Searching for answers


After two scoring opportunities missed wide in the final 12 minutes of Sunday’s game, the St. John’s women’s soccer team fell to West Virginia, 1-0 on a golden goal within the first two minutes of overtime.

West Virginia senior forward Megan Mischler capped an active weekend with a golden goal just 74 seconds into overtime. It was her second golden goal in as many games and sixth goal overall.

The Mountaineers went on the attack right out of the gate during the overtime period, putting a shot wide in the first 20 seconds. A minute later, Mischler took a shot from the top of the box on the left side. The ball never got off the ground, but did manage to get through two St. John’s defenders and past the dive of junior goalkeeper Kristin Russell to end the game.

St. John’s missed two chances late in regulation. In the 79th minute, sophomore forward Patrice Casimir found herself all alone in front of the net at the edge of the six yard box. Senior midfielder Anna Torregiano found her with a cross from the left flank, but Casimir’s header bounced harmlessly off the post.

Ten minutes later, junior forward Jen Leaverton also got unlucky on a header from close range. Her headed chance beat West Virginia senior goalkeeper Kerri Russell but also beat the post, missing just wide.

“I think [finishing] is improving,” said head coach Ian Stone. “We just needed a little more luck there, with Patrice’s header and Jen’s header right before the end of regulation.”

Russell appeared to be on her way to another clean sheet. Russell, who holds the school record for career shutout, made five saves during regulation to keep the Red Storm in it.

“She’s actually getting better,” said Stone. She’s becoming more of a leader now and more of an organizer as well as just a great shot stopper. She’s a tremendous goalkeeper.”

West Virginia came into the game in second place in the Big East’s American division, and third place overall. St. John’s on the other hand, came in near the bottom with just two wins in conference play.

But out of the gates, it was the Johnnies who controlled play, keeping the ball in West Virginia’s side of the field for the first twenty minutes.

The first half passed by without many chances for either side, as West Virginia only took four shots while the Johnnies could muster three. Leaverton had the best chance in an otherwise uneventful first half but her volley in the eighth minute hit the left post and bounced harmlessly away.

Things opened up in the second half right out of the gate for West Virginia, however. Freshman forward Frances Lewis peppered the net with two shots in the second minute, one of which went wide and one of which was saved by Russell.

It set the tone for the rest of the half, where the Mountaineers put up twelve shots, but none of them got by Russell until Mischler’s bouncer found the back of the net in the 92nd minute. St. John’s fell to 5-8-1 with the loss, and 2-5 in the Big East. They play the third leg of their four-game homestand on Friday when they take on Seton Hall at Belson Stadium.