St. John’s soccer: Women’s squad third in Big East preseason poll

St. John's soccer (Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's soccer (Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports) /

Expectations are high in Queens this season as St. John’s soccer gets ranked third in preseason poll. 

While many of us of still savoring the last few weeks of the summer, the new college soccer season is nearly upon us and expectations are running high in Queens for the St. John’s soccer program.

The Johnnies kick off its 2023 campaign Thursday, August 17 (7:30pm EST) at Belson Stadium against the defending Northeast Conference champions, Fairleigh Dickinson.

Expectations are running high in Queens with the roster filled with experience as well as some intriguing transfers.

Earlier this week, the Red Storm were picked to finish 3rd in the Big East Preseason Coaches Poll behind Georgetown and Xavier. This is the squad’s highest conference preseason ranking since 2015, a season in which they went on to earn the conference’s regular season title.

The Red Storm went 7-5-7 (4-2-3 Big East) in 2022, finishing 3rd in the conference standings and making a second consecutive run to the Big East Tournament Semifinals.

In 2023, they will look to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the squad’s cinderella run to the Sweet 16 two seasons ago.

Many of those on the Sweet 16 roster will be entering their final collegiate seasons and will look to end their careers with the Red Storm on a high note.

One of those players is graduate student Jessica Garziano, who was named to the All-Big East Preseason Team this week. The fifth-year student from Melville, New York ties a program record with former striker Zsani Kajan as the program’s only players to be named to the conference’s preseason squad three times.

Garziano finished the 2022 season as the team’s joint leader in goals and assists with four and five, respectively.

The Red Storm also landed a new striker in the transfer portal as former Indiana forward Jordan Levy committed to Ian Stone’s squad shortly after the season ended.

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Levy made 32 appearances, 16 of them being starts in 2022, scoring two goals and an assist in the campaign. There’s a good chance Levy may be the starting center forward for St. John’s when the season gets going and with more minutes the hope has to be that her production goes up.

The Red Storm are poised to be a difficult team to break down with an already experienced back line led by Katherine Turner and Frederique St.-Jean that just added graduate student Sydney Moore from Boston College, but the improvement of the offense will be critical to the season’s success.

St. John’s had the conference’s fourth-best defense but was seventh in scoring.

St. John’s soccer 2023 schedule outlook

After their season opener, the Red Storm will head on the road to finish up a home-and-home series with Navy after St. John’s came away with a 2-0 win at Belson Stadium last season.

Some other notable games include back-to-back home matchups with Ivy League opponents at Yale and Harvard on September 14 and 17. St. John’s will kick off conference play by hosting perennial powerhouse Georgetown on September 21.

Other conference home games will include Villanova on October 1, Providence on October 8, Butler on the October 12, and the season finale with DePaul on the October 26.

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