For the second straight year, the men’s soccer team opened its season with a 1–1 draw against SUNY Geneseo, rallying from behind to tie the Blue Knights in double-overtime. The two teams had opened the 2009 season with a 0-0 draw.
Geneseo scored first in the 26th minute with a goal by junior forward Ian Mort. Senior goalkeeper Justin Parlapiano kept the Bombers in the game with seven saves. The Bombers came back in the 61st minute when sophomore midfielder Ben Lloyd scored his first career goal on a direct kick, after Geneseo was called for a foul outside the right edge of the penalty area.
Lloyd’s shot sailed over three of the Knights’ defenders and past the goalkeeper to tie the game at one. Lloyd had played in six games as a freshman but failed to score in any of them.
Sophomore midfielder/defensive back Jack Shirley said the Bombers’ success in the second half was because of better player rotation, despite having fewer shots than in first half.
“It was more of us getting more players into the game,” Shirley said. “In the first half, we went with our starters for a while. In the second half, we were cycling more people in. It was really hot out so it was really important for us to get fresh legs in and we got more into the rhythm of the game.
This was the first game this season that the Blue and Gold got to go up against another squad with their new formation. Shirley said it took some time to develop a rhythm with the new arrangement.
“This was a new formation for us so it took us a little more time to get used to the new formation,” Shirley said. “We were knocking around the ball a little better and getting to the outside flanks a little better in the second half.”
Head Coach Andy Byrne said the Bombers still have a lot to work on, but he was confident of how his team fared amid the 90-degree heat and a coping with several injuries.
“There’s tons of work to be done for sure, but the conditions made it tough and the 90-degree temperatures were hard on everybody,” Byrne said. “We have a few guys hurt so we were playing guys without much experience, and that’s kind of where the [Geneseo] goal came from, but they showed nice composure coming back to tie it up. They played a lot better in the second half.”
Senior midfielder and team co-captain Jeff Geyer also said the temperature changed the flow of the game.
“The heat of the game was tough to deal with but it’s something we have to push forward [through for] the rest of the game,” Geyer said. “It’s the first game of the season, we’re obviously looking to push ourselves and see what our team is capable of against a good team like Geneseo. We’re not surprised the game went into overtime, it’s what we’ve done in the past.”
The Bombers return to the field this weekend for the Doug May Classic against Rochester Institute of Technology at 2 p.m. in Rochester, N.Y.