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Men’s and women’s soccer teams return to the pitch

St. John’s men’s and women’s soccer teams ended their pandemic hiatuses with home wins

C MA via Unsplash

The Johnnies men’s soccer team opened the season on February 15th after a 14-month pandemic-induced hiatus from play. Last season ended in a rather heartbreaking manner with a 2nd round NCAA tournament loss by a score of 3-0 at Virginia who lost to Georgetown in the title game.

The Johnnies look to continue the magic from last season into the delayed (and slightly shortened) 2020 season and having the Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in Junior F Tani Oluwaseyi will help a ton.

St. John’s 1, St. Joseph’s 0

The season opener against St. Joseph’s University, originally scheduled for Saturday, February 13th, was postponed to Monday the 15th due to COVID-19 testing protocols. The delay was just another couple of days for the team as they continued their hot streak from last season with a 1-0 win. The game’s lone goal came from two familiar faces, scored by Preseason OPOTY Tani Oluwaseyi and assisted by Junior M/D Brandon Knapp. G Luka Gavran and G Jan Hoffelner each took a half of play in goal combining for the clean sheet.

The Fordham @ St. John’s match scheduled for 5:30 pm on Thursday, February 18th was postponed because of Fordham’s two-week pause on athletic activities. Per the team, there is hope the game can be rescheduled for later in the season.

The NJIT @ St. John’s match scheduled for 5:00 pm on Saturday, February 20th was postponed to Sunday, February 21st at 11:00 am and later canceled after a positive OCVID test from the NJIT personnel. The match would have been the first of a doubleheader including the Women’s team later in the day.

The St. John’s men’s soccer team will look to move to 3-0 by this time next week as they host on Stony Brook on Tuesday, February 23rd, and travel to Seton Hall on Saturday, February 27th.

St. John’s Women’s Soccer

Similar to F Tani Oluwaseyi of the men’s squad, F Zsani Kajan brought home Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors as her squad looks to kick off the season against Albany on Sunday, February 21st at 2:00 pm. The team will look to rebound off a disappointing 5-12-1 finish last season with a return to form for coach Ian Stone, who looks to add to his program leading win total of 227.

The season opener for the women’s team will mark 479 days since their last competitive match.

St. John’s 6, Albany 1

The season opener for St. John’s went better than most had imagined as the women won big at home. The women split the 6 goals evenly among 6 players and racked up 6 assists among 4 players.

Sequentially, the goals came as follows: M Jessica Garziano, sub-M Maia Cabrera, D Brooke Boyd, F Addison Hornsey, F Zsani Kajan, and M Ava Collins. The 6 goal total is the 2nd highest single-game tally for the women’s team this century. Freshman G Naya Lipkens recorded the win in goal allowing Albany’s sole goal in her 81 minutes of play.

Following their season-opening blowout, the St. John’s women’s soccer team looks to move to 3-0 on the season as they take on Sacred Heart and the University of Massachusetts on Thursday, February 25th and Sunday, February 28th respectively.