Women’s lacrosse hopes to finish season strong

The Geneseo women’s lacrosse team has finally found their forward momentum—just in time for the end of the regular season and playoffs. 

The team has just come off a two-game winning-streak, defeating both SUNY Oswego on April 18 and SUNY Fredonia on Tuesday April 25. The 13-4 win against Oswego was crucial to the team’s success and was described as a “must win game” by head coach Carly Ritchlin. 

“It was a great win for the team; it just confirmed for us how talented we are and if we continue with the all-in attitude and continue to persevere, we can compete with any team we play,” Ritchlin said.     

These wins also help the team to put themselves in the best position possible for postseason seeding. The goal every year for the Knights is to make it far in the playoffs and to win the NCAA Championship. 

“I know this team has the heart and the ability to [keep winning],” Ritchlin said. “We have learned a lot this season, and we are finally coming together and playing well together.” 

The team started off the season in a very off-and-on fashion, unable to keep much of a winning streak. Ritchlin attributed this to the young nature of the team. The new players had to take time to get used to the team dynamic and to the collegiate aspects of the game. 

“We are a young team that took a bit of time to find our way,” she said.

As a result, the team had a lot to learn and this ensured a sturdy foundation for the team not only for the remainder of the season, but for the future as well. 

“We hit a couple of rough patches and not once did anyone give up. That speaks volumes in terms of what type of players we have,” Ritchlin said. “They are amazing young women who sacrifice so much to be successful. I am very proud of them.”

The team’s three seniors played an integral role in leading the team to its success thus far. Their leadership styles have made a deep impact on the younger players and they embody what Geneseo lacrosse means. 

Ritchlin noted the seniors’ incredible work ethics, which they demonstrated not only this season, but also throughout each of their years playing for the team. The drive to work hard sets a good example for the team’s future leaders. 

“Everyone has been committed to bringing this team together—the ladies have worked really hard and have been challenging themselves and each other to be the best team we can be,” Ritchlin said. “We are talented, hardworking and committed to success.” 

For the rest of the season, the Knights are focused on winning games. They have two home games against St. John Fisher College on Friday April 28 and SUNY Potsdam on Saturday April 29. 

Coming off these last two wins, the team is arguably in their best form, which can only bode well for the rest of the season. 

Men’s lacrosse comes up short to SUNY Brockport

Sophomore defender Jack Crowley takes a hit from a SUNY Cortland forward during their game on Wednesday April 12. The men look to fight for a playoff spot against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday April 29. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

Geneseo men’s lacrosse suffered a pair of setbacks in their pursuit of making the playoffs this season, with a 13-6 loss to SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday April 22 and a 7-6 loss to SUNY Brockport on Wednesday April 26.

The Knights pulled ahead early in the game against Plattsburgh, leading 4-2 at the end of the first quarter. They were held to just two more goals over the remaining three quarters, however, as Plattsburgh took the lead halfway through the second and never looked back.

“They’re a good team,” head coach Nick Fiorentino said. “There were definitely some opportunities that we had that we didn’t execute on. It’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on our mistakes and take a step forward to get better.”

Junior forward Joshua Merkel led the Knights on the score sheet with two goals, both of which came in the first quarter. Fiorentino thinks the difference came down to possession and an inability to flow into an attack from defense.

“A lot of offense stems from defense,” he said. “There were times where we missed a few clears, missed a few ground balls, dropped a few passes and that kind of deflated us a little bit. [Plattsburgh] did a good job possessing and taking a lot more shots, so they were able to get into a better routine.”

With the loss to Plattsburgh, the Knights fell to 2-2 in the conference, they are tied with Brockport and SUNY Oswego for the final two spots in the SUNYAC Tournament. With Geneseo’s loss to Brockport and Oswego’s 10-11 loss to SUNY Cortland on Wednesday April 26, Brockport pulled ahead into third place at 3-2. 

Geneseo now must beat last-place SUNY Oneonta at home on Saturday April 29 for a chance to get into the tournament. In a win-or-go-home situation, the team has had to regroup and reflect on the situation as part of their preparation.

“We had to take a deep breath and take into perspective what’s needed of us over this last week,” junior defender Ryan Cates said. “It’s been a lot of focus, effort and energy. It’s all we can control. The other things will come as long as we control those things and really put our best effort forward.”

Among other things, the Knights will have to rely on their defense. The defensive unit has been strong throughout the season, despite the relatively young players. Sophomore defenders Jack Crowley and Jake Okun have started every game this season, even though they are underclassmen.

“Our defense has done a good job [this year],” Fiorentino said. “We came into the year installing new systems, so I feel it’s kind of a benefit that they’re younger guys. They’ve done a good job.”

Despite not knowing what to expect out of their defense coming into the season with a new head coach, Cates believes that they have done an adequate job.

“It was a little bit of a question mark coming into the year,” Cates said. “But I think our defense has really been the cornerstone of our team.”

The Knights have faith in their abilities and have confidence that they can get the job done against Oneonta. 

Beyond that, their belief is that the sky is the limit. 

“We know if we get in, we can be a dangerous team, so we’re really confident,” Cates said.

With their season on the line, Geneseo men’s lacrosse will face off against Oneonta on Saturday April 29 at 12 p.m.

Women’s lacrosse excels on home turf

As late April approaches, student athletes begin to see the increased pressure both on the field and in the classroom. The women’s lacrosse program is familiar with this final push before the end of the semester and the end of regular season games. 

“We remind them that the hard work is done now—we just have to continue to push forward and raise the standard,” head coach Carly Ritchlin said. “We’re not going to cruise through the last few games, but we’ve already faced tough competition and we know our strengths and weaknesses.”

The attitude now is to put everything together, building upon the lessons learned earlier in the season. The team dynamic is at a high point; the players are working together on the field better than ever. There are two solid weeks of lacrosse left in the regular season to show what they have. 

The Knights’ record is slightly below .500, yet they still have a fighting chance for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, which is the ultimate goal for any SUNYAC team’s season. The team has not given up any hope; instead, they are using their position for motivation. Even after a 13-10 loss to No. 15 SUNY Cortland on Saturday April 15, the team took many positives from the game. 

“We came out and played one of our best games [against Cortland],” Ritchlin said. “We went head to head for the entire 60 minutes, and even though they scored two quick goals at the end, I’m very proud of the team and where we’re at.” 

After playing Cortland, the team found success against SUNY Oswego on Tuesday April 18. The 13-4 win was a crucial one for the Knights. Now 6-7, the Knights are hoping to make the most of the last few games of the season to gain advantage in the seeding in the SUNYAC Tournament.

Tuesday April 18’s game against Oswego was one of the first women’s lacrosse games that they’ve played this season on home turf. This season, they have played on the road quite a bit. The team has been traveling every weekend, which begins to take a toll on the players. 

“That can get to you a bit—having to get on a bus and having to travel to the extent we have this season. That’s why it’s nice to have a home game,” Ritchlin said. 

Additionally, playing here at Geneseo allows fans to watch the players, as well as any family members that live close by.

This is yet another example of how lacrosse interacts with other aspects of college life. Because of the home games, the athletes don’t have to worry about missing classes and rescheduling assignment due dates. 

The team plays again on Tuesday April 25 at SUNY Fredonia. Without a game before then, players will get to enjoy a day or two off during the week—giving them the chance to catch up on school work before practicing hard the days preceding next Tuesday. 

As the season winds to an end, these games—mostly against conference opponents—become “must win” games for the Knights. The team is committed to giving 100 percent of their efforts to furthering their success.

Men’s lacrosse confident in journey to SUNYACs

Sophomore foward/defensive-midfielder Jack Brunner runs up the field in search of an open teammate. This season seems promising for the Knights; they are more successful than recent years and hope to continue building off of this momentum. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

Geneseo men’s lacrosse earned an 11-8 away victory over SUNY Potsdam on Saturday April 15, improving to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in the SUNYAC conference.

Sophomore forwards Zachary DeBottis and Kyle Wanamaker led the offensive charge for the Knights, scoring three goals apiece. Junior midfielder Alex Leuze also added four points on one goal and three assists.

Geneseo found themselves up 10-4 early in the third quarter, but Potsdam cut the deficit to two with four straight goals. The hosts’ momentum and hopes to complete a comeback were quelled with a goal from Wanamaker to improve their lead to three with 1:02 remaining in the game.

“We knew coming in we needed to play well, and the guys definitely came out and executed,” head coach Nick Fiorentino said. “It was one of those games where we knew we had to focus on us and what we had to do to be successful. I was really proud of the guys and anytime you can get a win in the conference it’s huge.”

The Knights performed on the defensive side as well, with junior defender Ryan Cates finishing with six ground balls. Junior goalkeeper Michael Yehl had 17 saves in the contest, tying his highest save total of the season.

“We gave up a lot of shots, but I was able to see a bunch of them so it definitely helped the team out,” Yehl said. “Coming up with big saves and clearing the ball definitely gave us some transition game as well as some offensive momentum.”

Yehl has started every game in net this season and has recorded at least 10 saves in five of his last six games. Fiorentino recognizes the importance of having a solid presence in the cage.

“Mike [Yehl] comes with a year and a half of experience, and you can’t teach experience,” he said. “He’s playing well and he’s a leader out there for us, so we’re excited that we have that facet of our game going for us right now.”

Yehl has been the starter since he won the job during his freshman season, so it would take a lot for him to lose his spot. With four other goaltenders on the roster, however, he has a few extra reasons to stay at the top of his game. 

“I have four goalies behind me, which is a completely new experience for me,” Yehl said. “I’ve always been the only goalie or one of two goalies, so just having four guys behind me pushing me every day has made me a lot better of a player.”

The Knights now have eight wins on the season, the most the program has achieved since 2010 when the team won 10 games. With three games remaining to decide their playoff fate, Fiorentino said that the team is feeling good about their chances. 

“When you win ball games, you’re going to feel good,” he said. “We’re excited. One of the team goals was to get into the conference tournament and we’re close to capturing that goal.”

The Knights will need at least one more win over their final three games to be in contention for a spot in the SUNYAC Tournament. The team’s morale is high, but they know there is still more work to be done.

“We’re not a stagnant team—we strive every day to get better,” Yehl said. “So far this season, coming out with eight wins and two in the SUNYAC is giving us a lot of confidence going into our last three games.”

Geneseo men’s lacrosse will travel north to face SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday April 22 at 1 p.m. They will then finish out the regular season with two home games against SUNY Brockport on Wednesday April 26 and SUNY Oneonta on April 29.

Men’s club lacrosse attracts new players

The Geneseo men’s club lacrosse team has started the year out strong. In their first three games, they have gone 2-1, with two of those victories coming from SUNY Fredonia. Their only loss was against St. Bonaventure University.

With a successful 2016 season and a good start to their spring season, junior accounting major Mel Ackley is content with where the team is at right now—especially since the team is still relatively new.

“We’re pretty happy with the 2-1 record,” Ackley said. “We’ve come a long way since we really picked up the team last fall.”

Formerly known as the Geneseo Lumberjacks, the club lacrosse team has recently changed their name to the Geneseo Land Sharks. The Land Sharks have been expanding their roster as the campus grows more aware of their league.    

“The interest level has really spiked … we’ve had a lot more guys being vocal about it,” Ackley said.  “Over the past year and a half we’ve seen a lot of growth, and it’s amazing to see.”

Though they may only be a club sport, the team is here to compete. With two hour practices two days a week, the men want to make sure that they have ample time to get everyone ready for the games. Despite students’ busy schedules, come game time, everyone is supporting each other. 

“We really do want to compete,” Ackley said. “Sometimes it is tough to get everyone to come out [for practice] because it’s a tough school—they’re busy. But a lot of the time we do have a good showing at practice, and when it comes to the games we’re all there supporting each other.”

The team has about 35 active members, including some who have never played lacrosse until this year—but that does not mean that they do not get playing time.  

“We do have guys that have never played before,” Ackley said. “We’ve got a couple guys that started about a year and a half ago when we first started, and they’ve been playing since then. They’ve really started to pick the game up.”  

The team has been fortunate enough to gain a few players from the varsity team who wanted a more relaxed lacrosse environment. The wide variety of skill level that makes up the Land Sharks results in a fun, yet competitive learning experience for the men.

Since the team is a club sport, they do not have a coach; rather, the team captains and more advanced players take initiative and act as the coaches. Even with the number of players on the team, the players are able to keep a good foundation, which is led by their team leaders and captains, according to Ackley.

Alongside the club’s president senior midfielder Pat Vullo, Ackley also described junior goaltender Connor O’Shell as a big part of the team’s success.  

“He’s a big leader out there,” Ackley said. “He’s very good and he knows the game really well, so we’re glad to have him.”

Looking forward this year, the team is trying to host a tournament on the Geneseo campus. Their aim is to gather 10 other teams from around the area to compete in the tournament, which would be an exciting experience for both new and seasoned players. The Land Sharks aspire to use this as a great opportunity to show off their hard work to their peers.

Women’s lacrosse teamwork helps strengthen season

Senior forward Kathleen Depillo leads her team in a drill during the women’s practice. The Knights had a successful game against Buffalo State College, beating them 12-11, and they look to maintain this momentum during their upcoming game against SUNY Cortland on Saturday April 15. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

Women’s lacrosse returned from their weekend road trip, once again with one win and one loss. 

The Knights lost to No. 12 Ithaca College on Friday April 7. Even with a final score of 8-4, the Knights played well against a difficult team. At the half, the statistics and the score were even. Ultimately, the Knights could not overtake Ithaca, but they were happy with their efforts.

This translated into a successful game at SUNY New Paltz on Saturday April 8, where Geneseo earned a well-deserved 16-5 victory. Although the team has had a bit of trouble keeping a consistent winning streak, it seems that momentum has shifted in their favor due to their experiences on the field and their challenging work. 

The positive momentum was seen in the Knight’s latest game. They defeated Buffalo State University 12-11 on Tuesday April 11 on their home field. The team played a strong game and their efforts paid off. This young team and they are starting to find their way around the field playing together. This bodes well for the upcoming games this season.

“They are fighters and want to win—they understand that we haven’t been playing to our potential on a consistent basis and want more for each other and themselves,” head coach Carly Ritchlin said in an email interview. “We have been working hard, we are focused and we will continue to push each other to be the best we can be.” 

This “all in” attitude is evident in the level of rigor that the team brings both to practice and to games. Putting in 100 percent of effort every time the athletes step on the field is part of that unique definition of Geneseo women’s lacrosse and the lofty standards they hold themselves to. 

The team is also special in that they really try to bond off the field as well, which helps their performance.

“We have team dinners before games all the time and I feel like I get to know my teammates so much more,” junior captain midfielder Karen Boronczyk said. “We are a family and I feel blessed to be a part of it.” 

Boronczyk also gave insight into what Geneseo women’s lacrosse means to her and the culture that she is a part of. 

“Geneseo women’s lacrosse means I get to be a part of something that is so much bigger than myself. I get to work with amazing athletes and coaches who all share the same goal of going to NCAAs,” Boronczyk said. “It’s an opportunity for me to pursue something I’m passionate about with my closest friends.”

Looking ahead, the team knows that each game is important, especially because they will only be playing conference rivals for the rest of the season. Every game becomes a “must-win” situation. 

“We are going to work really hard to prepare ourselves both mentally and physically,” Ritchlin said. “We are a very strong and talented team that understands the fact that we need to earn every single win. We need to out-work, out play, out-smart every team that meets us on the field.”

This commitment was matched by Boronczyk. 

“All in all, we’ve had up’s and down’s, but we work through them together and in the end, we continuously improve our game,” she said. “We always work to get better, every day.”

The team plays on Saturday April 15 at SUNY Cortland and then returns for a home game Tuesday April 18 against SUNY Oswego.

Men’s lacrosse falls to Cortland at home

 Sophomore defender Jack Crowley fights to maintain possession against the SUNY Cortland forwards during their game on Wednesday April 12. The men fell to Cortland 12-8 on their home turf, but hope to be successful during their next game against SUNY Potsdam. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

Sophomore defender Jack Crowley fights to maintain possession against the SUNY Cortland forwards during their game on Wednesday April 12. The men fell to Cortland 12-8 on their home turf, but hope to be successful during their next game against SUNY Potsdam. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

SUNYAC competition has finally begun for Geneseo men’s lacrosse. The Knights had a great start on Saturday April 8, beating SUNY Oswego on the road in overtime 8-7. They then took a loss 12-8 at home to defending SUNYAC champions SUNY Cortland on Wednesday April 12.

Junior forward Alex Leuze was the overtime hero against Oswego, scoring the game-winner with 1:29 left. Leuze finished with three goals in the game—his highest scoring game as a Knight. Head coach Nick Fiorentino confirmed that the game was as close as it looks on paper, but that a late timeout just before the winning goal was crucial in pushing them over the edge.

“It took all 60 minutes and a little extra,” he said. “We were able to get the ball on the ground defensively and get it to the other side of the field to call timeout. What we talked about and what we thought would happen happened and the guys took advantage of it.”

With just five conference games that decide who advances to the SUNYAC Tournament, every game has the potential to either make or break a team’s hopes of the playoffs. The Knights are currently in a four-year playoff drought, but a win like Saturday April 12’s can set them on the right track.

“You play a team once and that’s it,” Fiorentino said. “You have to get on top of those victories because once you get two or three games in, you know what place you’re fighting for. You don’t want to be the guys on the outside looking in.”

Sophomore forward Zachary DeBottis said the players understand the weight of these games as well.

“It’s the biggest part of the season,” he said. “Every game you just have to grind it out because every team wants to beat every team in this conference.”

Having to go up against a 9-1 Cortland team a few days later, a loss to Oswego could have put the Knights in a hole that would have been difficult to climb out of. Even with the win under their belt, the men saw room for improvement leading up to the game on Wednesday April 12.

“Anytime you play a quality opponent, you’re going to find a lot of things you have to do better, and that was the case on Saturday,” Fiorentino said.

When asked how he was preparing the team for a tough game against Cortland, Fiorentino relied on a mantra he has trusted throughout the season: worrying only about what they can control.

“We can control our effort and our attitude,” he said. “Everything we do is about what we can control, so we’re going to be high energy and be thorough in our preparation.”

Ultimately, the Knights came up short, suffering a 12-8 setback to the 24-time SUNYAC Champions the Red Dragons.

With 17 goals and 11 assists totaling a team-high 28 points, DeBottis is gaining a reputation as an offensive leader for Geneseo. Pleased with the success he’s having thus far this season, he credits the new system Fiorentino has brought in in his first season as head coach.

“Coach [Fiorentino] puts me in a lot of good spaces to either get shots or set up shots for my teammates,” DeBottis said. “His system works well with the guys we have. He wants to play to all of our strengths rather than put in a universal system that might not work for everyone.”

By following up a solid freshman season with the impressive stat line he is putting together this spring season, it is clear that DeBottis has a bright future with the Knights.

Geneseo men’s lacrosse are 7-3 on the season and will fight for their second conference win on the road, facing SUNY Potsdam on Saturday April 15 at 1 p.m.

Women’s lacrosse struggles for victory

Despite a powerful second half rally, Geneseo women’s lacrosse was unable to come up with a win in their first conference game against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday April 1. 

The final score was 12-9, with Oneonta taking an early lead in conference play. Their most recent game on Tuesday April 4 against SUNY Brockport ended in a 14-4 loss for the Knights. 

Both losses came on the road, but the team is committed to the mentality that the results are not always indicative of the actual play. Strong outings do not necessarily equal wins and the team has discovered that this season. Considering there is still a lot of the season left to play, the women’s lacrosse team can still use what they are learning on the field to improve their season’s record. 

“We had a really strong second half [against Oneonta]. We just ran out of time and didn’t control the ball as much as we would have liked to,” head coach Carly Ritchlin said.  

Ritchlin, however, was happy with the team’s efforts.

“We are headed a step in the right direction because they played really hard and didn’t give up for one second,” Ritchlin said.  

This battling through entire games attitude is a standard for Geneseo women’s lacrosse. 

One of the team’s biggest aims for the season was to score more goals, and they have accomplished this. In eight games, the Knights have scored 73 goals. There are many players who have been able to score so far and are doing so consistently. 

“We’re connecting on offense and our biggest strength right now is that we have multiple threats,” Ritchlin said. 

This forces opponents to spread their defenders instead of keeping a few key players at bay for a game and being successful. This is another positive note for the Knights because team morale improves when many players are performing well. 

Every player is in a position to score and every player is in a position to help, which reinforces the concept of family and teamwork that has been instilled in the women’s lacrosse program at Geneseo. 

Even with some less desirable end results, Ritchlin is still proud of the team’s attitude and composure. 

“The team is continually committed to working to get stronger,” Ritchlin said. “Every day we step on the field, they are pushing themselves and they are pushing each other.” 

The team’s main focus right now is to work on correcting and improving the small things in a game in the hopes that making proper adjustments now will pay off later. 

In preparation for each game, while the team must change their approach depending on the strategies of the opponent, their strategy is always on sharpening their foundational skill and strategy.     

The team has to excel at playing their game and perfecting their approach before they can use the scouting reports and other research to change for the other team. The identity of Geneseo lacrosse is essential for the success of the program and is a top priority for both Ritchlin and the athletes. 

The Knights will face Ithaca College on Friday April 7 and SUNY New Paltz on Saturday April 8.

Men’s lacrosse adapts well to new coach

Senior mid-fielder Eric Lengenhausen looks for an open teammate to pass the ball. The Knights have had a promising season thus far, maintaining a 6-2 record, a momentum which they hope to keep for the remainder of the games. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

Geneseo men’s lacrosse is set to begin conference play on Saturday April 8 on the road at SUNY Oswego after finishing their non-conference schedule. The Knights recorded a resounding 22-2 victory over Elmira College on Saturday April 1 and a 8-4 win against Scranton University on Wednesday April 5.

The dominant performance against Elmira saw eight different Knights with a multi-goal game. Sophomore forward Zachary DeBottis and senior forward Tim Wright led the offense with three goals each. First-year head coach Nick Fiorentino was pleased with the effort on both sides of the ball.

“It was definitely our best offensive performance so far,” he said. “I think on the defensive side, too, they’re communicating well and pressuring the ball.”

Moving ahead of the Knights’ winning game against Scranton, Fiorentino emphasized the importance of the contest as their final chance to compete before beginning conference play.

“Scranton is a very well-coached team,” he said. “We’re going to be able to really see where we’re at, and it’s an exciting opportunity for us.”

In their first season under Fiorentino, the Knights enter SUNYAC competition with a 6-2 record. They have already surpassed their final win totals of five from each of the past four seasons. The Knights will now have to finish in the top four in the SUNYACs in order to advance to the playoffs—something they have not done since 2012.

Fiorentino has approached his coaching all season as a learning experience for both himself and the team; they adjust throughout the season, as each game teaches them more about themselves and what they need to do in order to remain successful.

“I think after some games, through two losses against very well-coached teams, we were able to identify some things we need to work on,” he said.

A winning record heading into conference play has not always proved to be a promise of success for the program. During the 2016 season, the Knights went 4-3 against non-conference opponents, but won just one more game over the rest of the season to finish 1-5 in the SUNYAC; they missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

One thing that the team has shown this year, however, is an ability to bounce back from a loss. Two of their highest scoring games this season both came after losses, which Fiorentino said could be a testament to how they reflect on themselves.

“Great teams are always going to look at themselves in the mirror and ask what they can do to better themselves,” he said. “That’s one of the things that happens right away after those losses—it is to put down a plan of what we have to do to be better.”

The players have responded well to his new system, as shown in the team’s results. Fiorentino is confident in the team’s ability to be ready to adjust as the season goes on.

“They’re extremely coachable and we throw a lot at them every day,” he said. “A lot of the time we’re in one place one week, and then we’re going at it from a different direction the next week, so it’s something where they have to be on their toes every day.”

With goals set on the SUNYAC Tournament and beyond, Fiorentino said the key to success is worrying about what they can control.

“Priority number one is our effort and attitude—we can control that,” he said. “What follows that is our execution. Our flow to our offense, communication to our defense and organization at both ends is critical for our success. If we can do that, I like our chances against anyone.”

The Knights will face off against their first SUNYAC opponent SUNY Oswego on Saturday April 8 at 12 p.m.

Men’s lacrosse defeated on the road

Sophomore attacker Jack Ladd heads up the field through the rain in search of the net. The men currently have a 7-3 record, which they look to improve upon during their upcoming game against Elmira College on Saturday April 1. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

After starting the season 3-0, the men’s lacrosse team was dealt two losses on the road against St. John Fisher College on Thursday March 23 and against Skidmore College on Tuesday March 28. The Knights escaped the week with a win, however, as they came out on top over Olivet College on Saturday March 25. They now stand at 4-2 on the year.

The low-scoring affair against St. John Fisher saw Geneseo with a 4-0 lead in the third quarter, but a four-goal surge by St. John Fisher in a three-minute span tied the game going into the fourth quarter. The hosts were eventually able to pull away and win, 8-5, handing the Knights their first loss of the season.

“It was a tough game,” senior forward Tim Wright said. “We were up four and then they changed face-offs and it kind of set us back. They scored a couple quick ones on us and attacked a couple weak points we were not ready for, which cost us at the end.”

Wright saw limited action in that game due to an ankle injury and did not play in the games against Olivet and Skidmore. As one of the team’s leading players, Wright is tied for the highest number of assists on the team with junior midfielder Alex Leuze. 

The Knights performed well in the 18-11 win over Olivet, who kept it close early on but found themselves down 12-5 after the Knights scored five unanswered goals to end the first half. Despite the score, Wright suggested that the team was not overly pleased with the performance and that improvements could be made.

“It was a good game to kind of show us where we are,” Wright said. “Coming into a game like that where we should have rolled them and then allowing 11 goals … we figured out where we made some mistakes and are changing them.” 

Geneseo then traveled to take on Skidmore on Thursday March 28 and were handed a 10-5 loss, the fourth game in a row for the year in which a strong Skidmore defense held their opponents to just five goals. Now 5-3 on the year, one of Skidmore’s losses came against conference rival SUNY Plattsburgh.

An urgency to make the playoffs this season exists for the Knights’ group of seniors, who have yet to play in the SUNYAC Tournament. Only two non-conference games remain on the Knights’ schedule before they begin SUNYAC competition—games that will decide their playoff contention. Wright maintains that the team is confident in their chances of achieving that goal.

“That is goal number one, which we feel really good about,” Wright said. “[The SUNYAC] is pretty wide-open this year, so we have a chance. Whoever shows up to play that day is winning these games this year.”

Wright said that the level of togetherness that exists within the team this year could be a factor in the team’s ultimate success going forward—a quality inspired by head coach Nick Fiorentino.

“Coach [Fiorentino] is all about being a family,” Wright said. “We actually stayed here all spring break; he kept us together and we did a lot of team activities … We mesh very well, even our freshmen and transfers.”

Fiorentino seems to be making an early impact in his first year as the Knights’ head coach. Fiorentino’s new system was different at first, but the team is responding to it well, according to Wright. 

“He fires everyone up every day,” Wright said. “You’re running around all the time at practice and excited to be there. Everyone’s getting in shape and it’s making us play better.”

The Knights will host Elmira College on Saturday April 1 at 1 p.m. and then travel to the University of Scranton on Wednesday April 5 for a final contest before beginning conference play.

Women’s lacrosse looks for redemption

Freshman defender Cassidy O’Rourke warms up during practice with the Geneseo women’s lacrosse team. The women are practicing hard to ensure a victory against SUNY Oneonta. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

The Geneseo women’s lacrosse team has played twice since Thursday March 16, winning one game and losing the other. The Knights played at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Thursday March 23, holding them off 15-11. Sophomore midfielder Maddie Lee scored five goals for the Knights, a career high. 

After a particularly crushing 12-3 defeat at the University of Rochester on Saturday March 25, however, the lacrosse team is looking forward to stepping back on the field to prove that one hiccup is not enough to dismay their hopes for the season. 

“We did not show up,” head coach Carly Ritchlin said. “We were definitely disappointed, but we’re going to take a lot from that game and learn and grow and be even stronger moving forward.”

This bounce-back attitude is part of the Geneseo lacrosse culture—a mindset that is embodied by the players and the coaches to make the program as successful as it is now. In describing the past 13 years as head coach, Ritchlin said that her focus was on bringing stability to the team and on recruiting high caliber athletes. 

“I wanted to develop a women’s lacrosse culture and develop a team,” she said. 

This goes beyond the basic “x’s and o’s” of just having players come and play their assigned position—all without any thoughts or responsibilities toward the aspect of teamwork and sportsmanship.

This idea is still embraced today for the Knights, as it is at the core of the team. The players understand the life lessons in playing a collegiate sport—all the while simultaneously honing their technical lacrosse skills and techniques. 

“The players know what it takes to be on our team,” Ritchlin said. “They’re disciplined, committed and have to make sacrifices; they put a lot of time and effort into our program. They go above and beyond.” 

These high standards and expectations have allowed the Knights to continually do well and to constantly strive to be a top 20 team in the NCAA Division III lacrosse. The players all put in more work than just the allotted two-hour practices in order to make the program thrive. Their drive complements the high level of competition they face in their regular season schedule as well as in their tournament play. 

This culture not only contributes to better relationships on the field for the Knights—it also helps the team establish off-the-field-friendships, working together as one cohesive unit. 

“We spend a lot of time together. We’re a family,” Ritchlin said. 

If that culture is not present—if the players do not contemplate what being a player of a team entails—then everything can fall apart quickly. The team works on this consistently, so that everyone is on the same page, because surprises can hurt performance. While success is certainly the goal, the athletes also learn the importance of managing relations with a large group of people and conflict resolution. 

The Knights will travel to SUNY Oneonta on Saturday April 1 to play the first SUNYAC conference game of the season. “Saturday will be a great day for redemption and to execute and play a good game,” Ritchlin said.

Women’s lacrosse hones skills over spring break

The women’s lacrosse team practiced in Geneseo to prepare for their games in Florida, where they were able to enjoy a mini vacation while representing the Knights. The women look to use their current momentum to defeat the Rochester Institute of Technology on Friday March 25. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

For most students, spring break means a week without responsibilities and classwork; sometimes, spring break is even accompanied by a trip to the beach. For the Geneseo women’s lacrosse team, however, spring break provides them with an invaluable trip—a trip that offers the team the chance to bond while playing the sport they love at a competitive level.

The team traveled down to Clermont, Florida, where they played Messiah College from Pennsylvania and Keene State College from New Hampshire. The Knights split the trip 1-1, but gained more than what statistics can show. 

“Spring break is a great time for us to spend some time together as a team—away from the outside stressors that we’re all dealing with—and play some lacrosse,” head coach Carly Ritchlin said, who has lead the Geneseo women’s lacrosse program for 14 years. 

The trip allows them to fine-tune their skills, as well as enjoy the warmer weather. 

“It’s an important trip for us to really work on our team culture and chemistry,” Ritchlin added. 

In addition to enhancing the team culture, Ritchlin said that the trip is important in looking for quality teams to play, as it allows Geneseo to gauge where they stand at an early point in the season. 

The Knights have gone 2-2 to begin their season, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Their two losses both came to top 20 teams: Messiah and William Smith College. 

“We cannot overlook any team we play,” Ritchlin said. “There’s no longer the high end and low end. There are a lot of teams that are just good.” 

With such fierce opposition, the players know that they have to bring their A-game every time they step onto the field in order to be considered one of those top-notch teams. They believe in playing to the highest standard they can possibly play.

Ritchlin, as well as the rest of the team, has been happy with their work so far, though. The team continues to have optimistic thoughts for the rest of the regular season and beyond. Even though this is only the start of the season, the Knights are always looking toward the future for motivation. They set high standards now to make them all the more realistic every time they compete. 

“We have high expectations for our players,” Ritchlin said. “We are working toward the SUNYAC championship game and then the NCAA Tournament. The players are putting the effort needed for that on a daily basis.”

Of course, the season is not without its difficulties. 

“Year-to-year, different teams have different challenges and strengths,” Ritchlin said. “This year, we have a lot of young girls getting acclimated to our system.” 

The Knights right now are playing well as a team, however, partly due to the younger players, as the underclassmen have been working well together in high-pressure positions. 

Furthermore, offensively, 10 different players have contributed to the score sheet thus far, offering a good sign for continued success throughout the season. 

The Knights’ next game is at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Thursday March 23 at 4 p.m. This will be their first game back after returning from Florida, so they strive to use the skills they honed in on in the sun to defeat RIT.

Men’s lacrosse off to promising start

The Geneseo men’s lacrosse team has been working hard during their practices to help maintain their victory streak. With a new coach at the reins, the men anticipate a successful season ahead of them. Pictured above is Parker Weeks ‘15 during the alumni game last fall. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

Geneseo men’s lacrosse opened their season in March with three straight wins. The Knights kicked off the new campaign on March 1 with an 11-5 road victory against Morrisville State College, then celebrated their home opener on March 5 with a fourth quarter comeback to beat Alfred University 13-12. The team traveled to Ohio and beat Wilmington College 18-7 on Saturday March 18.

The Knights’ comeback victory over Alfred was one in which they had trailed throughout most of the game. After taking a 2-0 lead early on, they allowed five straight Alfred goals. Alfred held the lead throughout most of the game, but Geneseo was able to keep it close. In the fourth quarter, they rallied from a 12-10 deficit by scoring three unanswered goals to seal the victory.

Senior forward Tim Wright scored a behind-the-back goal to tie the game at 12-12 with just over seven minutes left in the game after sophomore forward Kyle Wanamaker found him with a pass in front of the net. Four minutes later, senior forward Michael Engstrom scored the go-ahead goal off a pass from junior forward Alex Leuze. 

“That fourth quarter was huge for us; we just never gave up,” Engstrom said in an interview with geneseoknights.com. “Defensively we held them to one goal and got some key goals from offensive players.”

Engstrom, the team captain, believes that the team’s work ethic could be a key to their overall success this season.

“We come into practice every day competing and working hard,” he said to geneseoknights.com. “We’re always working hard in the weight room and always looking to get better every day. I think if we take it one game at a time we’ll be very successful this season.”

Sophomore forward Zachary DeBottis has been the scoring leader for the perfect Knights thus far, with nine goals and three assists, totaling a team-high 12 points. DeBottis scored a career-high of five goals in the win over Wilmington, after tallying a pair in each of the first two games.

On the defensive side, three underclassmen have been mainstays in the lineup. Sophomore defenseman Jack Crowley, freshman defenseman Augie Holekamp and sophomore defenseman Jake Okun have started all three of the Knights’ contests in front of junior goaltender Michael Yehl.

The wins mark a successful start to the career of first-year head coach Nick Fiorentino. Fiorentino was hired in November with the hopes of taking the program back to the SUNYAC Tournament.

While this is Fiorentino’s first head coaching job, he has held assistant roles at some of the top programs in Division III. This includes experience playing for and coaching alongside the NCAA’s all-time leader in men’s lacrosse victories, Jim Berkman, of Salisbury University.

The team does not begin conference play until April 8, giving them a total of eight games to get acquainted with Fiorentino’s system and get into a rhythm as a team. For Wright, Engstrom and the rest of the seniors on the team who have never made a playoff appearance, this season should feature a sense of urgency to reach that goal.

A scheduled away game against Clarkson on March 15 was cancelled due to “snowy conditions and frigid temperatures,” according to geneseoknights.com. A make-up date for the game has not yet been scheduled.

The Knights will travel to St. John Fisher College on Thursday March 23 for a game scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Their next home game will be against Olivet College on Saturday March 25 at 1 p.m.

Spring 2017 men’s lacrosse preview

The Geneseo men’s lacrosse team is preparing to begin their 2017 campaign under new leadership. Nick Fiorentino, a native of Baldwinsville, N.Y., was announced as the program’s new head coach in November. 

Fiorentino’s resume includes coaching experience with some of the most successful programs in the country. After spending two seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Salisbury University, from 2009-10, Fiorentino then held positions on the staffs of Ohio Wesleyan from 2010-13, SUNY Cortland from 2014-15 and Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016. 

In these roles, he appeared in the NCAA Division III Tournament for seven straight seasons from 2009-15. 

This new opportunity with Geneseo will be Fiorentino’s first head coaching job. While he admits it will be challenging, it is an exciting opportunity that has been years in the making.

“If you talk to all the coaches in the country, they’re going to say every year is a challenge,” he said. “I’ve known for a long time that this is what I wanted to do. I have a strong passion and desire to be a head coach, so it’s exciting.”

Among the biggest influences on Fiorentino was Salisbury’s head coach, Jim Berkman, who is the NCAA’s all-time leader in men’s lacrosse victories. Fiorentino had the opportunity to both play for and coach alongside Berkman, and credits him as a role model in both lacrosse and life in general.

“The role that he played for me in my development set me up with the values and principles that I set my life to,” Fiorentino said. “His drive for excellence in life, not just on the lacrosse field, but as a person, helped mold me into the person I wanted to become when I was just starting as a coach.”

Fiorentino’s goals for the Knights include winning a SUNYAC championship, a feat that the program last achieved in 2007 under former head coach Jim Lyons. Fiorentino is no stranger to the SUNYAC conference, having won two titles as an assistant at Cortland.

The Knights have missed the playoffs for the past four straight seasons, but Fiorentino is determined to take the program back to the top of the SUNYAC conference. Geneseo is the only team other than Cortland to win a SUNYAC men’s lacrosse title, having won it three times compared to Cortland’s 24. 

“It’s there in our history. We want to get back there and be a prominent force in the SUNYAC,” he said.

As the team began practicing this month, Fiorentino noticed a strong sense of leadership in this year’s group of seniors, who are hoping to make their first career playoff appearances this season.

“[The seniors] had a big role in setting our goals,” he said. “This is a group of young men who haven’t played in the SUNYAC Tournament yet, so it’s a big deal for these seniors to get us back to the playoffs and competing for an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.”

While many of the team’s starters from last year will be returning, two notable senior departures stand out. Midfielder Joe Chiara finished his senior campaign tied for second on the team in points, and defenseman Matt Donoghue played in all of the Knights 13 games in 2016. 

While there may be some uncertainty regarding who the leaders will be on the defensive side, the offense certainly retains a number of experienced players. Junior attackman Ryan Kelly will look to expand upon on his performance last year, in which he scored a team-leading 22 goals.

Geneseo men’s lacrosse will kick off their season with an away game against Morrisville State on Wednesday March 1 at 4:30 p.m.

Spring 2017 women’s lacrosse preview

The women’s lacrosse team endures the harsh Geneseo weather in order to prepare for their 2017 season. The women’s first game will take place on March 1 in a home game against St. Lawrence University. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

The Geneseo women’s lacrosse team is anticipating the beginning of their 2017 spring season, with their first game scheduled for Wednesday March 1. Looking to pick up where they left off last spring, the women are expecting to be successful and to have a fair shot at the SUNYAC title.  

With the buildup of positive momentum from the 2016 season, the women hope to expand on it in order to capture another SUNYAC title. During the 2016 campaign, head coach Carly Ritchlin led this team to a 12-6 regular season record. More importantly, the women conquered their own conference, finishing the year with a 6-2 record against divisional opponents. 

After the regular season concluded, they competed in their 16th SUNYAC Tournament semifinal game in the past 18 years. This seems to be a nod toward the potential this team has for the upcoming year. 

When looking forward to the season, Ritchlin is anxious and cannot wait to be competing once again. She holds strong standards for this team. 

“This team has worked very hard in the offseason to improve on their skills,” Ritchlin said. “There has been much adapting and adjusting, as new systems were established since last season.” 

Ultimately, she is convinced that the strong offseason work can carry over into the season. 

“We have a lot of talent on this team,” Ritchlin said. “There are numerous goal-scorers and athletes who can play strong defense. If we hold to this standard, we can win a lot of games and be successful.” 

Though several new players joined the team, Ritchlin does not believe this is a sign of weakness. 

“We have to set the bar high every year,” Ritchlin said. “The ultimate goal is to win the NCAA Tournament.” 

There were nine freshmen added to the ranks this offseason. Several are playing at a high level, according to Ritchlin. These freshmen look to help contribute to the team’s success early and often. Even though the season has not yet started and the women have yet to be tested, strengths and weaknesses of the team have already been apparent.

“We are a very good team, but our real strengths lie in our speed, stick-work and the ability to shoot and score,” Ritchlin said. “We are a very talented team with a lot of good players.”

Their weakness, however, lies in the fact that they are a young team. 

“Even though we are so young, we attempt to equip every player on this team with the tools and skills to be successful if called upon,” Ritchlin said. 

This team is primed to repeat the success of last spring. With such lofty goals for so young of a group, it will be interesting to see how these players perform during the season. 

The team is set to play their first game against St. Lawrence University on Wednesday March 1 at 4 p.m. There, they will look to begin their journey toward a title.

Men's lax off to fast start on turf field

The men’s lacrosse team got off to the start they were looking for, defeating the Lycoming College Warriors 11-6 in their home opener at the new college stadium. 

The Knights dominated with a balanced attack that featured four players scoring multiple goals. First-year attack Zachary DeBottis ripped a game-high three goals to go along with one assist, efforts that earned him SUNYAC Player of the Week honors. Sophomore goaltender Michael Yehl saved nine Lycoming shots on goal and allowed only four goals in his 56 minutes in the crease. Yehl also received SUNYAC recognition and was named Goalie of the Week.

A solid win and a sweep of the SUNYAC weekly awards is a great beginning to a season that features a reinvigorated group of men that are ready to make the spring 2016 season a memorable one. Junior defenseman John Bender expressed his excitement with the results of the game.

“It’s all about getting to go against another team and battling for 60 minutes,” he said. “We feel really good about our team this year, with high expectations across all grade levels.”

His expectations held strong against Lycoming. Sophomore attack Ryan Kelly and junior attackers Tim Wright and Ryan Gulbransen combined for three goals and five assists. Senior midfielder captain Joe Chiara had one goal, two assists and snagged four ground balls.

The Knights will look to prove that their impressive freshmen-senior production is not a façade as they head into the season. If they can sustain this success throughout their non-conference schedule in March, then the Knights will be a force to be reckoned with come conference play in April.

Off the field, fans seem to also be excited for the season. Junior Danny Kane emphasized that his love for the team is largely due to their notable commitment.

“As is the case every year, all you can ask as a fan is to see your team give 110 percent,” he said. “The Geneseo men's lacrosse team has yet to let us down in that regard in my time here.”

Although the team has never let Kane down in terms of their effort, he did note that he has not seen the team reach the playoffs in his time here. He added that he believes that this may change this season, however

“This year might be the most talented roster I have seen thus far,” he said. “I expect big things.”

Before the season, the Knights knew they needed help all across the team in order to succeed. The effort against Lycoming proved that the potential for success is present, but what it will take to sustain this type of success is another question. Bender explained that the new College Stadium will be a major factor in getting the most out of the team.

“The new facilities have given us the opportunity to take our talent to the next level,” he said. “Playing at the new College Stadium amplifies the excitement from the players and fans alike and we all look forward to the next opportunity to defend our house.”

The pieces to be a conference contender are present. From the young and promising underclassmen to the talented veteran core of attackers and midfielders to an experienced defensive line and goalie, the Geneseo men’s lacrosse team is equipped for a successful season.

The ability to consistently perform at a high level, however, will be the deciding factor come playoff time. The lacrosse season will be a journey that will demand the players physically, mentally and emotionally and starting off 2-0 is the best way to begin.

High expectations surround women's lacrosse in 2016

The Geneseo women’s lacrosse team is coming into its spring season with high expectations all around. Head coach Carly Ritchlin expressed her excitement about the upcoming season, noting that she has plenty of confidence in both the returning players and the newcomers.

“This team has the tools and the talent in order to be successful, but the games are going to be a good test,” Ritchlin said.

Being nationally ranked 16th, the Knights have high expectations from both within and outside of the team. If the women play as well as they are supposed to, they have a very good chance of earning the SUNYAC title.

This year marks a change for the Knights, as they finally have a solid home field to play on. With College Stadium finally finished, the women will get to play on turf as opposed to grass and they do not have to spend the entire month of March travelling for games. They will be able to start off their season with home field advantage, which could potentially be very beneficial to their season.

Not only has the team been unable to play a home game in March for the past 13 years, but the Knights and Ritchlin have also been waiting that long to have a turf field. This only adds to the team’s level of enthusiasm for their season to take off.

While the Knights may be ready to go skill-wise, there are still elements of the team that need to be worked on. The individual readiness of the players regarding balancing schoolwork and lacrosse is one of them. This is essential to every team, as it keeps the focus of the players where it should be. Ritchlin explained that she works to emphasize the importance of maintaining this healthy balance between academics, athletics and overall well-being.

“It’s going to be individual preparation, so making sure all of our players are paying attention to the balance of work and games and travel and all that—staying on top of that,” she said. “They put everything into it. They put their heart and souls into our program. So I can’t ask for much more regarding that. It’s really going to be about preparation and focus and then maintaining that focus throughout the season.”

If the whole team does maintain an equal amount of contribution and hard work—both on and off the field—they should be able to achieve their goals. Ritchlin expects to have everyone play their roles as needed in order to bring success to the team.

“I think really for us to win games, we need our defense to step up and slow other teams down, but we also need our attack,” she said. “It’s really an effort across the board. There’s not one or the other that will tip the scale. So if the two step and play their role and do what they are expected to do, then we will be successful.”

Women’s lacrosse ranked 18 in polls

As spring inches nearer, so does the women’s lacrosse season. If the team performs anything like they did last season, then they are sure to impress. The Knights went 14-3, winning all five of their home games and averaging 26 shots and 11 goals per game—all while shooting at a spectacular 43 percent. The women made it all the way to the SUNYAC finals, losing to SUNY Fredonia 8-3.

In a Feb. 1 poll, Geneseo was ranked 18th in the nation for Division III. This is a huge accomplishment and although it is no guarantee, the ranking points toward a great season ahead.

Out of the 28-person lineup from last season, only four of the women were graduating seniors—a remarkably low number. This is a great thing for the Knights, as it allows them to keep up the momentum from their 2015 season.

The lineup for this year includes eight freshmen, meaning the roster has depth. This is something that any sports team—at any level—is always in desperate need of.

Returning to the team are key scorers senior attacker Tara Basile and senior midfielder Liz Felix. Both Basile and Felix were second and third on the team in points last season respectively, with Basile racking up 24 goals and 33 assists for 57 points and Felix contributing an impressive 39 goals and one assist for 40 points.

Sophomore midfielder Erin Cregan will also look to remain heavily involved in the offense, as she started every game of her freshman campaign. Cregan was fourth on the team in points last season with 26, putting up 20 goals and six assists. Cregan was also the only freshman to start and play in all 17 games last season, which she will look to repeat in hopes of bringing the Knights back to the NCAA Tournament in May.

Defensively, the Knights took a hit with the loss of defender Aileen Kurpis ‘15. The Knights will rely heavily on senior defenders Meagan Cook and Bridget Lincoln and junior defender Jenelle Lightfoote to pick up the slack. These three players will be essential for the Knights’ defensive presence—one of the best in the SUNYAC.

Senior goalie Claudia Coleates returns to the team this year and if Geneseo wants to have another successful season, they will need her to come alive in goal. Coleates had a spectacular season in 2015, starting in 12 out of the 17 games and allowing the Knights to win 86 percent of their games. As a result of her impressive work for the team, Coleates was named to the first team All-SUNYAC.

If Geneseo wants to make it to the SUNYAC final again this year, however, the women’s lacrosse team is going to need another big year from not just a few players, but everyone.

Women's lacrosse ranked 18 in polls

As spring inches nearer, so does the women’s lacrosse season. If the team performs anything like they did last season, then they are sure to impress. The Knights went 14-3, winning all five of their home games and averaging 26 shots and 11 goals per game—all while shooting at a spectacular 43 percent. The women made it all the way to the SUNYAC finals, losing to SUNY Fredonia 8-3.

In a Feb. 1 poll, Geneseo was ranked 18th in the nation for Division III. This is a huge accomplishment and although it is no guarantee, the ranking points toward a great season ahead.

Out of the 28-person lineup from last season, only four of the women were graduating seniors—a remarkably low number. This is a great thing for the Knights, as it allows them to keep up the momentum from their 2015 season.

The lineup for this year includes eight freshmen, meaning the roster has depth. This is something that any sports team—at any level—is always in desperate need of.

Returning to the team are key scorers senior attacker Tara Basile and senior midfielder Liz Felix. Both Basile and Felix were second and third on the team in points last season respectively, with Basile racking up 24 goals and 33 assists for 57 points and Felix contributing an impressive 39 goals and one assist for 40 points.

Sophomore midfielder Erin Cregan will also look to remain heavily involved in the offense, as she started every game of her freshman campaign. Cregan was fourth on the team in points last season with 26, putting up 20 goals and six assists. Cregan was also the only freshman to start and play in all 17 games last season, which she will look to repeat in hopes of bringing the Knights back to the NCAA Tournament in May.

Defensively, the Knights took a hit with the loss of defender Aileen Kurpis ‘15. The Knights will rely heavily on senior defenders Meagan Cook and Bridget Lincoln and junior defender Jenelle Lightfoote to pick up the slack. These three players will be essential for the Knights’ defensive presence—one of the best in the SUNYAC.

Senior goalie Claudia Coleates returns to the team this year and if Geneseo wants to have another successful season, they will need her to come alive in goal. Coleates had a spectacular season in 2015, starting in 12 out of the 17 games and allowing the Knights to win 86 percent of their games. As a result of her impressive work for the team, Coleates was named to the first team All-SUNYAC.

If Geneseo wants to make it to the SUNYAC final again this year, however, the women’s lacrosse team is going to need another big year from not just a few players, but everyone.

Knight of Week: Tim Wright

Most collegiate varsity athletes remain on one team throughout their entire college careers, giving them four years to prove themselves and to earn their starting positions. Geneseo men’s lacrosse junior attacker Tim Wright, however, earned his spot when he transferred to Geneseo his sophomore year.

Wright immediately proved that he was a good addition to the team—Wright fit in with the players right away, demonstrating the leadership qualities that have helped the team as a whole ever since. Being the only returning starter on attack this year, Wright has to help out his fellow teammates so that they can have a successful season.

Wright hails from Waterloo, New York, where he started playing lacrosse at a very young age. Lacrosse is a big part of the Wright family, hence the reason that Wright began playing so early on. He explained that with his father helping out the community’s youth lacrosse program, lacrosse became something his whole family participated in.

When the Wright family is not playing lacrosse, though, they are tending to their family-owned Christmas tree farm. With this experience, Wright has had an intriguing home life—one that has influenced Wright to become not only the player, but also the person whom he is today.

Wright’s collegiate lacrosse career began at Post University in Waterbury, Conneticut—a Division II team.

“I was a freshman starter and led the team in assists and was third in points,” Wright said. “It was not a great fit for me. I believe coming to Geneseo was one of the best decisions I have made.”

Wright has become a key player on the Geneseo lacrosse team. After playing Division II, he was the new, skilled player the Knights desperately needed in addition to his immense knowledge of the game.

Having lacrosse experience and skills is not enough to help bring a team success, however. A player also needs a good personality, which Wright certainly has. Wright explained that he tries to use his energy and positive attitude to lift the team’s spirits when necessary. Wright’s ability to determine the right times to joke around and to be serious is a quality that all teams need in a player. He knows when to lift the mood to put his teammates in a better mindset and when to step up and be a leader.

Wright is majoring in communication on the journalism and media track. He noted that he aspires to find a job in the advertising or marketing fields for a professional sports team. With one year left at Geneseo, he still has time to prepare for the real world while also reaching his goal of leading the team to a SUNYAC title.