Red Storm win home opener

No Vaila Barsley. No Courtney Lane. No problem for the St. John’s women’s soccer team Friday, as the No. 18/25 Red Storm shut out New Hampshire in the home opener, 2-0.

Without both senior starters, the Red Storm still dominated defensively. While double and sometimes triple-teaming their opponents, defense controlled the tempo of the game. New Hampshire struggled to penetrate and kicked only three shots on goal.

“We really tried as hard as we could since we all knew we had big shoes to fill,” senior Courtney Curby added.
Barsley sprained her ankle during the upset against USC Aug. 30 while overpowering defenders en route to scoring the game’s first goal in the 38th minute. With the severity of the injury unknown at the time, the defender still played the next 55 minutes.

“That probably didn’t help,” Stone said.

“The ankle is pretty ugly. It’s really swollen and bruised. It was unrealistic to think she could play this weekend.”

Lane received a mandated one game suspension after receiving a red card during the USC game for a handball in the box in the 55th minute.

On the California trip last week, Barsley emerged as one of the team’s leaders, defensively anchoring a shutout effort and scoring her first career game-winning goal in the 1-0 overtime victory against Cal State Fullerton Aug. 28. She left the trip leading the team with four points while standing only halfway toward tying her season-high four goals set in 2006.

When she arrived back to New York, the England native was named the’s Player of the Week and to the Big East Honor Roll.

“She really played well for us throughout the trip,” Stone said. “It’s a big loss.”

Megan Klement was assigned the task of replacing Barsley Friday, making her first career start. While playing 45 minutes, she left a good impression.

“She played really well,” Stone said. “I was impressed with her. She was intelligent, was tight defensively, and used her strength well.”

The sophomore had a hunch she would start last night once she received a text message from Stone telling her to get ready to play. She didn’t hear officially until Friday morning.

“I was really excited to be playing,” Klement said. “It builds confidence for me and the rest of the team knowing we can put anyone on defense and still do a great job.”