St. John’s soccer suffers heavy defeat to Villanova

St. John’s soccer suffers one of its worst losses in recent memory to Villanova. 

Last Friday night presented a vastly different feeling around Belson Stadium than the joyous occasion the week prior when the St. John’s soccer program took down Georgetown, 3-1.

Villanova came into Queens with some more experience in their lineup than the Red Storm, but nobody in the Big East was expecting to see the contest that unfolded in a chilly and windy Belson.

The Wildcats came away with a wire-to-wire blowout 4-0 win over the Johnnies, absolutely stunning the home fans and certainly sending shockwaves around the conference.

It was the first time that St. John’s has lost a regular season game by two goals or more since October 2019.

The shots were 11-7 in favor of Villanova in the game, but the home side failed to record a shot on goal.

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St. John’s enjoyed some early possession until Villanova started to swing the momentum towards their side and develop some rhythm in the game.

The Wildcats would start the scoring in the 24th minute as Gray Ricca got on the end of a ricocheted shot and chipped it past Ryan Foley who got the start for the injured freshman Zenden Hart. 

Lyam MacKinnon doubled the Wildcat in the 31st minute as he dribbled into the box and fired a low shot at the near post, squeaking by Foley.

Viktor Benediktsson would make it 3-0 Villanova with five minutes to go in the first half taking advantage of a loose ball in the box off a corner that the Red Storm defense did not clear.

Villanova had scored those three goals in a span of 17 minutes.

Vincent Petrera would add the exclamation point in the 75th minute with a shot to the top left corner of the net from just inside the box taking advantage of a botched clearance by the Johnnies.

It was an absolute disaster of a game from the St. John’s point of view.

The defense was sloppy, missing tackles, and making bad errors. The offense was not able to create anything at all to amount to a threat to Villanova.

Credit the visitors’ defense for that, but that will be a performance that will be deemed unacceptable by head coach Dr. Dave Masur.

Masur has been around this program for a while to see many ups and downs, but its been a while since St. John’s has been beat like that.

Emmanuel Smalios replaced Foley in the St. John’s net for the second half, making his second appearance of the season.

St. John’s soccer set for one final non-conference contest next

The loss moves St. John’s to a 2-5-1 record (1-1 Big East) on the season and will take a brief trip back into non-conference play to take on Princeton.

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The Tigers faced off against the Red Storm twice last season, with the latter of those meetings coming in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, as St. John’s took both contests by a 1-0 score line.

St. John’s is 7-4-3 all-time against Princeton and will look to bounce back after their worst defeat of the season.