The Geneseo field hockey team took another step toward avenging their 2018 SUNYAC Championship loss this past weekend. Geneseo beat SUNY Oswego 4-1 to clinch first place in their conference, which means they will be playing all their playoff games comfortably nestled at home in the Genesee valley.
The road to their first-place berth resembled their victory against Oswego: sure, there were some bumps along the way, but they took care of business overall.
Geneseo got off to a good start scoring two goals in the first period, one from junior forward Haley Clark and the other from first-year forward Maggie Phipps. Similarly, Geneseo got off to a good start in the season with a 3-0 win in late August.
Against Oswego, Geneseo hit some turbulence as they were held scoreless in the second period and allowed a goal from the Lakers to open the third quarter. Geneseo still had a one-goal lead, but they were facing a little adversity trying to prevent Oswego from tying up the game with one goal.
Regarding the season, the Knights dropped a game on the last day of August and then another eleven days later to St. John Fisher College, putting their season record at 3-2. The Knights did not fall below .500 over the course of the year, but they had to battle back quickly to avoid losing that winning record.
Just like in the game against Oswego, Geneseo was ready to battle back over the course of their 19-game season. Since the loss to St. John Fisher on Sept. 11, the Knights have rattled off twelve straight wins, thrusting the Knights into first place, a position they would never relinquish.
Against Oswego, the Knights responded to the goal scored against them by rattling off two straight goals, making the score 4-1 and putting the game away for good. Senior defender Julia Kim and senior forward Erin Nolan scored Geneseo’s two second-half goals that in turn helped the Knights accomplish one of their season goals.
“One of our goals for this season was to secure the top seed in the SUNYAC so that we could host playoffs,” Nolan said. “We definitely prefer to host because it eliminates all external factors and allows us to solely focus on the game. We are so excited because we will be on our field with our fans, so it definitely provides some extra motivation to perform our best.”
Geneseo can possibly play their next three games at home with their fans if they make it to the SUNYAC championship. The only regular-season game remaining on the Knights’ schedule is at home against the University of Rochester on Saturday Nov. 2. Before that matchup, the Knights took on SUNY Brockport on Wednesday Oct. 30.
Even though the final regular season game against Rochester and the game versus Brockport have no playoff implications, Geneseo was still excited to play Brockport, according to sophomore goaltender Natalie Chojnacki.
Prior to the game against Brockport, Chojnacki said, “we will need to work as a cohesive unit to maintain our undefeated record in SUNYACs. I am personally excited for the game, as it is preparing the whole team for next week and helping us transition into a playoff mindset.”
The Knights outplayed Brockport on Wednesday, taking down their SUNYAC opponent 4-0.
The team will have to face Rochester before they begin their quest for the SUNYAC Championship on Wednesday Nov. 6.