As the St. John’s women’s soccer team trudges through the heart of their Big East schedule, one thing remains a constant problem: offense.
That was the case again on Friday afternoon as the Red Storm was handed a 3-0 loss by the Villanova Wildcats at Villanova Soccer Field.
“We have to finish our chances,” head coach Ian Stone said. “We created some chances but we have to have the composure to put it in the back of the net.”
Villanova came right at St. John’s from the opening kickoff and scored twice within the first twenty minutes, a lead that St. John’s couldn’t overcome.
“Being down two early doesn’t seem insurmountable to me,” Stone said. “But I think that might go through the girls’ head, it’s something we have to work on, we have to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
The Red Storm (4-3-4, 0-2-2 Big East) was out-shot a staggering 22 to nine by the Wildcats (9-3, 2-2 Big East) and only put three shots on goal. Their scoreless streak has now reached three games and has ranged over 350 minutes. The inability to score goals has been Stone’s main area of focus, causing him to try and mix things up.
“In the second half we changed our formation and went to a 3-4-3,” Stone said. “We’re going to tinker with different things until we find the person who can finish chances. One day, someday, someone is going to score.”
Freshman Kristin Russell played the first half in goal and allowed two goals, the most she has allowed in a game all year long. Stone went to senior Rebecca Capinera to play goalie in the second half and she had a solid effort allowing one goal and making five saves.
“Becca played well in practice this week and she deserved the opportunity to play,” Stone said. “I want everyone to be competitive in practice, Becca played really well.
For that specific reason, Stone gave the starting nod to junior Tatiana Duggan, the first time she has been in the starting lineup since the preseason.
“Tatiana practiced well and was going to goal well, she showed that hunger,” Stone said.
The Red Storm had a couple of scoring chances in the first half, none better than senior midfielder Brittany Cavarra’s shot that hit off the goal post and deflected to junior Kaitlin Haas who ripped one on net but was saved by Villanova goalie Molly Williams. St. John’s was led by C.J. Ludemann and Jen Leaverton who each recorded two shots a piece.
“We conceded the first two goals early,” Stone said. “The game changes if we score, both on the mental side and emotional side.”
The Storm’s game against Georgetown that was scheduled for Sunday has been postponed so St. John’s will return home next Friday night at 7pm to take on Marquette.
“We’re looking forward to a game under the lights and hopefully a big crowd,” Stone said. “We’re looking forward to getting back home to Belson.”