The St. John’s men’s soccer team began their final home stand of the season this weekend with a tough matchup against the ninth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday night at Belson Stadium.
The Johnnies were no strangers to playing top competition coming into this game, as Georgetown was the sixth ranked opponent that they’ve already faced this year in the strong Big East.
The Hoyas, however, came into Belson winners of nine of their last 10 games, a streak led by their stellar defense, which was also carrying a five-game shutout streak.
But, after 20-plus minutes of uneventful play to begin the game, the Red Storm looked poised to break that streak. A mundane offensive set in the 22nd minute eventually led to senior forward Luis Esteves firing a shot from a distance that clanged off the crossbar and out of play, narrowly missing the goal and keeping the game scoreless.
The Johnnies would control play for a short period after that opportunity, though the game’s next two major chances would go to Georgetown. The first came in the 35th minute when a header from Bakie Goodman went just wide of the goal.
One minute later, redshirt senior goalkeeper Jordan Stagmiller was forced to save a sharp free kick to again deny the Hoyas the lead. Eventually, a first half mostly controlled by Georgetown, who outshot St. John’s 10-3, would head to halftime with no score.
Georgetown continued to dominate in the second half, and eventually found the back of the net in the 59th minute.
After a tough foul was called on Red Storm junior defender Jean Leveille inside the 18-yard box, the Hoyas were awarded a penalty kick. Forward Brandon Allen would go on to barely beat a diving Stagmiller on the shot to give the Hoyas a 1-0 lead.
From that point on, things wouldn’t get much better for St. John’s. Georgetown continued to pepper Stagmiller and the Red Storm defense with shots, while the St. John’s offense continued to struggle to get going.
The Johnnies wouldn’t have a solid chance at an equalizer until the 83rd minute. Senior defender Gabriel Camara supplied a nice pass to freshman forward Mike Prosuk, but a nice defensive play by the Hoyas would preserve the one-goal lead.
In the game’s final moments, each team would threaten to score, but none of those threats came to fruition and the game ended 1-0 in favor of Georgetown. The Hoyas overall were dominant throughout, outshooting St. John’s 20-5 and forcing Stagmiller to make five saves.
“For a young group we battled hard,” said St. John’s head coach Dave Masur. “But, [we’re] missing the big details that either win games or keep the score line the way we need it to be against such a good team.”
After the loss, St. John’s now sits in eighth place in the Big East with a 1-3-2 conference record. They’ll need to make their way into the conference’s top six in order to qualify for next month’s Big East Tournament.
“We need to be ready to go with a real focused energy for Wednesday night against Villanova,” said Masur regarding what his team will need to do to improve their tournament chances.