Geneseo’s women’s lacrosse team has dominated the SUNYAC lately with win after win. This past week, they faced two tough opponents in SUNY Brockport and SUNY Cortland.
The Knights traveled to No. 25 nationally-ranked Brockport on April 17, and handled the Golden Eagles winning by a score of 13-11. With this win, the team clinched a SUNYAC playoff berth for the 19th time in the past 21 years.
Road games can be a challenge to teams for many reasons, but the Knights continue to handle the visitor role with ease.
Head coach Carly Ritchlin works to maintain a constant state of preparedness among the team.
“As far as our approach for preparing against any opponent, we keep everything consistent,” Ritchlin said. “Our message is the same regardless who we play.”
Coming back home to Geneseo, the Knights hosted the No. 18 ranked team in the country, Cortland, in what proved to be the most intense game of the season.
For the first 10 minutes of the game, Geneseo and Cortland traded goals to make it 2-2. Senior defender Mallory Max finally broke the trend and scored two consecutive goals to bring the score to 4-2.
Cortland responded with an unanswered four-goal run for the next eight minutes, but Max’s third goal, with under seven minutes to play in the first half, began a 3-0 Geneseo run.
The two teams once again went goal for goal, ending the first half tied at 8-8. In order to keep up with a team that has not lost to the Knights in 14 years, everyone needed to be on the same page.
Ritchlin holds herself to the same level of preparation that she holds the rest of the team to, whichconsists of doing several things.
“Film, stats, well thought-out practices to highlight areas we need to improve on,” Ritchlin said. “I also do a mental walkthrough of scenarios, preparing myself to make adjustments and carefully select match ups.”
Cortland opened the second half with four goals to Geneseo’s one, making the score 12-9, their largest lead of the game. Cortland built upon their three-goal lead but allowed Geneseo to tie the game at 14-14 with three straight goals.
Eventually, after further goals were traded, the game was tied 18-18 with 1:45 left in regulation. The game went into overtime.
The Red Dragons won the first draw, but Knights’ first-year goalie Margaret Rosaschi made the most critical of her 10 saves on the day to keep them alive.
Sophomore attacker Hannah Marafioti scored the dramatic game-winner for the Knights off an assist from fellow sophomore attacker Nicole Voci.
Marafioti could not believe that she had the opportunity to make program history or that she actually capitalized on it.
“To get the chance to be set up for the winning goal against a team we have only beaten one time in program history is pretty unreal,” Marafioti said. “To be able to get the ball in the back of the net and make it happen is something I will never forget.”
This was only Geneseo’s second time beating Cortland in 34 all-time meetings and for the first time since a 14-12 home victory in April 2005.
Ritchlin attributes the victory to experience and learning from past failures.
“We have played a couple of [overtime] games earlier in the season, each game up to this point has helped us gain experience and be prepared for the mental battle in these types of games,” Ritchlin said.
Geneseo traveled to Buffalo State on Wednesday April 24 and won, with a 16-5 victory.