St. John’s men’s soccer has taken an unusual dive recently. After a long run of NCAA Tournament appearances in the last decade or so, the Red Storm had its worst season in years last year, a 4-10-4 campaign. Their slump has continued so far in 2015, as they’ve started 0-5 against a tough non-conference schedule.
The problems with the Johnnies are primarily a scoring one, as they scored just 16 goals all season in 2014. In their first five games this season, they’ve scored three.
Even with their struggles, they have plenty of bright spots. With Tim Parker now in Vancouver playing in Major League Soccer, goalkeeper Jordan Stagmiller is the centerpiece of St. John’s soccer.
“I just try to do what I do, just give 100 percent every game, just keep pushing,” Stagmiller said. “It’s hard to go 18-20 matches a year and keep going every day, waking up wanting to do it.”
Stagmiller started all 18 games last year for the Red Storm and he posted a 1.26 GAA and a .745 save percentage. He posted two shutouts and allowed just one goal or less in 12 matches.
The redshirt senior waited three years for his chance to be the starting goalkeeper for St. John’s, and he has the made most of it and more.
“Coach always told me to stay focused, you’re going to get your chance,” he said. “And, when it comes around to that chance, you just got to take most you can because you’re only going to get three or four years here. You just got to wait and take your chance.”
Despite the rough start, Stagmiller remains positive and tries to set an example for his teammates. He stresses a positive attitude and closeness amongst his teammates, but also focus on keeping things simple in order to maintain consistency on the field.
Stagmiller hopes to follow other St. John’s greats to bigger and better things beyond the days of college soccer at Belson Stadium. The success of his former roommate Tim Parker in MLS is a huge inspiration for him.
“Tim’s living the dream right now,” he said. “I mean, I was here when Connor Lade was here. He’s on the New York Red Bulls right now. Those two are just the two perfect guys to follow and hopefully emulate if I get lucky enough to be in MLS because I know they’re enjoying it and working hard and that’s what I want to do as well.”
Either way, he’s the key to the success of St. John’s in the present, and there’s hope that he can be the rallying point if the Johnnies are to turn this season around.