Men’s soccer eliminated from SUNYAC Tournament

The 2017 season for the Geneseo men’s soccer team has come to an end. The Knights defeated Buffalo State College 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the SUNYAC Tournament, before losing 0-3 to SUNY Oneonta in the semifinals. The loss brings the team’s season record to 9-8-2. 

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Men’s soccer focusing on one game at a time

The Geneseo men’s soccer team improved their record to 4-3-1 in the most dramatic fashion on Saturday Sept. 23. The Knights managed to pull off a 2-1 win against a talented SUNY Fredonia Blue Devils—a win that took not one but two overtimes. 

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Men’s club soccer provides competition, camaraderie

The Geneseo men’s club soccer team gives students an opportunity to continue playing competitive soccer after their high school careers. While there are other opportunities to play soccer here at Geneseo—such as intramurals—the club program allows for students to play at a more competitive level.

Junior communication major Pat Hurley is a devout member of the club soccer team. “[Club soccer] is an incredible opportunity,” Hurley said in an email interview. The team has quite a selective process when it comes to choosing new members. 

“At the beginning of the fall season, there are a few days appropriated for tryouts,” Hurley said. “Of all those who tryout, only 22 will compete on the active roster. Such a roster entails a game squad and practice squad.” 

For those select few who are able to claim a spot on the active roster, they must be ready to make a serious time commitment. 

“We compete in the fall for only a few months because of weather and the availability for fields, as we are not a Varsity sport,” Hurley said. 

Despite the time commitment, the league is relatively informal. There is not a set playoff system that is to be followed. Instead, the team seeks to play only a few games when the weather begins to get nicer in the spring. 

“We make cuts in order to play at a higher level, pitch in for jerseys and look to take this opportunity as seriously as possible,” Hurley said.  

To compete in matches against other clubs across the state, there needs to be a hierarchy of positions to ensure that the program moves smoothly. Students who are players on the team fill these roles. 

“The president runs everything through the school, like reserving fields,” Hurley said. “There is a student coach that runs practices, names the game squad and the captains act as general leaders to get the players ready to go for that week’s upcoming game.” 

Throughout the rest of this season’s campaign and moving into the future, the team works to improve and to grow as both individuals and as a program. Like many other athletes, however, Hurley is confident in the team’s attempts to build this team and organization into a great threat. 

“We are always looking to improve,” Hurley said. “It’s OK to not be satisfied, as we always want to get better at skills. With hard work and commitment, we are looking to grow in every aspect of the game—whether it be mental, physical or just kicking the ball around.” 

Such improvement will not come without serious commitment from everyone involved in the team and the organization. If everyone is doing their best, then they can only hope to improve in their future endeavors.


Men’s soccer season ends before SUNYACs

It was a tough last week of the season for the Geneseo men’s soccer team. It seemed likely that with only three games left in the season that the team would qualify for the SUNYAC Tournament after missing out in 2015. But after losing back-to-back away conference games against SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh, the team barely missed out on qualifying. The Knights seemed to be in prime position to make the SUNYAC Tournament. They went into their last two conference away games with a 4-3 conference record. All they needed were winning results against Potsdam and Plattsburgh. Instead, they suffered a 1-0 loss to Potsdam and a 2-0 loss against Plattsburgh on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22, respectively.

“I think we knew that [we were in prime position to qualify], which got in our head a little bit,” head coach Dominic Oliveri said. “I knew it was going to be a difficult road trip. We knew we needed a result against Potsdam … we just did not play.”

For such an impressive season, the losses seemed to be attributed to a couple of mistakes and possibly some nerves, costing the Knights a trip to the playoffs. Two of the three goals scored on the Knights in the two-game stretch came from crosses into the six-yard box. “If we were in form, we would have cleared those initial balls,” Oliveri said.

In their previous five games before the game against Potsdam, the Knights’ defense was impeccable, posting three clean sheets and only letting in two goals. Going into their last game against St. John Fisher College, the team already knew they wouldn’t qualify, but it still meant a lot to get a result, as the team won by one goal. It especially meant a lot for the seniors on the team.

Oliveri said he didn’t initially plan on playing any of the seniors in the game against St. John Fisher, but that at practice the night before, the seniors told Oliveri how much it would mean to them to play. Oliveri had them start the second half, and they played for about 20 minutes. In the 52nd minute, junior midfielder Walter Savidis notched the game winner for the team with an unassisted goal.

With the win against St. John Fisher, the Knights ended the season with a record of 9-7-2, going 4-5 in conference play with a home record of 3-4-1 and an away record of 5-3-1. In 18 games, the team scored 26 goals and allowed an average of 1.44 goals per game. Senior forward Ethan Gunty led the team in points with 17, followed by senior midfielder Matt D’Amico with 15 points, and freshman forward Bryan Wager with seven.

As for next year, Oliveri hopes for the team to not only qualify for SUNYACs, but also for his younger players to continue to grow. The team was full of freshman and sophomores this year; Oliveri wishes to generate improvement in terms of their skill, as the college level can be tough to adapt to initially.

Moving forward, Oliveri also plans on possibly making some tactical changes to his team in order to get more numbers up on the field. “We don’t get enough forward up sometimes,” he said.

Regardless of not making the SUNYACs, the men’s soccer team should still be proud of a well-played season.

Men’s soccer clinches senior day victory

The Geneseo men’s soccer team has continued their season into October, going 3-1-1. Since the start of October, the team has played well, scoring five goals and only conceding three. The Knights’ striking skills this month include impressive wins over such conference rivals as SUNY New Paltz (2-1), SUNY Brockport (1-0) and—most recently on Saturday Oct. 15—SUNY Oswego (2-1). The win against Oswego was much needed, especially after a tight 1-0 loss to SUNY Cortland the day before.

Oswego’s sophomore forward Jason Siracuse started the scoring early with a header in the eighth minute. Twenty minutes later, though, Geneseo senior midfielder Matt D’Amico equalized. Then in the 63rd minute, fellow Geneseo senior forward Ethan Gunty notched the game winner. This left Oswego to fall to 1-7 in the conference.

With their win over the Knights, the Cortland Red Dragons moved to 7-1 in the conference and clinched a playoff spot. The Red Dragons increased their lead at the top of the table by five points over SUNY Oneonta, who is currently 5-1-1. As of now, Cortland, Oneonta and Buffalo State are the only teams who have clinched a playoff spot in the SUNYAC Conference.

SUNY Fredonia and Geneseo are currently tied for fourth in the table with 12 points, although Fredonia technically has the tiebreaker over the Knights, with a record of 10-5-1 versus the Knights’ 8-5-2.

While the whole team has been in fantastic form recently, Gunty and D’Amico continue to impress. The two currently have the most points on the team. Gunty leads the way with 17 points in 13 games, and right behind him is D’Amico with 15 points in 15 games.

Not only are the seniors paving the way to wins, but so is freshman goalkeeper Dillon Medd. With back-to-back shutouts and a career high of 14 saves in the loss to Cortland, Medd was not only named Geneseo’s Male Athlete of the Week, but also SUNYAC Men’s Soccer Defensive Athlete of the Week. To say Medd has been in outstanding form recently seems like an understatement, since he has conceded just two goals this season.

With three games remaining in the 2016 season, the men will be looking for a SUNYAC playoff spot. It will be easier said than done, though, as their remaining three games are all on the road.

The men take on SUNY Potsdam on Friday Oct 21. Potsdam is currently tied for sixth in the table with seven points. On Saturday Oct. 22, the men travel to SUNY Plattsburgh, who are also tied for sixth with seven points. Both Plattsburgh and Potsdam are in do-or-die modes, and a loss would most likely eliminate them from playoff contention.

For their final game of the regular season, the Knights travel to Rochester to play St. John Fisher College, who are currently 4-7-2, on Wednesday Oct. 26. If the team plays like they have all year on the road, though—which has left them at a 4-1-1 record—they should have nothing to worry about and could be looking at a playoff berth.

Men’s soccer gains strength with new players

In their last five games, the Geneseo men’s soccer team is 3-1-0, only suffering a loss to conference rival SUNY Oneonta. But with a 6-1 win over SUNY Fredonia on Sept. 24, a 1-0 win over Nazareth College on Sept. 27 and a 2-1 win over SUNY New Paltz on Saturday Oct. 1, the team is dominating.

After having their two-game winning streak broken by Oneonta, the Knights bounced back in a crucial conference game against New Paltz. They won 2-1 thanks to a goal by freshman forward Bryan Wager, which was assisted by current points-leader senior forward Ethan Gunty. Gunty continues to lead his team with four goals and one assist in his last four games.

While they have been phenomenal so far, the team has suffered some setbacks, however, with a season-ending injury to senior midfielder Alex Clar.

Freshmen midfielder Dean Kousmanidis has been affected by these setbacks. As a new player, he has found himself stepping up more than he originally expected. Although injuries have taken a toll on the team, everyone has stepped up and done their job, which has led to their success.

“We played all 2.5 of those three games very well. We were up on Oneonta with less than a minute left in our first half, and gave up a goal late in the first to shift momentum,” Kousmanidis said. “We didn’t close against Oneonta the way that we have proved we can in other tight games.”

The loss didn’t take a toll on the team, though. “[It] fired us up, didn’t hold us back,” Kousmanidis said. “We knew that New Paltz was a must-win game, and we proved who the better team was.”

Kousmanidis also noted how big of an adjustment college level play is to the high school level.

“The speed of play and physicality are night and day when comparing high school and college,” Kousmanidis said. “It’s a huge adjustment, but having a good group of guys to show us young guys the ropes is helpful.”

While the team currently has a great mentality, the question is how far can they go in the SUNYACs? Kousmanidis believes that if the team can continue to play confidently and can remain focused, they have a great chance to do well in the tournament.

With six games left in the season, though, this is easier said than done. The team has five remaining games against conference rivals SUNY Brockport, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh. Cortland is 3-1 in conference play and 8-2 overall, while Plattsburgh is 2-1 in conference play and 9-2 overall.

The two games that look to be the most challenging ones left for the team are the ones against Cortland and Plattsburgh, as Brockport is 2-6-2 overall and Oswego is 3-8. Together, both those teams only have one win in conference play. One other game that could be tricky is against Potsdam. Although they are 1-2 in conference play, they are 6-3-1 overall.

Regardless of the other teams’ statistics, however, the Knights are looking to go all the way this year in the SUNYACs. They have faced—and conquered—several obstacles already, so they are more prepared than ever for what might come with these next several games.

Men’s soccer develops competitive edge

The men’s soccer team suffered a tough 2-1 overtime loss to SUNYAC rival Buffalo State on Friday Sept. 23. It left the team at 3-3-1, but the very next day they went out and had a resounding win over SUNY Fredonia, winning 6-1. Head coach Dominic Oliveri has faith in the men and believes that they will be successful throughout the remainder of the season. “We have played a difficult schedule and got some decent results. When we can dictate play, we can play some quality soccer,” Oliveri said.

When they play as Oliveri said, the team can do serious damage, as seen in their convincing 5-0 win over Rosemont College and their win over Fredonia. Regardless, the team has a very tough schedule so far, and the 2-1 overtime loss to Buffalo was extremely difficult.

“I was a little worried about how we would respond after a very emotional loss to Buff[alo] State the day before,” Oliveri said. He made some changes to the lineup, however, for the match against Fredonia, and from the looks of the result, it clicked.

“We played really well against Fredonia. The first half against them was our best half of soccer as far as execution goes all year,” he said.

Oliveri explained that the injured players are what have had a negative impact on the team. “We will not use that as an excuse, though. We still need to execute and make proper decisions with the ball,” he said.

Sadly, injuries are synonymous with sports, but that doesn’t make it easier. Over the weekend, the team lost senior midfielder Alex Clar for the season. Through six games, Clar was a crucial part of this team, contributing one goal and three assists.

Oliveri pointed to production from his seniors as a big part of the team’s success. The team’s top three leaders in points are all seniors: Ethan Gunty with 14, Matt D’Amico with 9 and Clar with 5. “Gunty and D’Amico are our leaders right now from a production standpoint, but more importantly from an emotional standpoint,” Oliveri said. This is something they will need now more than ever after losing Clar for the season.

It isn’t just the upper classman that Oliveri is impressed with, though. It is the freshman players, as well. “We landed a really strong freshman class in 2016, one of our best groups in years … each and every day I see continued improvement,” Oliveri said. He also discussed how he was impressed with how they have adapted, as the speed of play and physicality are the biggest differences between high school and college level soccer.

After the resounding win over Fredonia, Oliveri said that it had a positive impact on the team. “We must come out motivated—that is the key. There should be no excuse, especially in conference play,” he said.

This will be something that the team must do as they play rival SUNY Oneonta on Friday Sept. 30. The game will be one of the team’s biggest challenges this year, as Oneonta has won the conference championship the last two years.

Men’s soccer faces injuries early in season

The Geneseo men’s soccer team has been experiencing both victories and losses, leaving them at an interesting place in their conference. They have the opportunity to change this in a positive or negative way. Starting the season off with a couple of wins was advantageous for the men because they now have the positive energy to carry them through the season—regardless of their recent losses. One of the biggest fears for any team is to lose a player to an injury. After only a few games, the Knights have already lost two of their starting upperclassmen players for the rest of the season. This loss has caused head coach Dominic Oliveri to make some adjustments to the starting lineup, but they are adjustments that he feels confident with.

Due to the fact that the majority of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores, Oliveri has to start giving the younger players more minutes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, since these young players have already proven to have the skills to keep up with their older competitors.

“We have been struggling a bit substitution wise, so some of the younger guys are going to be playing a little more than I expected,” Oliveri said. “We aren’t starting over completely, but it’s close.”

Despite his foreboding words, this is not something that Oliveri showed any concern for. He is self-assured that the younger players will be just fine once they fully adjust.

While the men may appear to be comfortable and prepared to continue on in the season, they have some weaknesses that need to be worked on. One of the main weaknesses that Oliveri addressedwas how the men play under pressure.

“I think just holding onto the ball when we are under pressure is our biggest weakness,” Oliveri said. “A lot of the top teams we play against really pressure us, and we sort of struggle holding onto the ball and making good decisions while under pressure.”

Being that this is a weakness that Oliveri is able to notice so early on, he feels as though it can be fixed soon and that it will no longer be an issue throughout the remainder of the season. Another weakness that Oliveri acknowledged was the team’s ability to mark up in the midfield. Midfield is a crucial part of the game and if the wrong people are left unmarked due to a careless error, it could potentially cost the team a goal. But again, this is a weakness that Oliveri has full confidence in fixing over time.

“These improvements will come with time. We are relatively young, and we have to learn how to communicate and go from there,” Oliveri said. “I see improvements every day, but we are not fully there yet.”

One of the most important things a coach can do for his team is express his confidence in their skills. With Oliveri in charge of the Knights, they are likely to be successful soon, just in time to be prepared for the more difficult challenges that they will face as the season continues.

Underclassmen have positive impact on men’s soccer team

Geneseo men’s soccer team is fired up with enthusiasm and determination for the 2016 season. Even though their last two games were losses, their first two wins of the season were enough to fill them with the confidence that they need to go far in the season. Head coach Dominic Oliveri is working on improving the team on a daily basis through their training. Oliveri hopes to ensure that the Knights are skilled enough to qualify for the SUNYAC playoffs. It seems as though this may be a possible and promising feat, as the men are looking to go all the way this season.

This year’s freshmen are already making an impact on the team, too. There is definite talent amongst them and the Knights are already benefitting from their new teammates.

“Several [freshmen] are already giving us quality minutes,” Oliveri said.

This year will be slightly different from years past, since the team now has a larger base of underclassmen than they do upperclassmen. The team consists of six seniors and nine juniors—otherwise it is primarily made up of freshmen and sophomores. While the team is full of both old and new talent, that does not guarantee the Knights the success they are expecting, especially if they do not have the team chemistry required to move forward together.

Team bonding is a crucial part of the overall success that they are looking for, so it is in their best interest to fix this issue quickly, as it could deem their talent to be almost useless. Oliveri said that they will get there soon and that it will no longer be a problem for them moving forward.

For some teams, two losses can really bring down the mood and motivation that they have for the remainder of the season. For the Knights, however, they are making sure to not let it get in their way. According to Oliveri, these losses will not have an impact on their level of play. “We need to forget about them right away and look ahead to our next game. Never focus on the past,” Oliveri said.

With this mindset, the men are going to be led to success, as Oliveri is making sure not to let the mood drop. If the Knights continue through the season with this mentality, then they will be sure to overcome much more detrimental obstacles.

No matter how good a team may be, everyone is going to have their weaknesses. For the Knights, they need to work on marking up in their midfield. This is one of the main problems that Oliveri acknowledges, and with the midfield being such a challenging position, it may not be the quickest fix.

Oliveri said that he may also change some personnel, but he will be waiting another week or so before making this decision. In regard to the team’s strengths, their back five are putting up a strong fight. Since it is so early in the season, they can only get stronger.

The men hope to battle for a top three seed in the conference, which looks promising considering how evenly matched the teams are this season.

Men’s soccer with back-to-back wins, promises strong season

The Geneseo men’s soccer team is off to a great start so far for the upcoming 2016 fall season. The men’s opening tournament started Saturday Sept. 3, which took place in Philadelphia at Swarthmore College. The Knights won both of the games that they played in. The first of the two games concluded with a 5-0 win over Rosemont College, while the second game was a 2-0 victory over Swarthmore. Senior captains forward Ethan Gunty and midfielder Matt D’Amico each had two goals in the tournament—one in each game—contributing to the team’s success.

The men have boosted their confidence with a strong start to the season, and they are looking for more wins in the rest of their upcoming games. These victories have given them the perfect attitude to start off the season, and they will hopefully be able to maintain both the success and the confident mindset.

After enduring a difficult preseason schedule, the men experienced both negative and positive results. There have been several injuries amongst the team due to the intensity of their workouts and their overall rigorous schedule.

Before preseason even began, the athletes were instructed to follow a three-month workout packet throughout the summer to guarantee that they came back to Geneseo in top shape. Fitness testing was one of the first tasks of preseason in order to show the coaches which players really prepared for this season.

Additionally, a new season comes with a new set of players. While the Knights may have lost 10 seniors at the end of last season, they came into the season with a solid group of freshmen and transfer students. These new players have already proven to be useful, showing plenty of potential for the rest of the season.

“We believe we have enough talent to win the SUNYAC Tournament this year. Being an upperclassmen this season, many of the younger players begin to look up to you for advice. Having been here for two years, I am able to help the newcomers adjust to being a member of the Geneseo soccer family,” junior back Nick Keneally said. “We have a very young team this year, but it’s also a very talented team. As a junior, I am now looked at to be a leader, and without upperclassmen leadership and experience our team would not be successful.”

Even though there may be an abundance of new players, the team has not made too many big changes overall from last year. The biggest change, however, may be their two new assistant coaches. The new coaches consist of 2016 Geneseo soccer graduate, Chris Kanaval, and 2014 Geneseo soccer graduate, Alex Stephan. With this new leadership, the team can be exposed to different ideas and methods, making them even better than they currently appear to be.

Last season, the team was ranked in the national top 25 early on, during the non-conference portion of the season. They lost this advantage during their conference play.

The men are prepared to carry their excitement and energy from this past tournament throughout the rest of their upcoming season. This level of confidence should be what they need to take them all the way to the SUNYAC title.

Brad Campion

The road to Geneseo is one that many athletes do not travel. For the players that do, they dedicate almost all of their time and energy to the sport for four years. But this isn’t the case for Geneseo senior soccer defender Brad Campion.

After winning the NCAA Division II National Championship at Southern New Hampshire University, Campion joined the Knights as a transfer in 2014. Campion explained that the adjustment from playing soccer at a Division II level to a Division III level was a big change for him.

“On and off the field, there are so many differences. At SNHU, it was athletics first—players were on scholarships and a lot of international players played,” Campion said. “Then when I came here, I took on a bigger leadership role within the team. I had to set an example of responsibility and hustle and try to put us in the best position to win.”

Campion has had a successful career for the Knights, one that saw him start all 39 games that he played in. Campion has contributed five goals over the course of his two seasons—which for a defensive player is rather impressive. Campion, however, will be the first to attribute his success to his team rather than his talent.

“I have always been a ‘team first’ player, so I worked hard in practice and in games so we could put ourselves in the best position to win. It didn’t always end with the result we wanted, but we gave it all we got,” Campion said. “Out of conference, we lost one game, so we thought if we could take care of business outside of the conference and win within the conference, we could get an NCAA bid. Obviously we couldn’t do that, but it was still a great experience none the less.”

Campion has also been recognized for his excellence in the classroom, receiving the 2015 College Sports Information Directors of America First-Team Academic All-District award. This annual award recognizes the nation's top student athletes for their performances both on the playing field and in the classroom. Campion currently has a 3.77 grade point average—which combined with his soccer ability puts him in the top tier for success at the Division III level.

“It is an honor to win this award, as there are so many great players across our conference and across the region,” Campion said. “It has been hard work but I am proud to accept this award and to be a role model for younger players on my team to work hard on and off the field.”

Although Campion will never suit up for the Knights again, he has a lifetime of memories and friendships to look back on.

“I think the biggest thing I’ll miss are the bonds that I have made,” he said. “I have made so many great friends and met great people in my time here and I definitely will miss not being around that every day.”

Men's soccer on the brink of playoff elimination

The men's soccer team split a pair of road games this weekend, defeating SUNYAC foe SUNY Oswego in overtime 1-0 on Friday Oct. 16 before falling to SUNY Cortland 1-0 on Saturday Oct. 17. The Knights are now 2-5 on the season in conference games, leaving them one loss away from being eliminated from playoff contention.

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Men's soccer rebuilds confidence by rebounding vs. RIT at home

The Geneseo men's soccer team had a shaky week, first defeating Nazareth College at home 5-1 on Sept. 29 before losing two weekend road games to SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Oneonta on Friday Oct. 2 and Saturday Oct. 3 respectively. The Knights are now 5-4-3 on the season, but just 1-3 in SUNYAC games.

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Men's soccer starts off conference play by splitting pair of home games

The Geneseo men's soccer team split two home conference games on Friday Sept. 25 and Saturday Sept. 26, defeating SUNY Fredonia 3-0 and then losing to Buffalo State 2-1 respectively. Those were the first two SUNYAC games of the team's season, and the first home games since opening up the season against the University of Rochester on Sept. 1. The Knights are now 5-2-3 overall.

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Men's soccer returns from road to three game home

The Geneseo men's soccer team finished its long six-game road trip with a 1-1 tie at Houghton College on Sept. 16 and a 2-0 loss at Hobart College on Saturday Sept. 19. The Knights are now 3-1-3 this season.

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Mens soccer ties for second straight game

The Geneseo men's soccer team faced two tough opponents on the road, tying both Clarkson University 2-2 on Friday Sept. 11 and St. Lawrence University 1-1 on Saturday Sept. 12. The Knights still remain undefeated, however, with a record of 3-0-3. "We created a numerous amount of chances [against Clarkson], but we need to increase quality chances a little more against a team like that," head coach Dominic Oliveri said. "We played really well in the first half against them and didn't give up any shots on goal at all, but the score was still 0-0. When you leave a team in the game like that, anything can happen."

The second half of that game turned out to be hectic, as all four goals were scored in a span of just 12 minutes. Junior midfielder Matt D'Amico scored his second goal of the season in the 71st minute, but Clarkson countered by scoring twice in one minute to take the lead.

"We weren't playing well in the second half,” Oliveri said. "They really flustered us the whole time. We got a goal with about 20 minutes left and I think our guys thought that we would just cruise from there, but instead, the opposite happened."

The Knights managed to tie up the game in the 83rd minute on a goal from junior forward Ethan Gunty, his second of the season.

After that game, the Knights took on the St. Lawrence Saints. St. Lawrence entered the game an undefeated 4-0, but the two teams settled for a tie. Oliveri was more than pleased with that result against a formidable opponent.

"I had a feeling that we would play much better on Saturday,” he said. "[When playing] against a stronger team, you become more motivated."

The Knights had a solid first half, limiting the Saints' opportunities and scoring a goal of their own in the 21st minute, courtesy of senior Brad Campion. It was the first goal that St. Lawrence had allowed all season long. The Saints made a comeback in the second half, however, and managed to even the score in the 74th minute.

"It was pretty hectic for the last 15 minutes into overtime,” Oliveri said. "They hit the crossbar, then we hit the crossbar. They saved one off the line and then we saved one off the line. It was going back and forth.”

The Knights' long road trip is nearing its end, but the team has another challenging game to play at 4-1 Hobart College on Saturday Sept. 19. They finally return to College Stadium to play SUNY Fredonia on Sept. 25.

Men's Soccer kicks off season with three wins

The Geneseo men’s soccer team is off to a hot start this fall, having won its first three games against the University of Rochester, Hiram College and Penn State Behrend. The Knights shutout Rochester on Sept. 1 in front of 1,500 fans at the College Stadium. The soccer team had a grueling schedule to begin the season, playing their first three games in just six days. According to head coach Dominic Oliveri, however, the contribution from the bench was instrumental in guiding the team to victory. “We’re really deep with talent this year. I’m comfortable going with our bench and we’re 17 or 18 guys deep, which helps immensely,” Oliveri said. “I think I have a group this year where no matter who’s starting and not starting, I’m extremely confident that my rotational players will play the same.”

Defense was key for the Knights in their first few games, allowing just one goal versus all three opponents combined. Additionally, the team put up 17 total shots while allowing only 11 to the opposition.

“Our center-backs have played extremely well,” Oliveri said. “Seniors Chris Kanaval and Brad Campion lead by example and are two anchors of our defense. Logan Calvey is our senior goalie and he sees the whole field, and that’s a big factor for us.”

Kanaval, Campion and Calvey are all veterans on a roster that includes 13 underclassmen. Calvey alone contributed 10 saves in the team’s first three matches. The Knights have also spread offensive production around with all four goals coming from different players. Despite that production, Oliveri still expects more.

“Four goals in three games is OK, but I know that we could have gotten a couple more goals in each game,” he said. “I think a little more confidence in front of the frame would help.”

The upcoming portion of the schedule will undoubtedly challenge the Knights––their next test includes four consecutive road games. The Knights won’t play again at the College Stadium until Sept. 25 when they face SUNY Fredonia and Oliveri understands that this current stretch carries a lot of significance.

“We’re in the middle of playing six consecutive games on the road,” he said. “I said during our preseason meeting that this seven-game stretch would dictate our season leading up to conference play, and so far so good. We just have to keep our focus.”

It may be tough to spend so much time traveling and playing in front of opposing crowds, but Oliveri remains confident.

“I think there’s more concentration when you leave campus,” he said. “I think they’re away from their friends and it’s strictly books and soccer when on the road. They’ve handled the first week extremely well and in the next couple weeks, I don’t see anything significant changing.”

The Knights’ next game is at Clarkson University on Friday Sept. 11.

MLS approaches skill level of Euro leagues

Soccer pessimist Frank Deford recently submitted a National Public Radio broadcast entitled “Americans Don’t Care About Major League Soccer,” detailing why popularizing soccer in the United States is a futile effort. Deford argued for American exceptionalism when it comes to soccer—there is an emphasis on major international leagues, not MLS.

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Men’s soccer season ends in SUNYAC semifinals

The Geneseo men’s soccer team was picking up momentum at the right time as it defeated both St. John Fisher College and SUNY Potsdam on Oct. 29 and Saturday Nov. 1 respectively, but was unable to continue its success against SUNY Oneonta on Wednesday Nov. 5. The Knights thrashed Fisher 3-0. Head coach Dominic Oliveri was obviously pleased with the win, saying he was glad to see the Knights put up more than one goal in the win.

“I’m glad that we were able to give ourselves some room for error during the game,” Oliveri said. “We haven’t put up a multiple-goal win since the beginning of October. I was really pushing it on the guys for the week of Nov. 1.”

Oliveri also said that he was happy that the Knights have not only scored on set pieces, but also on the run of play.

“That’s something we worked on at practice,” he said. “All of our goals against Fisher were from the run of play. It was encouraging to see since that was what we wanted before starting the playoffs.”

The Knights continued to win as they rolled past Potsdam to launch them into the SUNYAC semifinals. Like their previous game against Fisher, the Knights tallied multiple goals to top the Bears 2-0. Oliveri said that he had expected the results, despite the team losing to Potsdam 1-0 on Oct. 25.

“We played a good game against them a week ago,” he said. “We came into this game confident that we’d come out with the win.”

The Knights blitzed the Bears with 21 shots—10 on goal. They were in high spirits as they looked forward to their showdown against undefeated SUNY Oneonta. Oliveri said that he really believed the team had a chance against the Red Dragons.

“We’re winning games at the right time of the year and I feel good about the game,” Oliveri said.

He also said an important tactic for the game was the defense.

“They are the number one defense in the conference and we are the second best defense,” Oliveri said. “Based on the way we’re playing right now, I think it’ll be a low-scoring game. In fact, I think we have it in us to win the whole thing.”

Oliveri’s prediction did not come true as Oneonta shut the Knights out 4-0. Junior midfielder Colin Volpe assisted on two of the goals for the Red Dragons. The Knights were outshot by Oneonta 13-5, with junior goalkeeper Logan Calvey making seven saves throughout the game.

The Knights finish their season with 11 wins and a semifinal playoff berth—a big improvement from last year where they did not even make it into the playoffs.

“The guys have done a great job all season and we’ve really bounced back from last year,” Oliveri said. “We were disappointed we didn’t make the playoffs last year, so I like where we are as a team now.”

No home playoff match for men’s soccer

Unlike last season, the Geneseo men’s soccer team was able to make it into the SUNYAC playoffs this year. The Knights split games against SUNY Plattsburgh on Oct. 24 and SUNY Potsdam on Saturday Oct. 25—beating the former 1-0 and losing to the latter 0-1. Even though Plattsburgh outshot the Knights 12-7, junior goalkeeper Logan Calvey was able to hold onto the lead created on a free kick from senior midfielder Neil Allen. The win against Plattsburgh ensured the Knights admission into the SUNYAC playoffs.

Geneseo was unable to find the back of the net against Potsdam with a playoff game on the line. Head coach Dominic Oliveri said that the Knights may have played their best game of the season, but they were unable to capitalize on their six shots on goal in the second half by junior midfielder Jaisen Clark and Allen.

“With possessions, they didn’t have much of the ball,” Oliveri said. “We held the ball for long, long stretches. And we not only held possession, but we were dangerous. We had a handful of chances against them. We were extremely disappointed at the end result.”

The game against Potsdam put the Knights into fifth place in the SUNYAC rankings and set them up for a rematch with the Bears on Saturday Nov. 1. Oliveri said that he needs to work on a few things with the team before the game.

“Offensively, we’re struggling to put goals in the back of the net,” Oliveri said. “It’s leaving teams in the game.”

As the playoffs begin, however, Oliveri said that he thinks the Knights match up well against Potsdam, despite their recent loss.

“I like the matchup just because we played extremely well against them and I don’t think that they will be able to keep us off the board a second time through,” he said. “I’m pretty happy about the rematch.”

Oliveri also said that the team is looking forward to the matchup.

“We think, deep down, that we’re the better team,” Oliveri said. “So from a satisfaction standpoint, I think it’s nice that we get to see them again and play there since we played well on turf. I don’t know if ‘revenge’ is the right word, but I think it’s a little extra motivation because I know we’re the better team.”

For Geneseo, all sights are set on the Saturday Nov. 1 playoff game to be played at 1 p.m. at Potsdam.