Strong Nucleus Returns To Defend Last Year's SUNYAC Title

GENESEO, N.Y. – The SUNY Geneseo field hockey team kicks off the 2017 season next Friday (Sept. 1) opposite Manhattanville at the Vassar College Tournament. Tenth-year head coach Jess Seren and the Knights return to defend their 2017 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) title and will be in the hunt for a return trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament. 

Four All-SUNYAC picks, including a pair of All-Region selections, headline a strong returning cast that led the program to its first conference championship and NCAA bid since 2010 a year ago. Senior midfielder Morgan Maley was tabbed the SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year while landing National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-North Atlantic Region First-Team recognition after anchoring a Knights' backfield that finished the season only allowing 1.99 goals per game for the second-lowest mark in the conference. Maley also ended up third on the team with 19 points and was second with nine assists en route to her second-straight all-region certificate and third-straight all-conference honor.

Senior midfielder Giovanna Fasanello looks to follow up a junior campaign that saw her land both first-team all-region and All-SUNYAC plaudits after totaling 48 points to tie for the second-highest single-season total in program history. Tabbed the SUNYAC Tournament MVP after scoring a hat trick in Geneseo's 3-2 OT win over Oneonta in the championship match, her 18 goals were the third-highest single season total by a Knight while her 12 assists were one short of a school record.

Junior midfielder Tess Necaise and senior forward Cara Stafford also return after landing first and second-team All-SUNYAC recognition, respectively. Necaise finished fourth on the squad with 15 points on five goals and five assists while Stafford was second in points (22) and goals (10).

Seren brings in a six-member first-year class for 2017, adding significant depth on the attack with forwards Allison Prescott, Haley Clark and Sarah Armbrust. First-year midfielder Jordan Penkitis, first-year defender Kelly McKeveny and first-year goalkeeper Mia Ludwig also join the 2017 squad as they pursue the program's third conference title. 

After opening the season with a pair of matches at Vassar next week prior to a midweek visit to William Smith (Sept. 6), Geneseo will open the home portion of the schedule opposite Skidmore (Sept. 9) at 12:00 p.m. Cortland will pay a visit to College Stadium the following Friday (Sept. 15) for a 4:00 p.m. showdown to open the SUNYAC portion of the Knights' slate. Geneseo will travel to Oneonta a week later for a rematch of the 2016 SUNYAC Championship match. The conference tournament is scheduled for Nov. 1 (semifinals) and Nov. 4 (championship).

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