SUNY Geneseo edges Stevenson 5-4 in NCAA tournament second round
GENESEO, N.Y. -- SUNY Geneseo junior attack Katey Hart scored three goals, including the game-winning tally with 1:10 remaining in the game to lead the Knights to a 5-4 victory against Stevenson in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament on Saturday at Saratoga Field.
Geneseo (17-2) advances to the round-of-16 where it will face Franklin & Marshall, which defeated Catholic 17-11 in the day's other tournament action. The game will be hosted by Salisbury.
Stevenson (13-6) opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game as senior attack Mandy Marston converted a free-position shot at 27:34. Geneseo won the ensuing draw control before sophomore midfielder Liz Feliz scored on a drive to net 34 seconds later to knot the game 1-1 at 27:00.
In a first half marred by a combined 22 turnovers, Hart netted the only other goal of the first 30 minutes of play to stake the Knights to a 2-1 halftime lead. The Mustang defense converged on Geneseo's Caroline Buonocore on a free position attempt, but she was able to dump a pass to an open Hart who converted from close range with 18:07 on the clock.
Hart kicked off the second half with another free-position conversion, taking a pass from senior midfielder Emily Haggerty, and scoring on the crease to give the Knights a 3-1 advantage at 27:31. Stevenson would answer less than five minutes later after sophomore attack Tori Wagner looped a shot over Geneseo junior goalie Laura Passamonte and off the cross bar that was called a goal with 22:52 remaining in the half.
Haggerty put the Knights back up by two on a nice low-to-high shot in space over Mustang junior goalie Leanne Bittner's shoulder into the top left corner of the goal to make it a 4-2 game with 10:07 remaining.
With under five minutes left on the clock, Stevenson sophomore attack Kathryn Merrick scored back-to-back goals in less than a two-minute span to tie the game, 4-4. Following a Geneseo turnover, Merrick finished off a free position shot at 4:15, before taking a pass from senior attack Leah Warner in front of the Knights' cage and slipping a shot past Passamonte for the equalizer with 2:24 left in the half.
Haggerty, who won five total draw controls on the afternoon, controlled the ball on ensuing play. Following a Stevenson foul, Hart would make a nice fake and dump the decisive goal over Bittner for what proved to be the game-winner. Haggerty would again win the final draw as the Knights held on for the victory in their first home NCAA tournament contest.
Haggerty's five wins helped Geneseo build a 9-2 advantage in draw controls, while the Knights out-shot the Mustangs, 25-15, on the afternoon. Bittner was credited with 10 saves, including several big stops that kept Stevenson close the whole game. Passamonte was equally up to the task on numerous occasions, finishing the game with nine stops.
The win marked the second consecutive season that Geneseo opened the NCAA tournament with a victory. The Knights also defeated host Susquehanna 15-7 in the first round, before falling to Bowdoin 10-6 in the second round during the program's first NCAA appearance.