The Geneseo women’s soccer team maintained its undefeated—and nearly perfect—record: 7-0-1. The ninth-ranked Knights have allowed just two goals while netting 19 of their own. Most recently, the Knights shut out Buffalo State College on Friday Sept. 22 and SUNY Fredonia on Saturday Sept. 23.
The 5-0 domination of Buffalo State was particularly exciting for the women, as Geneseo outshot the Bengals 16 to five. Senior midfielder Leah Greene earned her first goal of the season off an assist from senior forward Audrey Reid in the third minute, the only goal of the first half.
Despite an evenly matched first half, the Knights turned into overdrive in the second half. In the 48th minute, sophomore forward Domenica Piccoli hit the back of the net with an assist from junior midfielder Jennifer Moran, and 37 seconds later Reid added her second assist of the game on a goal from freshman midfielder Ellie Gregory. Reid scored a goal of her own in the 53rd minute, giving her three points on the day.
At that point, head coach Nathan Wiley decided to pull his starters. Wiley said last week that it was frustrating at times to not have a chance to put in some of the newer players, but that opportunity presented itself during this game.
“We were able to get everyone on the field that we wanted,” Wiley said. “It was good for their confidence and development, and it was good for [the coaching staff’s] confidence in them. It was nice to finally get that opportunity.”
Freshman midfielder Julia Ophals scored her first collegiate goal off an assist from freshman midfielder Morgan Keppler—her first assist as a Knight. The win against Buffalo State comes after a disappointing loss to the Bengals in last year’s SUNYAC Championship match, and its five goals made by Geneseo is the most scored by the team in a single game since 2015.
Although the Knights started off slowly in their game against Buffalo State, they scored a whopping three goals in the first half against Fredonia. Geneseo outshot the Blue Devils 28 to 3.
Piccoli scored for the second game twice in a row in the 18th minute and again in the 31st minute, with the assist credited to Moran and junior midfielder Catherine Cunningham, respectively. Three minutes later, Reid scored on a penalty kick, bringing her season totals to five goals, four assists, and 14 points in total. This has brought her career-high season totals to four goals, four assists and 12 points in total.
Wiley noted that Buffalo State and Fredonia are two of the weaker teams in the conference, and the schedule ahead is more competitive and will put the Knights to the test.
“We’re going to have to put [these games] in perspective,” he said. “We need to beat the weaker teams, as well as the stronger ones.”
He stressed that despite being ranked ninth in the country, being undefeated and having allowed only two goals through eight games, the team still needs to focus on each individual opponent.
“We have to try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be,” Wiley said.
Wiley emphasized that while the team needs to try to be more consistent over 90 minutes, the team “proved [it] can take care of what [it] needed to take care of.”
With their best start in over five years, the Knights will try to keep the ball rolling when they start a three game home stand, taking on Oneonta on Friday Sept. 29, New Paltz on Saturday Sept. 30 and Alfred University on Tuesday Oct. 3.u