St. John’s soccer gets stifled by Georgetown in road defeat

St. John's soccer (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
St. John's soccer (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

St. John’s soccer fell in a narrow loss to Georgetown in the nation’s capital.

The St. John’s soccer team walked into Shaw Field on Saturday with the chance to make a huge statement against the defending National Champion, No. 3 Georgetown Hoyas (3-0-1).

Not only could the Red Storm create some momentum in its season with a victory, but it would also be a monster follow-up game after its big win against Providence earlier in the week.

Instead, the Red Storm lost a tight affair by a score of 1-0 and now move to 4-3 (2-3 Big East) on the season.

All three of the St. John’s losses this season have now come on a tight 1-0 margin.

However, the victory against the Friars just became more important as it would have been devastating to drop both matches this week.

Splitting the games isn’t an awful result for the Johnnies, but with the game being such a tight affair it does feel like a missed opportunity.

The Red Storm were able to field most of their usual starters as the early season has been marred with injuries to players and others caught in COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.

However, the Red Storm had a tough time creating anything on offense the entire game as the Georgetown defense locked down Preseason Big East Offensive Player of the Year Tani Oluwaseyi, in particular.

Even though the St. John’s star wasn’t effective in today’s match, it is a good sign for the Red Storm that the Ontario, Canada native was able to play for the full 90 minutes, indicating that the ankle issue that plagued him last week is behind the junior forward.

In the first half, Georgetown dominated the match by controlling the possession and pace of the game by not allowing the Red Storm to generate anything threatening on the attack.

The Hoyas’ dominating play eventually led to the winning goal from freshman midfielder Chris Hegardt in the 30th minute from a low shot that deflected off a Red Storm defender to just squeak by the outstretched hand of Luka Gavran.

St. John’s soccer unable to capitalize on chances

St. John’s had two opportunities to score in the half first from a beautiful Jared Juleau cross in the 10th minute that no Red Storm attacker in the box went for, but it really deserved a finish.

On the stroke of halftime, redshirt senior midfielder Matt Forester sent a cross to the back post to Brandon Knapp who launched a header back into the middle towards Oluwaseyi, but his header from point-blank range just didn’t have enough power to get past Georgetown goalie Giannis Nikopolidis.

The second half was a bit more even as the Red Storm had more possession, but weren’t able to convert that into a goal.

Georgetown nearly got an insurance goal themselves as Derek Dodson and Jacob Montes both forced Jan Hofflner into saves to keep the Red Storm within striking distance.

ALSO READ: St. John’s defeats Providence in monster road win

St. John’s sloppy play cost them time to be able to get more chances to find an equalizer late in the match.

After its two-game road trip, the Red Storm will head back to Queens to take on Seton Hall, where St. John’s will be looking to avenge its loss to the Pirates back on February 27.

The match is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16 at 6:00pm EST.