, Volpe is optimistic about the next two months. 

“Although this was a tough weekend for us, we look forward to our upcoming games to keep improving and to work out the kinks,” Volpe said. “It is still early on in the season. By the time we see [Oneonta and New Paltz] again in playoffs, we will be ready for the challenge once again. I feel very lucky to be part of such a great program full of all these great people and I look forward to working hard to defend our SUNYAC Title.”u