Men’s soccer stumbles in conference play, fights for playoff opportunity

With the SUNYAC playoffs looming close on their horizon, the Geneseo men’s soccer team sat at 4-4-3 overall and 2-2-1 in their conference heading into an important week on the road. 

They were set up to take the pitch against St. John Fisher College on Tuesday Oct. 9 and SUNY Brockport on Saturday Oct. 13. Two wins would put the Knights in great position down the stretch to obtain one of the top six seeds in the SUNYAC and be well on their way to a playoff berth.  

Their quest got off on the right foot of senior midfielder Gavin Gleasman early in the game against St. John Fisher. Just three minutes after kickoff, junior midfielder Junsei Ro set up Gleasman for his first goal of the afternoon. About 26 minutes later, Gleasman scored again off an assist from junior defender Caleb Murthy. 

Eight minutes before the end of the first half, Gleasman rifled his third goal of the game, notching an impressive hat trick merely 37 minutes into the game. Gleasman credits his successful first half to his teammates and their ability to get him the ball “in favorable positions” that allowed him to find the back of the net with ease.  

In the second half, the Cardinals’s only threatening attempt to score was turned away by junior goalie Liam Dole, securing his second shutout of the year. A few minutes later, junior forward Bryan Wager scored, essentially ending the game only 61 minutes into the match. After an uneventful last 30 minutes, the final whistle blew with a score of 4-0, giving the Knights a 5-5-3 record. 

A few days later, the Knights were in Brockport to take on the Golden Eagles. Before this crucial SUNYAC match-up, Geneseo head coach Mark Howlett addressed the team, reminding his men that this game carried heavy playoff implications. 

“[Coach Howlett wanted the team] to play like it is a playoff game and to play with confidence,” Gleasmen said.

The Knights were able to carry some momentum from their win on Tuesday Oct. 16. The Knights had two early opportunities as Gleasman and senior midfielder Austin DeRidder both put shots on net within the first ten minutes. Brockport took over, however, and scored twice in the first half. 

Brockport poured it on after halftime, notching three more goals, including a late game dagger in the 80th minute. Dole tallied a career high nine saves, but the Eagles were peppering the goal all day long with a gaudy 19 shots—14 on net. 

The Knights put together eleven shots, eight of which were on goal, but the Golden Eagles’s keeper took care of business all day, cementing a 5-0 shutout victory for the Eagles. 

The Knights came in hot against Brockport after an encouraging victory just four days earlier, and they possessed the ball a majority of the time. As Gleasman noted, however, Brockport took advantage of many of their opportunities, while the Knights were unable to take advantage of any opportunities of their own. 

At the end of it all, the Knights stumbled over themselves into a 5-6-3 record and a 2-4-1 record in the SUNYAC. With all that said, the Knights are currently the seventh seed in the SUNYAC with seven points, looking up at SUNY Plattsburgh who currently occupies the sixth and final playoff seed with ten points. 

The Knights have an opportunity to make up ground in the SUNYAC playoffs with two home games against Cortland on Friday Oct. 19 and against Oswego on Saturday Oct. 20. 

Before heading into their SUNYAC match-ups this weekend, Geneseo beat Nazareth 1-0 on Tuesday Oct. 16. The Knights, carried by the goal freshman midfielder Ari Samoohy scored off a penalty kick in the 61st minute, and a two-save shutout by junior goalie Dillion Medd, improved their record to 6-6-3.