Posted: Nov 10, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - SUNY Geneseo takes on Stevens in the NCAA Division III Tournament First Round, hosted by Williams (Mass.) on Saturday. The Knights enter the weekend with a 14-3-1 record after a 1-0 victory over Cortland to earn their second-straight SUNYAC Championship and automatic qualifying bid. Stevens owns a 15-2-0 record, including 13-straight victories, and defeated Utica, 3-0, to win their fourth-consecutive Empire 8 Championship.
LAST TIME OUT
Geneseo junior forward Domenica Piccoli scored in the 61st minute to send the Knights to a 1-0 victory over visiting Cortland in the SUNYAC Tournament Final, Saturday at College Stadium. First-year forward Hannah Sullivan beat a defender on the left flank, crossed the ball to junior midfielder Sarah Loprieno who fired a shot that Piccoli redirected into the net. Geneseo held Cortland without a shot throughout the contest to earn its second-straight conference title.
CREAM OF THE CROP
Eight Knights were voted State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) All-Stars this fall. Senior goalkeeper Emily Janiszewski was named SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year and was joined on the first team by sophomore forward Miranda Ozimek, senior midfielder Caitie Cunningham, senior back Rachel Walsh and sophomore back Taylor Clar. First-year midfielder Hannah Sullivan and junior forward Domenica Piccoli both landed on the second team while senior midfielder Jennifer Moran earned third-team honors.
KNIGHTS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Geneseo holds a 3-5-4 record in six NCAA appearances, while advancing on penalty kicks in three out of four draws. Last season, the Knights defeated visiting Penn State Berks, 2-1 (OT), in the first round, and Misericordia, 1-0 (2OT), in the second round before falling to Johns Hopkins, 2-0, in the third round. Geneseo has reached the third round three times, and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals in 1994.
DEFEND THE REALM
Geneseo has only allowed eight goals in 18 games and ranks sixth in Division III with 14 shutouts. The Knights have allowed just one goal since September 12, shutting out 11 of their last 12 opponents.
PICCOLI BEATS THE GOALIE
Junior forward Domenica Piccoli leads the Knights in goals with eight, including the game-winner against Cortland in the SUNYAC Final. In three seasons, Piccoli has scored 19 goals and dished off eight assists. Geneseo is 22-1-1 all-time in games in which Piccoli registers at least one point.
KEEPING GOOD COMPANY
Junior goalkeeper Emily Janiszewski ranks fourth among Division III goalkeepers in goals against average (0.190) tied for third in the nation in save percentage (.929). She tied Geneseo's all-time single-season mark with 13 shutouts, while her 41 career shutouts are a program record.
DON'T GET BYRNE-D
Junoir forward Ashley Byrne saved the Knights' season in last year's NCAA Tournament on two occasions. Byrne came off the bench against Penn State Berks with the team trailing, 1-0, and netted the game-tying goal in the 89th minute to send the contest into overtime. Against Misericordia, Byrne came off the bench again to bury the game-winning goal in the second overtime period, propelling the Knights to the NCAA Tournament third round.
BEEN HERE, DONE THIS
The Knights return nine starters from last year's NCAA Tournament run, including their entire defensive unit. Senior goalkeeper Emily Janiszewski, senior back Rachel Walsh, junior backs Taylor Clar and Sarah LeFrois and junior defensive midfielder Sarah Loprieno are all back. On offense, senior midfielders Jennifer Moran and Caitie Cunningham, junior midfielder Grace Dunningan and junior forward Domenica Piccoli all started last season.
FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC
In 12 NCAA Tournament games across six appearances, Geneseo has gone into extra time on eight occasions. The Knights own a 3-1-4 mark in those contests, and have advanced on penalties in three out of four draws. Geneseo earned overtime wins in two NCAA Tournament home games last season, a 2-1 win over Penn State Berks in overtime and a 1-0 victory over Misericordia in double-overtime.
Geneseo has never faced Stevens in women's soccer. The only previous time that the two institutions have faced off in the NCAA Tournament was in the 2016 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament, where the host Ducks defeated the Knights, 66-60, in the second round.