Sent home at home

October 31, 2008

The one mistake the St. John’s women’s soccer team made Thursday night ended their season in a very frustrating way.

On a cool night at Belson Stadium, miscommunication in St. John’s own 18-yard box allowed Cincinnati to score the one and only goal they needed to defeat the Red Storm 1-0 in the first round of the Big East Tournament.

“Our second half effort was better,” head coach Ian Stone said. “We created good chances, but I felt that we needed to win more 50-50 balls. Credit Cincinnati, they had a fantastic season.”

The game winning goal came in the 57th minute when Bearcats midfielder Lindsey Noteboom crossed the ball into the St. John’s box and it deflected off midfielder Julie Morrissey for the goal. Red Storm fans’ hearts dropped as it rolled slowly past the Red Storm defense and goalkeeper Kristin Russell. A possible lack of communication between the usually solid Storm defense and the freshman Russell may have allowed the ball to sneak into the net.

“I couldn’t really see much,” Stone said. “A lot of bodies were down there, it was either a lack of communication or a lucky break.”

“It slipped through,” Russell said. “It was a fluke.”

The first half was controlled by Cincinnati, but the tough St. John’s defense didn’t allow the Bearcats to put anything in the back of the net. Red Storm goalkeeper Kristin Russell only had one save in the first half, her only one of the game.

The Red Storm, who have struggled scoring goals all year, were without their second-leading scoring and leader of the midfielder C.J. Ludemann, who was out with a foot injury. And goal scoring was once again a problem.

“I thought we were doing better with it,” Stone said. “But tonight it came down to executing.”

“The absence of C.J. hurt,” he added.

St. John’s came out of the half fired up and had two early scoring chances. In the 49th senior Brittany Cavarra found Amanda Santos who ripped a shot from the top of the box just over the cross bar. Three minutes later Kelly McConnell set up Santos in the box with a pretty back heel flick but Santos’s shot was saved by Bearcats keeper Andrea Kaminski.
“You could analyze it all you want,” said Stone. “But sometimes it comes down to dumb luck.”

In a season in which Russell and the Red Storm set records for shutouts, it will be the slow rolling ball through the middle that will haunt St. John’s until next year.