St. John’s soccer grabs much needed win in conference opener

St. John’s soccer ends its recent drought against Georgetown in conference opener. 

On Friday night, the St. John’s soccer team took down Georgetown in its Big East opener at Belson Stadium by a 3-1 scoreline.

The win was the Red Storm’s first win over Georgetown since 2018 and the first at home since 2017.

St. John’s and Georgetown came into this game in similar standings, both with just one win on the season, and the programs have returned experienced members of its roster from the previous year filled with NCAA Tournament appearances.

However, the Johnnies would grab an early lead just two minutes into the game as Nigel Griffith took advantage of a loose touch by Georgetown goalkeeper Ethan Koehler.

It was the Temple transfer’s first goal of the season in his first start of the year.

St. John’s would double its lead in the 23rd minute as Brandon Knapp converted a penalty kick for his second goal of the season after Hoya defender Kenny Nielsen was called for a foul inside the 18-yard box.

The Hoyas would immediately strike back one minute later by midfielder Aidan Rocha on an unbelievably powerful shot to the top left corner on an indirect free kick.

The indirect free kick was caused by St. John’s goalkeeper Zenden Hart double touching the ball after making a save before releasing it to a teammate. It certainly was a rookie mistake by the freshmen netminder as you don’t see an indirect free kick often, especially on that sort of call.

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Overall, Hart has impressed and has continued to dominate the time in between the pipes for St. John’s this season, playing five out of the Red Storm’s seven games this season.

The Australian native was also named the Big East Freshman of the Week for his recent performances.

The first half overall was quite lively as the sides combined for 11 shots along with a physical nature to the game.

Georgetown grew into the game as the half went on, especially after the goal was scored, going into the halftime break down 2-1 but with some confidence in the game.

St. John’s soccer able to ice massive victory

The second half featured a hefty amount of St. John’s defending but were able to hold off the Hoyas and closed out the game expertly in the last 10 minutes with some great play and creating a fantastic goal.

The Red Storm would ice the game and clinch the win in the 83rd minute on a beautiful upper-90 goal by Antek Sienkiel for his team-leading 5th tally of the season.

The win takes St. John’s to a 2-4-2 record (1-0 Big East) this season in what was a much needed win to start off conference play.

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St. John’s will welcome Villanova to Queens next on Friday at 7:00pm looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.

The Wildcats come in with a 2-2-2 (0-0-1 Big East) record after opening up conference play with a 1-1 draw with Providence.