Women’s soccer sustains win streak, soars toward postseason play

Junior defender Sarah Lefrois chases down her opponent during a game against SUNY Brockport on Saturday Oct. 13. The Knights would secure a 1-0 victory in the matchup. (Josie Kwan)

Junior defender Sarah Lefrois chases down her opponent during a game against SUNY Brockport on Saturday Oct. 13. The Knights would secure a 1-0 victory in the matchup. (Josie Kwan)

Geneseo women’s soccer continues to scorch their competition as they ride their eight-game shutout win streak. They are a perfect 7-0 in conference play so far this season and have secured the top seed in the SUNYAC conference. 

En route to their eight-game shutout streak, the Knights have climbed the United Soccer Coaches rankings. The Knights went from being ranked no. 20 last week to sit at the no. 17 spot after their win against SUNY Brockport.

This achievement is a rewarding feeling for the team, according to senior midfielder Caitie Cunningham.

 “It feels great to have our hard work and success recognized on a national level,” Cunningham said. “Getting back in the national rankings was a goal of ours and we’re going to try to keep rising.”

The past few weekends were stellar for the Knights, which all started back on Oct. 5 when the Knights traveled to and defeated SUNY Oneonta. In the 1-0 victory, senior defender Rachel Walsh scored the lone goal in the contest while senior goaltender Emily Janiszewski made one save. 

The next day, the Knights traveled to SUNY New Paltz to take yet another shutout victory. This time, the Knights put up two goals scored by senior midfielder Ashley Byrne and sophomore forward Miranda Ozimek. Janiszewski doubled her save total from the day before and made two saves in their win.

This past weekend, the Knights had the opportunity to clinch the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the SUNYAC, and they delivered. 

The Knights dominated SUNY Brockport in a game in which the score didn’t do justice. While the Knights only won by a score of 1-0, they dominated possession and attacking time for most of the game. Shots were 20-7 in favor of the Knights and shots on goal were 9-3, also in favor of the Knights.

Junior forward Domenica Piccoli scored the lone goal for the Knights in the 27th minute of the game. When asked about what the Knights were working on in practice to improve scoring after a dominant performance against Brockport, Ozimek stressed the importance of capitalizing on their opportunities.

 “We’re working on taking the smart shots and taking every opportunity,” Ozimek said. “We realize how important every single opportunity is for us and [we’re working on] communication.”

The dominant performance increased the Knights ranking three spots. Janiszewski continues to be one of the best Division III goalkeepers in the country, making three saves, improving her save percentage to .957 and lowering her goals-against average to .09. If she and the Knight’s defense continue to keep the ball out of their net and fix their scoring woes, the Knights will be poised to tear up the SUNYAC playoffs.

The Knights look to wrap up their season this coming week with two away games. They start at SUNY Cortland on Friday Oct. 19 and head to SUNY Oswego on Saturday Oct. 20 for their final away game of the season. Cunningham knows the importance of not taking the foot off the gas pedal and finishing the season strong.

 “We’ll have to win every 50/50 ball and up our communication on the field,” Cunningham said. “Taking advantage of the opportunities we have on goal will also be very important.”

The Knights will then finish up regular season play at home against the Houghton College Highlanders on Tuesday Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.