GENESEO, N.Y. – The SUNY Geneseo field hockey team kicks off the 2019 campaign this Friday opposite Marywood (Pa.) on the first day of the Betty Richey Tournament, hosted by Vassar. Here are six things you need to know about the Knights in 2019.
1. LET'S DO THAT HOCKEY
Geneseo will be in the hunt for its 10th-consecutive postseason berth after compiling a 9-7 mark under first-year head coach Margaret McConnell, including a 4-2 SUNYAC mark to earn the third seed for last year's conference tournament. The Knights' season came to a close with a 3-2 setback at top-seeded and eventual champion New Paltz to finish one victory short of their ninth double-digit win total in 11 seasons.
Senior midfielder Julia Kim returns after landing Third-Team All-America honors as well as SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year recognition. Only the third All-American in program history and first since 2013, Kim will be in the hunt for her third-consecutive All-SUNYAC First-Team nod after transferring from Division I Albany prior to the 2017 campaign. She finished fourth for the Knights with 11 points, including five goals that were the team's third-highest total.
3. BULLISH ON JORDAN
Junior midfielder Jordan Penkitis capped her sophomore campaign with her second-consecutive All-SUNYAC Second-Team honor. One of the top defensive midfielders in the region, she also tied for second on the team with 13 points on three goals and a team-high seven assists.
4. RIGHT COMBINATION
Despite the graduation of four starters, including leading scorer (10 goals, 23 points) and All-SUNYAC Second-Team forward Gabriella Clare, McConnell welcomes back a veteran group led by captains Kim, Penkitis and senior forward Erin Nolan. She also anticipates 13 newcomers will have an immediate impact on the squad this fall.
5. SQUAD GOALIE
Sophomore goalie Natalie Chojnacki returns after backstopping a Geneseo defense that allowed a conference-low 20 goals and a 1.24 goals against average, including six shutouts. Midway through the season, Geneseo put together a streak of four-consecutive shutouts and nearly 350 minutes spanning six matches without allowing a goal. The Knights also out-scored their opponents by 1.75 goals per game to finish in the top-30 nationally in scoring margin.
6. HERE'S THE PLAN (2019 SCHEDULE)
Geneseo's 2019 schedule is highlighted by seven matches in the friendly confines of College Stadium. After a second day of action at the Vassar tournament on Saturday, the Knights will travel to William Smith (McConnell's alma mater) on Wednesday (Sept. 4). Geneseo hosts Skidmore (Sept. 7) in the home opener before kicking off a three-game road trip at St. John Fisher (Sept. 11). Following trips to Washington & Jefferson (Sept. 14) and Nazareth (Sept. 18), the Knights return home to host Ithaca (Sept. 21) and Wells (Sept. 25) before kicking off their SUNYAC slate opposite visiting Morrisville (Sept. 28). Geneseo opens October playing four of five games on the road, including trips to Cortland (Oct. 5) and New Paltz (Oct. 12), before finishing the regular season with three of four games at home, including SUNYAC-rivals Oneonta (Oct. 19) and Brockport (Oct. 30). The Knights entertain nationally-ranked Rochester (Nov. 2) before the SUNYAC Tournament Semifinals (Nov. 6) and Championship (Nov. 9) the following week.