Competition, by its very nature, is a trial of character. The measure is proven at its most fundamental level by a competitor’s resolve, their ability to regain their composure following defeat and respond with perseverance. The St. John’s women’s soccer team showed that.
They started a difficult four game road trip at Louisville on Sept. 29, losing to the Cardinals but that they were able to respond with a vital 1-0 victory two days later in Cincinnati is a telling quality of the team. The team has already matched last year’s output in the win column, sitting at 6-2-3, and second in the American Division of the Big East.
Junior midfielder Krystle Jalalian scored the difference-maker in the 64th minute, a laser over Bearcat goalie Andrea Kaminski’s hands and into the top right corner of the net. The goal was Jalalian’s second of the season, and was assisted by fellow midfielder, freshman Kelly McConnell. The Storm is showing the development of some much needed consistent offensive chemistry.
Junior Jaime Beran continued to be impressive in the net, facing 15 shots but coming away with six saves and the team’s sixth shutout of the season. Beran has made the third most saves in the Big East this year. Along with a stellar defense led by fellow junior Julianna Cohen, she has anchored the team through its first 10 games.
While one goal was enough for a victory in this statement game, the lack of offensive output has to be a concern for the Lady Johnnies. Even against the Bearcats, they were out-shot 15-5, with only the goal being on target. As consistently good as Coach Ian Stone’s defense has been, production in the “danger zone” will have to increase for the Red Storm’s march into the Big East tournament to end successfully.
It has experience on the attack in Natasha Lee and Erin Bohn, but needs to find creative ways of creating opportunities.Look for some adjustments as St. John’s heads to Connecticut and Providence this weekend, before returning home to Belson Stadium for a four game home stretch to finish the regular season, hoping to make its push before the Big East tournament.