Men’s soccer fails to make postseason, still finishes season with a solid win

Sophomore midfielder Marco LaRocca (pictured above) controls the ball through the center of the field in a matchup against SUNY Oswego. The game would result in a 0-0 draw for the Knights (Keith Walters/director of multimedia).

The SUNYAC playoff scenario was daunting from the beginning of this weekend for the Geneseo Knights men’s soccer team. SUNY Plattsburgh needed to lose both of their games, and Geneseo needed to win both of theirs. 

SUNY Plattsburgh held up their end of the bargain, dropping both of their matches. Geneseo needed to beat SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego to secure their spot as the sixth seed in the SUNYAC tournament. To their advantage, the Knights would be playing both of their critical games on familiar turf at College Stadium in Geneseo. 

The Knights squared off on Friday Oct. 19 against the Cortland Red Dragons. Neither team could score in the first half as junior goalie Dillion Medd saved the only shot on goal of the half. 

Medd continued his success early on in the second half, saving three shots. A fourth shot slipped past him in the 67th minute, giving a one-goal advantage to Cortland. Medd made one more save late in the game to hold the deficit to one, but the Knights were unable to put a single shot on net the entire game. 

Cortland’s lone goal proved decisive, effectively ending the game and Geneseo’s playoff chances. Their SUNYAC record fell to 2-5-1. 

The next afternoon, the Knights took on Oswego. Medd had his work cut out for him early, notching four saves in the first half. 

Junior defender Caleb Murthy’s header hit the crossbar in the 56th minute and sophomore midfielder Marco LaRocca had his shot saved in the 77th minute. The best Geneseo opportunity came very late in the game with only 11 minutes to play. Freshman forward Ari Samoohy’s penalty kick was saved by the Oswego goalie. 

Despite not making the shot, Samoohy looks to take that experience as motivation and as a strong foundation to work from during the offseason. He is grateful for the upperclassmen he played with that helped mold his early college soccer career. 

Despite Geneseo’s lack of offensive prowess, regulation play ended in a tie. The first overtime period was played under ominous thunderclouds. The game remained tied after the first overtime period. 

As the game dragged along, eating up more and more time, the storm could not hold out any longer. With seven minutes left in the second overtime period, the clouds opened up and released thunder and lightning onto the field. Play was suspended in a stalemate to let the storm pass. 

After a thirty-minute delay, the game resumed. The final seven minutes followed the same pattern as the previous 103, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw. 

This tie thrust Oswego over Geneseo to rank seventh in the SUNYAC standings and Geneseo fell to the eighth place with a 2-5-2 conference record. Medd had a fruitful weekend despite two unfulfilling outcomes for the Knights. 

Medd had ten total saves between the two games, including an impressive sprawling save to preserve the shutout against Oswego with four minutes to play.

 It was his third shutout of the season and the 15th of his career. The junior goalie was grateful for the excellent play of the defense in front of him all weekend, making his duties as goaltender effortless, according to Medd. 

The Knights playoff hopes have been squashed, but that does not mean they are hopeless. In a Wednesday Oct. 24 game, the Knights steamrolled over Morrisville with a 4-0 win. 

Before the game, head coach Mark Howlett encouraged his team to be professional, according to Medd. 

“[They should] put their best foot forward no matter the situation,” Howlett said. “Treat the game against Morrisville just like any other. Hopefully that will result in victory on Wednesday.”