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

Stepan: Dominant victory after tough road weekend



As we unloaded at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in the heart of Storrs, Conn., drunken tailgaters greeted us with obscenities. The tight quarters of the tiny hockey locker room set the mood as it was us 23 red-clad players versus 5271 screaming fans and our most hated rivals on national television.

The only way on and off the field was through the main entrance. The long lines of blue at the ticket booths turned and booed as we fought our way through the crowd to the field.

Only once before have I played in such a hateful environment, and that one time Maryland handed us the most embarrassing loss St. John’s has seen. Together we stood determined to prevent the same from happening. After 110 minutes of an intense battle with only a few scruffs, everyone walked away mildly disappointed in the 0-0 result.

A long Saturday of preparation ensued with my hotel phone ringing at 7 a.m. The team was up and ready for practice on one of the worst fields I’ve ever played on.

The small confines of the soccer field in Providence (last year 0-16-0, now ranked in the top 25) was full with 350 Friars supporters. Sunday day games prove to be the hardest to play in, especially coming off such a highly advertised game on Friday night. A determined Friar team gave us all we could handle remaining undefeated for the season, ecstatic with the 0-0 tie.

From there the team looked forward to a must-win game versus Louisville Saturday night.

Because of last weekend’s setbacks, we needed the three points to keep stride in the Big East. Louisville, coming off a big win against UConn, was ready to take down another Big East giant.

Although the game was not well advertised on campus, a raucous crowd of 1,414 arrived only to find half hour security lines. The crowd finally settled in with fifteen minutes left in the first half. It took a while to get things started on the field as well.

We were pressing hard with many opportunities but couldn’t quite find the back of the net until Justin Abel pulled us ahead with his first career goal.

In the second half the floodgates opened, hopefully making the ridiculous security lines well worth the wait.

With a good win under our belt we start our string of Wednesday/Saturday games to finish out the season.

The Syracuse Orange and Cincinnati Bearcats lie in our sights as we make our run at the Big East regular season title.

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