Imagine stepping onto a field with more than 5,000 people watching you. It’s 7 p.m. and you’re playing under the
lights. You’re used to a fierce home crowd, but this is as hostile as a college soccer stadium gets.
The team you’re about to face is one of your fiercest rivals. They’re ranked No. 2 in the
nation and they’re intent on handing you your first loss of the season. Besides doing your best to mentally prepare for what will surely be a battle, what do you do?
Well, when the St. John’s men’s soccer team traveled to Storrs to face the Connecticut Huskies this past Saturday, all they had to do was turn around. In the stands directly behind their bench stood over 80 screaming Red Storm fans in a mock
RedZone section of Morrone Stadium, more than ready to cheer their beloved Johnnies to victory.
RedZone is the official Student Section of St. John’s University.
Amidst numerous Uconn rally calls, “LET’S GO JOHNNIES” reverberated around Marrone Stadium more than once; truly an impressive feat considering that the Huskies’ home field advantage has seen them go 30 games without being beaten.
Unfortunately for the Red Storm and its supporter’s section, the Johnnies were on the wrong end of a 3-0 score line by the time the final whistle blew.
Despite the fact that Masur’s men displayed glimpses of positive, free-flowing soccer in a match where the score failed to do justice to each team’s performance, St. John’s players and coaches alike praised the fans that traveled some two and half hours to support them.
“We love the fact that we have such a great group of people to support us,” said St. John’s head coach Dr. Masur after the match. “The fact that we got a busload of so many people to support us is fantastic and we really appreciate everyone coming and all of their efforts.
Even senior Jack Bennett, mere minutes after the full time whistle forced him to return to the sidelines and grapple with the emotions one experiences after defeat, was quick to praise the traveling Johnnie support.
“The support was great,” he explained. “We appreciate them coming up all this way to get behind us. It’s always good to see them.”
The head committee chair of Red Zone, Christian Schwoyer, was more than satisfied with RedZone’s presence
at the game.
“Talking to some of the soccer players, they said that we were definitely comparable [to the Connecticut fans] and made our presence felt,” he said. “So, I think we did good. I’m happy with the outcome.”
Masur’s men may have been handed their first defeat of the season at Morrone Stadium Saturday night, but they had travelling supporters in the stands that could rival those of a fourth tier European club.
What more can you ask for as a college soccer player?