The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Week in Review: Spring Sports Midseason Report

The Torch gives looks into the past week of Red Storm sports.
Torch Photos / Sara Kiernan, Nick Bello and Spencer Clinton

This week in sports at St. John’s University brought the beginning and ending of seasons of multiple sports. From Joe Tartamella and the Women’s Basketball team’s heartbreaking loss in the second round of the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament (WBIT) to the fencing team’s seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships, here’s a closer look.

Men’s Baseball Team Ends 13-game Win Streak Against Fordham

The baseball team (17-5) started out their season with a 9-5 win over the No. 2 ranked Florida Gators in February. Since then, the Johnnies have easily rolled through their season. Their 13-game win streak started on March 3 against Sam Houston State. 

They went on to sweep seven home games against Iona, Hofstra, Long Island University, Stony Brook, Rider, Manhattan and Wagner. Their first loss in nearly one month was at the hands of local rival Fordham University on March 24. Sophomore catcher Jimmy Keenan was named Big East Player of the Week on March 18. 

In a 5-0 week for the Johnnies, Keenan had 13 RBIs and seven runs. He has been an integral part of the team’s success so far this season at and behind the plate, recording a season-high 10 putouts against Rider on March 16. With sophomore Mario Pesca on the mound for 6.2 innings, the team wrapped up their series with Fordham on March 25 in an 8-2 victory. Going into the Easter Break weekend, the team will take on Winthrop University at Belson Stadium for a three-game series and finish their home stay against Fairfield on April 2. 

They’ll jump into Big East play from there and take a trip to Pennsylvania to take on Villanova in a weekend series on April 5. 

Women’s Basketball Season Ends Against Toledo in the Second Round of WBIT

Following a blowout win against Florida (79-60) on March 21 in the first round, the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team ended their season in a 72-71 heartbreaker against Toledo on March 24. 

They finished third in the Big East with an 18-15 overall record in Joe Tartamella’s 12th season. Despite the loss, the WBIT run for the Red Storm came with some historic performances from senior guard Unique Drake. She picked up her 147th game played, the most by any men’s or women’s basketball player in St. John’s history, scoring 21 points in her final game. 

In the first round against Florida, she posted one of the best performances of program history with 37 points against the Gators, going for a personal best 13-for-19 in shooting. She also stands alone in another stat category after the week of games, surpassing her former teammate Jayla Everett (78) with 79 threes made in a single season. Jillian Archer ended the season 59.8 percent from the field, surpassing former teammate Rayven Peeples for another all-time record in that category.

The team finished with 19 assists on 29 field goals against Toledo and shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the entire tournament. 

Softball Falls to Providence on the Road, 2-1 

St. John’s Softball (16-16, 5-4) fell in their second Big East series of the season to Providence (11-13) over the weekend. Shortstop London Jarrard went 8-for-12 over the weekend, batting in her tenth double of the season with two runs scored for the Red Storm. 

In a 3-2 victory on the first day of play, she went 5-for-5 at the plate, boosting her overall average for the season to .359. After the weekend she was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll, for the third time this month, becoming the first Red Storm player to earn the honor three times in one month since Krystal Puga

Sophomore Loreley Francia also helped the Red Storm in their single win of the weekend by allowing just two earned runs across nine innings on the mound. She currently leads the Johnnies with 72.2 innings pitched with 79 punchouts to her name, adding six wins and two saves for the Red Storm this season. 

In Michelle DePolo’s first season as head coach, the Johnnies have dropped two Big East series so far. They held Iona to zero in a mid-week matchup on March 26 with a 5-0 win. In a completely dominant performance, Francia struck out 10 in the shutout win, allowing just one hit in the bottom of the second before closing out the game with 18 batters downed. 

The team will look to improve their even record on the road to Chicago over Easter weekend when they take on DePaul (7-20, 2-4).  

Lacrosse Picks Third Win, Erases Four Point Deficit 

The Men’s Lacrosse team (3-7) took down LeMoyne, 9-7, on a road trip on March 23 in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, and the last non-conference match of their season. In the collective win, five different Johnnies got on the board with goals. Junior Brian Kelly extended his point streak to nine games with three goals and an assist. Junior attack Bobby Seel joined him for the hat trick with another three goals for the Red Storm, all stemming from the 6-1 scoring run from St. John’s that erased their 4-0 deficit and put them ahead of LeMoyne. The two are heating up for the Red Storm in perfect timing for a challenging slate of Big East games ahead. 

Middie Richie Reid scored the sixth goal of his freshman season, and sophomore Jake Wright put on two more points, one goal and one assist. Rounding it out, senior middie Caleb Zuhiski got his 10th goal of the season, making it a career-high in his final season only halfway through. 

In Justin Turri’s second season as head coach, the Red Storm have picked up their first group of wins in two seasons. They’ll start Big East play against Marquette on March 30 in Queens. 

Fencing Finishes Seventh in NCAA Championships

The fencing team wrapped up their group campaign at the NCAA Championships in Columbus on March 24, finishing seventh for the third consecutive year for the program. 

The women started out the weekend and wrapped up their portion of work on Friday. Junior saber Julia Cieslar finished in second-place overall in her group. She finished the weekend with 14 wins, gaining an upset win over No. 1 Ryan Jenkins from Princeton before she fell 15-10 in the championship round to Brandeis’ Maggie Shealy. Freshman Nicole Feygin was able to rack up 16 victories and a tie for third place in the women’s epee, falling only to eventual champion Emily Vermele of Harvard. 

After two days of competition, the women placed fifth overall. For the men, Paul Fortin was the top finisher in eighth place for men’s epee, picking up a 15-8 record for the weekend. Freshman Danii Mazur also represented the Red Storm in the men’s epee, finishing in 20th place with eight triumphs in his first NCAA Championship campaign. For the second straight year, Ahmed Ferjani placed 11th in the men’s saber, going 11-12 on the whole weekend. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Isabella Cautero
Isabella Cautero, Sports Editor
Isabella is a senior journalism major serving as the Sports Editor for The Torch. She is minoring in sport management. Outside of The Torch, she works as an academic tutor at the University Learning Commons. She likes to spend time with her friends, read, play with her dog and watch the New York Rangers or Yankees. On any given day you can find her listening to her favorite artists, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Isabella can be reached at [email protected].
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *