Knights handle Lakers

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Geneseo senior forward Michelle Milkovich had her way with the Laker defense in the second half, scoring the game’s only goals in the Blue Knights 2-0 victory over the Oswego State field hockey team Saturday afternoon at Laker Field.

After a scoreless first half, Milkovich found the back of the net with 17:15 remaining in the game. Milkovich brought the ball into the offensive box on the right side where she fired a cross-goal shot that beat Laker goalie Jamie Scharfe and into the bottom left corner of the net.

"After the first half I think we picked it up a notch and played our game," Milkovich said.

Following extensive pressure by the Lakers in the last 10 minutes of the game, Milkovich sealed the victory for the Blue Knights with her second goal of the game with 4:09 remaining. Milkovich’s goal was the result of a Geneseo penalty corner taken by senior forward Stephanie Maisonet. Maisonet passed the ball off from the offensive end line to sophomore defender Katie Gallo positioned to the left of the goal. Gallo passed the ball behind her to Milkovich, who rocketed a shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

"Penalty corners are tough because they’re such a numbers game; you should score the majority of the time," Laker coach Brandi Ostrander said. "(Michelle) is obviously one of their stronger players and we should have tried to deny her a little bit more on that corner."

The Blue Knights capitalized on just one of their 18 penalty corner opportunities, but the one successful attempt ended any chance of a Laker comeback.

"It’s a lot of hard work and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates behind me," Milkovich said. "The defenders and the midfielders really helped push the ball up to me and that helped me get some fast breaks."

Despite the loss, Ostrander believed that her team played well considering how talented the SUNYAC-leading Blue Knights are.

"We came out ready to give them a good game and I think we did," Ostrander said. "You had two teams coming off great wins to challenge each other today and I think we did a nice job."

Both teams had a plethora of opportunities in the first half to net the game’s first goal, but both Scharfe (five saves) and Geneseo goalie Caitlyn Dowell (four saves) held their own. The first half featured a total of 12 penalty corner attempts, two by the Lakers and 10 by the Blue Knights. The defense remained solid, as the Lakers allowed just one shot on goal during those 10 attempts. Geneseo had the best opportunity with 6:45 remaining in the half when sophomore forward Chellie Johnson handled a rebound from her own shot, but pushed the ball wide left of the goal.

The Lakers did not quit in the second half despite giving up Milkovich’s first goal of the game. Following a Laker timeout with 13:02 remaining in the game, Oswego State applied heavy pressure for a solid six-minute span. The Lakers earned three penalty corners but failed to capitalize. The Oswego State offense registered just two shots in the second half, none of which made it to Dowell.

The Lakers defeated Elmira College, 5-0, on Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference game to improve to 3-5 overall. Oswego State returns to conference play on Saturday, Oct. 9 at home against SUNY Morrisville looking to improve on their 1-2 SUNYAC record.