Knights slay Storm

With just two games remaining in the regular season, the St. John’s women’s soccer team controls its own destiny and playoff fate come this weekend.

They are currently tied with Pittsburgh for the fifth and final Big East Tournament spot in the “A” division.

Holding a tie breaker over Pittsburgh, the Johnnies are also a point behind Syracuse for fourth place, a spot that would give them a first round home playoff game.

St. John’s (6-8-3, 2-5-2) reached this climactic position when it split its Big East weekend action with a 2-1 win over Seton Hall and a 3-0 loss to Rutgers.

“To be honest, we played in quite difficult conditions,” St. John’s coach Ian Stone said. “We came out, and got the job done away from home against Seton Hall. They are a good team and to create the chances we did I’m pretty happy with that. Versus [Rutgers], they’re a very athletic team and I think we didn’t play as well because we weren’t able to possess the ball.”

In the win against Seton Hall, freshman Brittany Cavarra scored the game-winning goal in the 55th minute off an assist from Krystle Jalalian, who found Cavarra on the far post for a header.

Jalalian added her second goal of the season and recording her first career assist in the come- from-behind victory.

In the loss to Rutgers, St. John’s goalie Jamie Beran was called for a foul after sliding for a ball in the box off a Rutgers breakaway.

As a result, Zoe Avner was awarded a penalty kick for the Scarlet Knights and scored the only goal needed.

Despite allowing the goal, Beran recorded four saves while Rebecca Capinera who took over in the second half recording three saves.

The foul however loomed on Stone’s mind.

“I thought the referee decided the game rather than the players on the field,” he said.

Despite the split over the weekend, the heat will be turned up in a playoff-like atmosphere this weekend as St. John’s must take care of business with a pair of difficult road games against South Florida and Marquette.

One win would all but guarantee them a playoff berth and possible a bump up in the seeding.

“We need a good week of practice and to work on things we did wrong versus Rutgers,” Stone said. “It’s the last chance for our seniors so we’ll be ready Friday.”

Most of all, Stone stressed no matter what this weekend, his team needs to rise to the occasion both individually and as a team.

“I think sometimes we don’t believe how good we are,” Stone said. “They need to believe in themselves a little more.”

Added Stone: “There’s a lot of talent in terms of moving on to the next step, and that depends on the confidence in oneself to move on. We played an attractive brand of soccer and we need to step out this weekend confident in our abilities.”