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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

July 24, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Sports

Senior settles into leadership role for Bombers

Senior Jeff Geyer, midfielder and co-captain of the men’s soccer team, was initially drawn to soccer because it was the only sport where he could constantly run around the field.

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From left, senior midfielder and co-captain Jeff Geyer passes upfield as Rochester Institute of Technology senior Bret Dietz watches in the Bombers’ 1–0 win Saturday at Carp Wood Field. MICHELLE MONTGOMERY/THE ITHACAN

Geyer said he tried baseball and tee-ball when he was young, but he got bored of standing around on the field.
Now, Geyer almost never stands still in games. He is always racing down the field to take a shot, tagging up on defense or showing his teammates where and when to execute the same move. Geyer has set the tone for the Bombers this season with his leadership and work ethic.
Even during the offseason, Geyer said he’s constantly keeping himself busy training.
“Running, lifting weights, even just continuing to play soccer, whatever it takes to just keep touching the ball because otherwise I’m not as in shape going into the season as I want to be,” Geyer said.
Standing at 5-foot-9-inches, Geyer plays much larger than that. From jumping to contact almost every header at the midfield, to his strong deliberate tackles and smooth passes, Geyer’s game is constantly in motion horizontally and vertically.
Though Geyer leads the Bombers with 45 shots — 23 more than the nearest player on the team, sophomore forward Ben Lloyd — Geyer said his style of play isn’t flashy.
“I’ve accepted my personality that I am not a born goal scorer,” he said.
Geyer said the increased number of shots he’s had this season is connected to the need for him to step up and lead the team in the absence of more proven offensive threats.
“This year, we have no designated goal scorer like we’ve had in the past,” Geyer said. “So you might as well just take your chances and try to score a goal whenever you see the opportunity because eventually something’s going to happen.”
On Saturday, the team’s senior day, Geyer scored the only goal for the Blue and Gold, his second of the season, in their 1–0 win against Rochester Institute of Technology. Geyer said he was thrilled to finally score a goal, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as meaningful if the team hadn’t held on to pull out the win.
“A goal in our last home game and on senior day is just pretty surreal,” Geyer said. “It’s just a great feeling, especially since we won.”
Despite a disappointing season where the Bombers were ranked third in the Empire 8 preseason coaches’ poll but didn’t win until their seventh game, Geyer said he has continued to try to motivate the team.
“I approach the role of captain as more a tool for setting an example and motivating people by my actions,” Geyer said. “In a large team setting, it’s hard to inspire absolutely everyone with words, but showing your dedication and passion is one way to get your point across to people you’re leading.”
Geyer’s fellow co-captain, senior midfielder Matt Baluzy, said Geyer is exceptionally good at communicating and motivating each player.
“I’m less talkative than him so he definitely is willing to tell people what to do, where to do it, help the younger players out,” Baluzy said. “But he’s not afraid to yell at people to pick up the pace in practice.”
Freshman forward Brennan Edmonds said he and his fellow underclassmen have learned a lot from Geyer.
“Because our team is so young, we need someone to step into that strong leadership role and set examples for us, so that’s what Jeff has done as a player on and off the field,” Edmonds said.
Geyer has also distinguished himself academically as a business administration major with a concentration in finance and international business. While Geyer said he is proud of his academic success, he takes the most pride in having been co-president of the student financial club, Core Trading Consultants.
Geyer said one lesson he’s learned from playing soccer is to set the tempo of the game through his play.
“During a close game, I see myself as someone who needs to remain composed and focused on the end result instead of being distracted,” he said. “Although I may not be eagerly trying to make something happen or be directly involved in the commotion, my role is to get the job done.”