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St. John’s soccer gets started with Big East play

Both men’s and women’s soccer squads are gearing up for this week’s conference play.

Brenden Willsch

Both soccer squads for St. John’s played a light schedule last week with one game per side. The men emerged victorious in their conference opener at Xavier while the women were blanked at Yale to finish their non-conference schedule.

Their weeks are recapped below.

Men’s Soccer: St. John’s 1 | Xavier 0

Both Xavier and St. John’s played their conference play opener on Saturday in Cincinnati and the Johnnies won the battle with force over the clean match.

The game’s lone goal was scored in the 71st minute by M Brandon Knapp who had been named to the Big East Honor Roll for his performances in the previous week. Knapp’s header to the back of the net was his 3rd goal of the season and was sent his direction by D Jared Juleau’s perfect centering cross.

The Johnnies won the shot battle 13-4 and created breathing room by not allowing the Musketeers to take a single shot in the second half. While the shot margin was wide, Xavier was more accurate as three of their four shots were on target and only five from the Johnnies were towards the net.

On the other side of the ball, Luka Gavran was the Johnny of the Day in net and issued a shutout to the Musketeers with three saves in 90 minutes of service.

The match featured 13 fouls between the two sides and no cards issued, making for one of the cleanest matches the Johnnies have been involved in this season.

After their undefeated short week, the Johnnies come back to Queens to host the Blue Jays of Creighton on September 24th at 7pm. The team will play their lone match of the week with the reigning Big East Goalie of the Week in Luka Gavran and Big East Honor Roll honoree, D Lucas Bartlett.

Women’s Soccer: St. John’s 0 | Yale 2

The ladies rounded out their slate of Ivy League opponents with a loss visiting the Yale Bulldogs on Sunday, September 19th after Yale entered the game 0-7 for the season.

While the Bulldogs put up a goal in each half, they came about 14 minutes apart in gametime and both are due their respective flowers. The first, occurring in the 45th minute (56 seconds before halftime) came on a volleyed cross that zipped its way past G Naya Lipkens to open the scoring.

Succeeding the first goal, the Bulldogs hung an insurance goal on the Johnnies by way of a free kick that beat Lipkens again.

Soccer is cruel. The final line might not indicate it, but the women’s team was competitive the entire match and put three of their six shots on net and had two more sail just wide.

The Ladies look to end their 1-2 skid after starting the year 3-0-1 with two conference matches over the next week.

The first duel, and the start of Big East play, will be hosted by UConn on Thursday, September 23rd at 7pm when the ladies try to end the two game loss streak they have against the Huskies.

The week will end on the ensuing Sunday as the ladies host the Blue Demons of DePaul. The team hasn’t beat perennially-talented DePaul since 2016 and will look to end that three-game slide as well.