The Geneseo men’s lacrosse team entered their second conference game of the season with a 3-8 record, 0-1 in conference play on Saturday April 6. The Knights were experiencing a tough string of games as of late, resulting in a four-game losing streak.
Geneseo had a chance to turn things around against SUNY Oneonta. The Red Dragons came into the game with a 6-4 record on the season and undefeated in conference play.
Early into the game, Geneseo claimed control by taking the first lead of the game with an unassisted goal from sophomore midfielder James Pratt.
Oneonta quickly responded, however, with five unanswered goals. After having an early advantage, the Knights were left in the dust at the end of the first period.
Something would have to change, and quickly because the game seemed to already be out of hand.
“The message was simple, we were down but not out,” sophomore midfielder Cameron Chiodo said. “We just had to clean a few things up and we did just that.”
The Knights certainly cleaned things up in the second period as they rattled off three straight goals to open up the second period. First-year midfielder Sean Byrne, sophomore attackman Tim Fallo and first-year midfielder Jake Steffen each had goals to catapult Geneseo right back into contention.
Oneonta momentarily stopped the bleeding with a goal in the final five minutes of the half, but Pratt scored to close out the first 30 minutes of play, bookending the first half with two goals.
Sophomore attackman Connor Griffin tied the game up at 6-6 shortly after the second half began. Griffin’s goal marked the only scoring for Geneseo in a third quarter that was rather uneventful, but a late Oneonta goal left the Red Dragons up 7-6 with just 15 minutes to play.
The final stanza of play featured seven total goals between the two SUNYAC teams, and halfway through the fourth quarter, a goal from junior attackman Matt Malone kept the Knights within striking distance, down 10-7 with four minutes left. Malone scored again shortly thereafter and Chiodo followed up with another goal of his own to bring the Knights within one goal of the lead.
After Chiodo’s goal, first-year midfielder Tommy DeVito lined up for a faceoff with less than two minutes to play. DeVito had a great day in the faceoff circle, winning 15 of 16 draws, but the faceoff after Chiodo’s goal was his biggest of the game.
The freshman won the faceoff and seemingly shot out of a cannon across midfield, toward the net and scored a huge game-tying goal. It only took DeVito six seconds to go from wrestling with an opponent on the turf for a loose ball to scoring one of the biggest goals of his promising, young college career.
Geneseo had successfully come from behind twice in this game and now just needed one more goal in sudden death overtime to secure the victory.
Steffen and the Knights only needed 52 seconds to complete their comeback. Steffen ripped a shot from 15 yards out to win the game in overtime.
After being down four goals and two goals at two separate times, Chiodo admitted, “A win is always a win and you take them when you can get them, but there is something special about an overtime win especially when it’s a comeback win like that. Both teams giving it their all and to come out on top feels pretty awesome.”
The Knights leapfrogged the Red Dragons in the standings with their win. Unfortunately Geneseo could not repeat their conference success, falling to SUNY Cortland on Wednesday April 10 by a score of 13-10. The Knights will not play again until they travel to Oswego on April 20.