St. John’s soccer halts losing streak in win over Providence

St. John's soccer (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's soccer (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s soccer gets back in the win column with a home win over Providence. 

On a beautiful and cool mid-October day, the St. John’s soccer team came back home to Belson Stadium looking to snap a three-game losing streak after a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee at the hands of Marquette last Thursday.

It was also Senior Day in Queens as 15 players in total including Zsani Kajan, Naya Lipkens, and Brooke Boyd were honored for their time and accomplishments with the Red Storm.

The first half certainly made you question that St. John’s was the home team as Providence utterly dominated possession and held the Johnnies into their half for most of the first 45 minutes.

St. John’s just could not get its passing going and could not build anything offensively whether it was passes not being executed well enough or bad touches, nothing was going well for most of the first half for the Johnnies.

The Friars nearly came up with the opening goal on several occasions. Providence thought they had the opening goal in the seventh minute when the ball was put in the back of the net, but they would be called offsides and St. John’s survived the early scare.

The closest chance for the Friars in the first half came in the 44th minute when Hannah McNulty fired in a turnaround shot towards the upper right corner. Lipkens had to react fast and did so in order to keep Providence off the board.

St. John’s showed some signs of life late in the first half as they got two shots off in the last five minutes before the halftime break. The Johnnies would build on that in the second half and responded impressively, coming out and dominating Providence. It was a true game of two halves in Queens.

St. John’s controlled possession heavily in the second half and got a few good chances on goal early on in the second stanza. Kajan got free at the top of the box and fired a shot towards the goal, but it just skimmed over the crossbar.

ALSO READ: St. John’s bounces back in overtime win over Villanova

Then, the Red Storm would finally be rewarded for their pressure. In the 63rd minute, Kajan would receive the ball on the left side of the box and pass it inside to Nicole Gordon. Gordon would get tripped by Providence defender Maria Paveglio in the box and St. John’s would be awarded a penalty kick.

Kajan would step up and slot it home. The goal was the Hungarian’s 12th of the season and 40th of her Red Storm career, putting her into a tie with Adriana Viola for 2nd on the Red Storm’s all-time scoring list. Kajan has three more games at the very least to take sole possession of 2nd place.

As the game went on, Providence would put together a good spell of possession and put the Red Storm under pressure in the final 10 minutes looking for a late equalizer.

The Friars nearly did with 90 seconds left as midfielder Alexis Rothmann fired a volley from the top of the box towards the upper left corner of the goal, but Lipkens came up with a fantastic save pushing the ball onto the crossbar and the shot on the rebound would go wide.

The great save closed out the 1-0 win for the Red Storm as they snapped their three-game losing streak and moved to a 7-5-2 record overall (3-3-1, Big East). The Johnnies are now even on points with Providence with 10, sitting at 7th in the Big East with the Friars in 6th on goal difference.

St. John’s soccer trying to close in on postseason berth

Both teams are just two points off of UConn and Marquette with the Golden Eagles holding 4th place and the final qualifying spot in the Big East Tournament due to Marquette playing one more game.

It is a crowded field trying to get into the postseason.

The win is the first for St. John’s over Providence since November 1, 2016.

ALSO READ: St. John’s loses third straight against Marquette

Next up for the St. John’s soccer team is a trip to New Jersey to take on Seton Hall on Thursday at 6:00pm EST on FloSports.

St. John’s has to keep on winning if they want to get into the Big East Tournament and have to take care of business against a Pirate team that is 6-9 (1-6, Big East) this year.

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