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Recapping: St. John’s soccer seasons draw to a close with postseason hopes

Both men’s and women’s soccer squads come into the waning weeks of their seasons in the postseason mix.

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Men’s Soccer

St. John’s 0 | Seton Hall 0

The men hosted the Pirates from Seton Hall for a match last Saturday. The match contained very little excitement for the soccer enthusiast, but a lot for those who like chippy extracurricular play.

Both sides kept the referees busy as they recorded 47 fouls in the game. Both sides committed 11 violations in the first half of regulation and the first half of overtime. The Johnnies out-fouled the Pirates 10-9 and 2-0 in the second halves of regulation and overtime respectively.

While the Johnnies won the foul battle by three, the Pirates received four yellow cards and a red compared to the three yellows issued to the Johnnies.

Although the Johnnies played a man up after the 87th-minute red card, there was no discernible advantage in play between the two squads.

Outside of the fouls and disciplinary action of the match, there was a shot on goal for each squad in each half of regulation and nothing afterward to show for the 16-5 shot lead the Johnnies would hold over the 110-minute bout.

St. John’s 1 | #2 Georgetown 2

The Red Storm began this week’s slate with a duel in Washington, D.C. against the nation’s second-ranked team, the Georgetown Hoyas.

Wednesday’s match was the 5th straight overtime match played by the men’s squad, and despite ending in a loss, the team will take the effort against a ranked team any day.

The match began with a shot by St. John’s only 28 seconds in that was blocked; the Hoyas would score on the counter attack to take a lead in the 2nd minute. The Johnnies tamed the Hoyas for the rest of the half and got three shots on goal compared to the one put up by the Hoyas after their goal.

St. John’s F Wesley Leggett christened the second half with an early goal in the 49th minute assisted by M Brandon Knapp to level the match.

While the Hoyas returned the favor and put up three shots on goal in the second half, the regulation ended in a tie and opened the door for the Johnnies to beat a #2 team with a golden goal.

The overtime periods were uneventful until the waning minutes of the 2nd frame when the Johnnies had a promising opportunity to put the game away in the 109th minute. F Micaah Garnette had the final shot on goal for the Johnnies but had his ball saved and promptly sent upfield with urgency by the Hoyas’ goalkeeper. Hoya D Kieran Sargeant sent his first collegiate goal home to win the match with 38 seconds remaining.

The overtime match was the 5th straight extra time contest played by the men. They are 1-2-2 in those matches. The team will look to catch a break physically and end the season strong as they host Marquette (on Saturday), travel to DePaul, and host Butler to end the year.

Women’s Soccer

St. John’s 3 | Marquette 4

Opening last week the Red Storm women faced Marquette on Thursday. Early on, the Johnnies found themselves down by a couple of scores in the 14th minute. From then on the Johnnies dominated the Golden Eagles with a 3-1 scoring margin in regulation — enough to send the game to extra time.

The first of the St. John’s goals came in the 23rd minute scored by Isabelle Aviza and assisted by F Zsani Kajan and Jessica Garziano. But thirty-three seconds away from taking a one-goal lead into the half, the Golden Eagles struck for the final time in regulation to double their lead and make the score 3-1.

D Frederique St.-Jean ended the longest dormant streak of the game for the Johnnies and put another tally on the board in the 69th minute, assisted by M Ava Collins, to record her first goal of the season and 2nd of her career.

Freshman F Athina Sofroniou knotted the game up for St. John’s in crunch time as she sent a shot just under the crossbar to beat the Marquette keeper and send the game into extra time. Sofroniou’s goal was the first of her collegiate career — and a crucial one for St. John’s in their battle to make the Big East’s postseason.

The golden goal was scored by the Golden Eagles in the 8th minute of overtime to drop the Johnnies to 2-3-1 in conference play. The four goals charged against G Naya Lipkens matches her career-high of four when the Johnnies lost to Providence back in 2019.

St. John’s 1 | Providence 0

As all good teams do, the ladies bounced back from their defensive heartbreaker with a win at home to bring them back to .500 in conference play.

The match was largely uneventful as Naya Lipkens owned her zone and turned away all five shots that came her direction on Sunday.

As one might expect, the lone goal of the match was scored by Zsani Kajan by way of a PK in the 63rd minute. Kajan’s tally was her 11th of the season, coming amidst a dry spell by her standards as she dropped out of the top-10 in scoring in the nation with a dormant series of matches.

St. John’s 1 | Seton Hall 0

The ladies began the closeout of their season as they needed to with a win over the Seton Hall Pirates last night.

M Maia Cabrera won the game for the Johnnies in the 44th minute with a strike from outside the box as the team was counter attacking after a Pirate turnover. Cabrera’s goal was her second of the season and provided Junior M Angelina Scoma an assist for her first point as a collegiate athlete.

GK Naya Lipkens looks as if she’s returned to her peak form with two shutouts in her past two matches bringing her shutout totals to four in conference play and eight matches overall.

The Johnnies outshot the Pirates 15-7 and recorded more shots on goal, 6-3. The Johnnies also committed seven fouls to the three by Seton Hall, but dominated the match in spite of those numbers.

Moving forward, the ladies will try to escape the Big East Tournament bubble with wins at Creighton (who they play Sunday) and hosting Villanova to close out the season by Thursday of next week.

Despite being 4-3-1 at the bottom of the tournament bubble the ladies are poised to be in the tournament as Villanova and Creighton are the bottom two teams in the Big East standings. Butler and UConn (both bubble teams) have to face conference-leading Xavier before the season ends.

DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, and Providence (rest of the bubble) all face another bubble team at least once before the end of the season, limiting points available to competitors. The race is about to get interesting and opponent strength strongly favors the Johnnies over the next week and a half.