GENESEO, N.Y. – The SUNY Geneseo field hockey team kicks off the 2018 campaign this afternoon opposite Marywood at the Betty Richey Tournament, hosted by Vassar. Here are the six things you need to know about the Knights heading into the 2018 season.
1. THERE IS A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN
First-year head coach Margaret McConnell takes the reigns following the promotion of 10-year head coach Jess Seren to Assistant Athletic Director. McConnell joins the program following a two-year stint as the top assistant at the University of Rochester. Part of the winningest two-year stretch in Yellowjacket history, McConnell helped guide the squad to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a program record-tying 18-4 mark and the first Liberty League Championships in team history last fall.
2. BACK IN BUSINESS
Geneseo will be in the hunt for its ninth double-digit win season in the last 11 years as well as its ninth-consecutive postseason berth. Finishing last season with a 10-8 mark, Geneseo closed the season with a 3-0 loss at Cortland in the SUNYAC Tournament Semifinals.
3. CAP AND GOWN BLUES
Geneseo lost three of last season's top four scorers to graduation, including three-time all-region/four-time All-SUNYAC defender Morgan Maley, as well as forwards Giovanna Fasanello and Carah Stafford. Fasanello finished second in the SUNYAC with 39 points while tying for second with 16 goals. Stafford was second on the squad with 28 points (11 goals/6 assists) and finished second
4. SUDDEN IMPACT
Junior defender Julia Kim and sophomore midfielder Jordan Penkitis return following impactful first seasons with the team last fall. A Division I transfer from UAlbany, Kim was named a SUNYAC First-Team All-Star after anchoring a defensive unit that only allowed 1.78 goals per game. Penkitis was a standout in the midfield to the tune of second-team All-SUNYAC honors.
5. SENIOR MOMENTS
Geneseo returns four seniors to lead the team in 2018. Senior forward Gabriella Clare looks to follow-up a junior campaign punctuated by second-team SUNYAC All-Conference recognition while senior back Tess Necaise is back to finish her career that included SUNYAC First-Team honors as a sophomore. Senior midfielder Madison Albrecht and senior Lydia Volpe also look to finish their field hockey careers on a high note.
6. CLEAN SLATE (2018 SCHEDULE)
Geneseo's 2018 schedule is highlighted by seven matches in the friendly confines of College Stadium. After a second day of action at the Vassar tournament tomorrow, the Knights will host nationally-ranked William Smith (McConnell's alma mater) on Wednesday (Sept. 5) at 7PM in the home-opener. St. John Fisher will pay a visit a week later (Sept. 12) before SUNYAC-rival Brockport will come to town two weeks later (Sept. 26). Geneseo opens October with three-consecutive home dates opposite Houghton (Oct. 3), Oneonta (Oct. 12) and New Paltz (Oct. 13) before later hosting Nazareth in the home finale (Oct. 21). A road date with Rochester (Oct. 27) will close the regular-season, while the SUNYAC Tournament Semifinals (Oct. 31) and Championship (Nov. 3) are slated for the following week.