St. John’s soccer suffers two tight, crushing defeats this past week in Big East play.
The St. John’s soccer team got out to a good start in Big East play with two wins in its first three games as well as a good draw against a very good Butler side.
However, coming out of their bye week, the Red Storm suffered a major setback with back-to-back 1-0 losses to Xavier and Georgetown.
First up, St. John’s headed out to Cinncinatti to take on the Xavier Musketeers. The Red Storm were dominated for most of the game with shots 18-7 in favor of the Musketeers and six shots on goal to three.
St. John’s had a rare scoring chance in the first half through Zsani Kajan as the graduate student forward fired on a shot in on goal in the 13th minute, but it was saved by Olivia Jenkins.
Xavier would get the opening goal in the 49th minute through midfielder Ella Rogers. Rogers headed down a cross from Chole Netzel and then fired a shot past Naya Lipkens for her third goal of the season.
Despite their best efforts, the Red Storm just could not be able to find an equalizer and force overtime.
St. John’s soccer retuned home to face Georgetown on Sunday
St. John’s would then come back home to Belson Stadium to take on No. 24 Georgetown on Sunday afternoon.
The Hoyas are the defending Big East Champions and have not lost yet this season, but St. John’s looked to hand them their first defeat of the year.
The Johnnies were under pressure from Georgetown for most of the game, including the entire second half.
However, St. John’s had a few really good opportunities to opening the scoring early on.
In the 9th minute, Kajan fired a right-footed shot to the back post, but Hoya keeper Allie Augur expertly dived to right and saved the shot.
Grace Bernardi forced Augur into another diving save on a shot in the 32nd minute to keep the Johnnies off the board. After that point, it was all Hoyas in the match.
Georgetown got the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute through Gia Vicari who notched her eighth goal of the season.
Both goalies played a huge part in the result of this game. If not for Augur’s expert saves in the first half, then the Johnnies would have been ahead by a goal or two and may have indeed handed Georgetown their first defeat.
Instead, they were down 1-0 early in the second half.
Lipkens made some key saves in the game first in the 26th minute and then this highlight reel worthy stop in the 71st to keep St. John’s in the match at the time.
If not for the Bloomfield, Connecticut native’s big saves, the Red Storm certainly would have lost by more than a 1-0 margin and did all she could to keep St. John’s in the game.
The Johnnies did not get any clear and dangerous looks in the second half as the Hoyas dominated possession to close out the win for them.
Sunday’s loss marked the fifth straight defeat to Georgetown dating back to 2016, as the last St. John’s win over the Hoyas was back on October 16, 2014 by a score of 1-0.
The two losses moves St. John’s to a 6-4-2 (2-2-1, Big East ) record and now sit in seventh place in the Big East, nearly at the midway point of conference play.
Xavier is now 12-1-1 (5-1, Big East) and in first place, while Georgetown is now 8-0-6 (4-0-2, Big East) and in second place.
As much as these back-to-back losses hurt St. John’s, the positive is that there are still five more games still to play and they will be playing the teams right above them in the standings, so if they can get off the mat quickly, they can still get back into the spots to qualify for the Big East Tournament.
Next up for the St. John’s soccer squad will be a trip to Marquette on Thursday at 8:00pm EST on FloSports.
Despite being a game on the road, this must be viewed as a must-win to climb back up the standings after a really bad week.
In the spring 2021 season, St. John’s began the year 5-1 but then went 0-4-3 the rest of the way.