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Both St. John’s soccer teams continue to win heading into Big East play

Men’s and women’s soccer combine to go 3-1 last week, outscoring opponents 9-3

Tani Oluwaseyi, last season
Wendell Cruz

St. John’s soccer went an aggregate 3-1 this week, with the sole defeat coming by the men’s team during a narrow defeat at Seton Hall.

Men’s Soccer

After having a game postponed and another canceled to end last week, the Johnnies opened this week with a statement win against Stony Brook and then suffered their first loss of the season to end the week. Here’s how it all went down.

St. John’s 4, Stony Brook 2

The host Johnnies kicked off the match last Tuesday against Stony Brook with a goal nine seconds in.

The goal was sophomore F Wesley Leggett’s first as a Johnny and was assisted by preseason Offensive Player of the Year Tani Oluwaseyi.

At the 10’ mark, F Einar Lye put a PK in the back of the net to go up 2-0 and Oluwaseyi put in the final two goals for the Johnnies at 13’ and 64’, the latter of which was a returned favor, assisted by Wesley Leggett. Defensively, the Johnnies held up allowing only six shots and only five fouls. Goalies Jan Hoffelner and Luka Gavran split the game yet again and played nearly identical halves allowing a goal and a save each.

Despite falling down 3-0 in the 13th minute, the Seawolves didn’t give up, bringing the match to 3-2 in the 61st minute. The Wolves were victimized most by their own mishaps as three offsides calls and 11 fouls (including one in the box that yielded the Einar Lye PK goal) killed crucial possessions and turned to points for the red hot Johnnies team.

St. John’s 0, Seton Hall 1

The Big East opener for the Johnnies matched the Stony Brook game in stats and excitement, but produced a far lower scoring and opposite outcome.

The Johnnies were blanked on all eight of their shots partially because only one was actually on goal. The team committed nine fouls, tying the season-high with the St. Joe’s game. Struggles continued in the defense as the team conceded 13 shots (eight on goal) and six corners to the Pirates in the eventual losing effort. As usual, Gavran and Hoffelner split time in goal; Hoffelner in the first half and Gavran in the second.

The Pirates benefitted from an early stroke of luck a la St. John’s against Stony Brook as their second shot of the match found the net only 98 seconds in. The goal came on a second-chance effort after a Hoffelner save that found its way back into play. Despite their success, the Pirates failed to close the door on the Johnnies as they committed 15 fouls and four offsides that presented opportunities to tie throughout.

Looking forward: The Johnnies face the conference newcomer in UConn on Wednesday, March 3rd in the first of two home games this week. The Big East newbies were once actually in the Big East, and battled St. John’s for supremacy on the pitch, matching St. John’s with a National Title.

The Johnnies will then host Villanova on Saturday, March 6th seeking to improve on their 24-9-6 record against the Wildcats all-time.

Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team moved to 3-0 on the season after consecutive clean sheets last week.

St. John’s 4, Sacred Heart University 0

The week began with F Jessica Garziano’s first career hat trick and 2nd straight game with a goal. Garziano scored at 29’, 66’, and 69’ to put her season tally at four goals. Outside of that it seemed like the team played down to their competition giving up 14 fouls and being caught offsides twice. Goalie Niya Lipkens played the full match in net, saving two shots to receive her 2nd clean sheet this year.

The Pioneers played a relatively clean match committing only eight fouls, but putting only 2 of 5 shots. That output made it hard to keep pace with the Johnnie women.

St. John’s 1, University of Massachusetts 0

The ladies ended their week with another clean sheet on a wet Sunday afternoon. Jessica Garziano, to no surprise, scored the game's lone goal on a PK in the 66th minute. As a team, the Johnnies got plenty of quality looks on goal with 10 shots and five on target.

Again, Jordan Kamp and Niya Lipkens split the game in net, but since Lipkens turned away the Minutewomen’s lone shot on goal, she was credited with the win. The Johnnies committed 12 fouls and were caught offsides 4 times throughout the tight match.

For the Minutewomen, their 10 fouls committed nearly leveled the 12 committed by the host Johnnies and kept them out of the game. Their five shots and one on goal weren’t enough to overcome the penalty committed that gave the Johnnies their lone goal of the match.

Of note: F Jessica Garziano scored 100% of the goals for her team this week including a dominant hat trick in the team’s 2nd game of the year.

Looking forward: The women’s soccer team has 2 home matches this week against conference rivals. The first match is against Villanova on Thursday, March 4th, and the 2nd on Sunday, March 7th as they take on Seton Hall.