With Big East Tournament play just over a week away for the women and two weeks for the men, it is a must-win weekend for St. John’s Soccer.
Men’s soccer - at DePaul
The men kick off the weekend tomorrow at 2:00 P.M. on the road in Chicago against DePaul. The team hasn’t won in their last five games. Their most recent loss proved to be demoralizing when the Marquette Golden Eagles escaped with a win on one of the last kicks of double-overtime in Queens.
The Blue Demons currently sit last place in the conference standings with four points. Against a team that sits in last place, it’s a must-win for St. John’s. The Red Storm are in a three-way tie with Creighton and Marquette with seven points.
But don’t let the record fool you about DePaul. The Blue Demons average over 14 shots per game, good for second in the conference. They also have scored more goals than St. John’s this season, 17 goals compared to 14.
Where St. John’s holds the big upper hand is defense. The team is currently ranked second in the conference in both goals allowed and goals against average. Only first place Georgetown has a better statistical defense than St. John’s.
The team’s defense will have their hands full with DePaul’s best attacker, Philipp Konigstein. The German midfielder is ranked top 6 in the conference in shots, points and goals.
This past week, freshman striker Jack Shearer, one of the Red Storm’s emerging stars, was recognized by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Out of 100 ranked freshmen, the site ranked Shearer as the 43rd best freshman in the country.
St. John’s women - home to Xavier
Fresh off a huge 2-1 win on the road at Villanova last night, the St. John’s women’s team will host Xavier at 1:00 P.M. on Sunday.
Xavier is currently ranked second in the conference, while St. John’s sits tied at fifth place with Marquette. A win for the Red Storm and a Marquette loss on Sunday will only give St. John’s outright fifth place in the conference. The top six teams make the Big East Tournament.
St. John’s will look to Christina Bellero to provide the goals for the upset. Bellero picked up another goal last night at ‘Nova to give her seven tallies on the season. The creative spark for the team has been Lucy Whipp. Whipp had both assists last night, and has five on the season.
The main player St. John’s has to watch out for is Sydney Schembri. With six goals on the season, she has proved to be the Musketeers’ best player in front of goal. However, Musketeers players Tori Doss and Emma Westwater each have four tallies, proving that Xavier can score from a multitude of areas.
The interest contrast in this game will be the clear distinction that St. John’s is a second half team, while Xavier tends to fall off in the second half.
St. John’s has only scored five goals in the first frame this season, compared to 10 second half goals. Xavier has only let in three goals, while letting in 13 in the second half. The team’s best chance for an upset is grinding out the first 45 minutes and then wearing Xavier down to pounce in the second half.