The St. John’s soccer team once again ties against Providence in the season finale.
The St. John’s soccer team played the Providence Friars twice in the span of 72 hours on Sunday afternoon and both games had eerily similar finishes with a 1-1 tie at Belson Stadium.
Coming into the game, both teams had nothing to play for in terms of the postseason as they were eliminated from Big East Tournament consideration with the Red Storm playing spoiler in Thursday’s match.
Without any pressure on either side, both teams seemed to play a bit more open as both had its fair share of opportunities throughout the game. Neither team completely dominated in this match.
Providence nearly took a quick lead as defender Christina Rodger’s header off a Friar corner hit the crossbar in just the second minute of play.
However, the Red Storm would shake off the early scare and get some opportunities themselves, eventually grabbing the lead in the 35th minute.
Senior Alex Madden would intercept a bad pass from the Friar defense, but then her shot was deflected by goalie Emma Bodmer until sophomore Isabelle Aviza would latch onto the rebound and send it into the back of the net for her first goal of the season and second of her Red Storm career.
Oddly enough, the goal was scored almost exactly at the same time as Jessica Garziano’s opening goal in Thursday’s match.
The Red Storm would head into the break with the 1-0 lead once again, just like the matchup between these two at Chappey Field, and St. John’s was generally in control in the second half.
That changed late as Providence won a penalty in the 81st minute and successfully converted it to tie the game. Neither team could find a breakthrough in the two overtime periods and once again the game ended in a stalemate.
The result means that the Red Storm will finish the 2021 spring season with a 5-4-3 (2-4-2 Big East) record and Providence will finish with a 7-2-3 (5-2-3 Big East) record.
It was also Senior Day for the Red Storm as seven members of the team were honored including Jordan Kamp, Emily Purtell, Annie Wysong, Maia Cabrera, Zsani Kajan, and Samantha Gordon.
If this is the end of the Red Storm career for Kajan, it was an outstanding run as the Hungarian finishes with 28 goals in 64 appearances and 47 starts.
The NCAA did pass a rule allowing all seniors an extra year of eligibility, so some players could return to St. John’s if they wanted to.
Recapping the St. John’s soccer season
This short spring season for the St. John’s soccer team was a mixed bag.
They had an impressive start with five wins in its first six games, but would go 0-3-3 the rest of the way.
A big area of improvement going into the fall is the ability to get results on the road.
All of the Red Storm’s five wins this season came at Belson Stadium and while it is good to have good home form, teams must be able to get results on the road in order to contend in the Big East Conference.
While the end of the season season is a bit disappointing, there were some positive signs to take into next season.
Sophomore midfielder Jessica Garziano took a huge jump this season as the Melville, New York native led the team in scoring with seven goals after having none in her freshman year.
Replacing the offense of star striker Zsani Kajan, if she does not return, over the last couple of years is the first question the team must answer going into next season and Garziano will primary player to look at replacing her production.
Ava Collins also looks to be a solid midfielder for the Red Storm as the New Zealand native had a solid freshman season with a team-leading five assists.
While St. John’s will feature plenty of underclassmen next season, Garziano and Collins in particular are solid building blocks for the Red Storm for the next few years.
The Red Storm will have a quick turnaround as they look to get back to a normal season in the fall.