The St. John’s women’s soccer team had a strong run in the Big East’s postseason, and have earned a shot at the National Championship with an NCAA Tournament berth.
The tournament bid is the first for coach Ian Stone and the ladies since the 2015 campaign when the Johnnies were crowned conference champions. Four other Big East teams made the NCAA Tournament: Butler, Georgetown, Providence, and Xavier.
The Red Storm ladies will travel to take on Brown University on November 13th to open the tournament with the winner of 4th seeded Auburn and Samford to come next week.
The game will be at 1 pm and on the road at Brown’s Stevenson-Pincince Field.
Brown, winners of two consecutive Ivy League titles (the Ivy League did not play in 2020), went 7-0 in their conference this season, with four shut outs. They also beat UConn by a score of 5-0, for what it’s worth.
Brown forward Brittany Rapinho [#10] scored 11 goals, eight in conference, and added a team-high-tying six assists. The other player with six assists was midfielder Zoe Maxwell [#17]. Forward Ava Seelenfreund [#11] added eight goals on the season.
The Red Storm have been rolling behind dynamo scorer F Zsani Kajan, who received the league’s Offensive Player of the Year award. Jessica Garziano was named to the Big East Second Team, and Athina Sofroniou was named to the league’s all-Freshman team.
St. John’s defeated Providence, and #11 Xavier to reach the Big East Championship Game. But the Red Storm fell to Connecticut in the final, as their struggle getting shots off continued.
Against Providence, the team scored two goals on three shots, winning in overtime; GK Naya Lipkens saved five shots.
Against Xavier, St. John’s was outshot 15 to four, with GK Naya Lipkens saving five shots and Zsani Kajan scoring the lone goal in the contest to get the Johnnies away with a win.
After watching the tides of the match ebb and flow, the Hoyas earned a corner kick, and a Hoya header from the near post beat G Naya Lipkens in the 64th minute to take the first and only lead of the game.
Despite the loss, the ladies were selected to compete in the NCAA Women’s soccer tournament, joining Xavier, Providence, Butler, and conference champion Georgetown repping the Big East.
St. John’s gets a chance to show their defensive grit — and their spectacular scorer Kajan — once more tomorrow.
The men wrapped up their regular season with three matches in an 11-day stretch from October 23 to November 3 before their first Big East Tournament match since 2019.
In Big East play, St. John’s fell to Butler 0-0 (Butler won, 4-2, on penalty kicks).
The Bulldogs converted on a PK in the 3rd round, saved the ensuing St. John’s kick, and converted in the 4th round to put pressure on St. John’s. M Einar Lye stepped up to the PK spot for the Johnnies and sent a chip just high of the crossbar to lock a Butler win.
The loss is the fourth straight by St. John’s in NCAA tournament play dating back to 2017 when the squad fell in the finals to host team Georgetown.
The Big East men’s championship is on Sunday, where Georgetown will host Providence. The men will find out if they are picked for the NCAA Tournament on Monday November 15th.