The St. John’s women’s soccer team faltered in their regular season finale, losing 2-1 to Marquette. Having not lost in five straight games, and already having clinched a return to the Big East tournament, the team looked a bit unfocused in the first half, with several miscues and missed opportunities.
The team went down a goal in the ninth minute, when the Golden Eagles were able to put a soft header past goaltender Jaime Beran. The Red Storm responded 11 minutes later, when Krystle Jalalian was cut down in the box, but freshman Amanda Pasciolla was able to parlay the broken play into a score that crawled over the goal line.
The game was tied for only three minutes. After a questionable penalty called for some light contact, Marquette laid claim to the lead on the ensuing free kick, a sniper’s bullet into the top left corner of the net.
That would prove to be the final score, but only after the visiting team endured a second half dominated by the Red Storm, who were able to do everything but find the back of the net. Outshooting the Golden Eagles 6-0 and coming on with a frenetic energy, the home team kept constant pressure on the American Division runner up, but just couldn’t draw even.
Coach Ian Stone saw an important lesson in the defeat, saying, “We need to jump on them right from the start of the game, and for 45 minutes we did a great job of that, but by that time we had already given up two goals… I was happy with the second half performance, but can we do it over 90 minutes?”
Stone also put the loss into perspective. Calling it “disappointing,” he stated that the team still should, “Enter the tournament with confidence… we need to make sure we’re not overconfident, or take things for granted. We still have to work hard; this is the Big East playoffs now and it kind of starts all over again.”
There are plenty of reasons to still be confident. The youngest team in the conference has matured nicely, and Stone says of his 15 freshmen, “I don’t really consider them freshmen any more.”
One of those pseudo-freshmen making a consistent difference on the scoreboard is Pasciolla, whose goal against Marquette was her third in as many weekends. But she is quick to credit her teammates.
“I feel a lot more comfortable now [with transition to the college game] …you know, my team is great, the girls are great, my coach is great, and we all encourage each other, so it’s just a great atmosphere to be in.”
That team-oriented attitude will be essential as the Red Storm, finishing with a 9-4-4 record and attaining a number four seed in the playoffs, will host Seton Hall or Cincinnati on Thursday, both teams St. John’s has beaten already this year.
USF 0, St. John’s 1
The St. John’s women’s soccer team slipped past South Florida Friday night with a 1-0 victory at Belson Stadium.Vaila Barsley scored the lone goal of the match in the 36th minute to secure what would become the Red Storm’s fourth victory of the season. Barsley’s goal came off a corner kick from Courtney Lane, as she headed the ball past USF goalkeeper Casey Garrett for her fourth goal of the season.St. John’s outplayed USF all the way through, holding South Florida to only four shots, only one of which was on net.