Women’s soccer finishes SUNYAC championship with victory, earns a bid to the NCAA tournament

Geneseo women’s soccer lifts up the trophy they received for winning their second straight SUNYAC championship (pictured above). The women defeated Cortland 1-0 in the championship game at home on Saturday Nov. 3. The victory ensured the team a spot in the NCAA tournament (Josie Kwan/assoc. photo editor).

Geneseo women’s soccer has won the SUNYAC Tournament for the second year in a row. After blanking SUNY Plattsburgh 2-0 in the semi-finals, they went on to beat SUNY Cortland in the finals by a score of 1-0.

In the semi-finals on Oct. 31, the Knights hosted the no. 4 seed Plattsburgh. In the 2-0 victory, the Knights dominated Plattsburgh, outshooting them 17-9. Senior midfielder Jennifer Moran carried the Knights offense, scoring both goals in the contest. Sophomore forward Miranda Ozimek and junior midfielder Grace Dunnigan both tallied assists in the win as well. 

While posting eight saves in the shutout win, senior goaltender Emily Janiszewski also posted her 12th shutout of the season, one shy of the school single-season record.

 “We had to come out with high energy and put our best effort in to get the win,” Janiszewski said. 

Heading into the SUNYAC finals game, the team was looking to enact revenge against Cortland. In their last meeting, the Knights traveled to Cortland and were handed their one and only conference loss by a score of 2-1. Not only did it spoil an undefeated season, but it also spoiled the shutout and win streak record the team sought. 

Heading into that game senior midfielder Caitie Cunningham knew the team needed to utilize their home field advantage. 

“We have a wide field, so we used our speed on the wings and our endurance to out-compete them,” Cunningham said.

Janiszewski spoke on the motivation behind their approach to the SUNYACs. 

“In our minds, all we wanted to do was get revenge,” Janiszewski said. “We came out of the first Cortland game with positive mindsets, thinking the pressure is off us … having a winning streak was a lot of for all of us. So, at that point, it was the best time to lose a game. The next day, we just kept moving forward and just had high energy at practice.”

Taking some of the pressure off and using their speed helped the Knights secure their second straight SUNYAC title. They defeated the no. 2 seed Cortland by a score of 1-0 with junior forward Domenica Piccoli securing the only goal in the contest. 

The Knights dominated and outshot Cortland 21-0 in a statement win heading into the NCAA tournament. Janiszewski also recorded her 13th shutout which ties Paula Fisher’s program record for most in a season.

“[Being two-time SUNYAC champions] feels really good,” Cunningham said. “The fact that we had two All-American players graduate last year and we were still able to do it this year, it shows that we actually know what we’re doing.” 

Janiszewski credits the defensive players with helping her have such a successful season.

“I give the three girls in front of me a lot of credit because they make my job easy sometimes and I just always have their backs,” Janiszewski said. “There’s a lot of chemistry and we just get along really well.”

Now, the no. 20 ranked Knights will head to Williamstown, Mass. to play Stevens Institute of Technology. While Stevens is unranked nationally, they rank no. 5 in the East while the Knights are ranked no. 2 in the East. The Knights play Stevens on Saturday Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m.