Live and let down

Every game is important.

The St. John’s women’s soccer team found that out the hard way Sunday at Glay Field, tying a Providence team that was previously pointless in Big East play.

After a dramatic overtime victory against conference-rival Connecticut on
Friday night, the Red Storm struggled to get up for the match against the Friars.

“It was a little bit (of a letdown),” said goalkeeper Kristin Russell.

“We came in here thinking we were going to win.”

Coach Ian Stone spun it a different way. “I don’t know if it was a letdown or if we got punished for some bad habits.”

While it seemed like an easy match for the Red Storm on paper, the Friars came out and dictated the play in
the first half.

The Red Storm (8-1-1, 2-0-1 Big East) got off to a slow start, and fell behind in the 15th minute when Providence midfielder Courtney Collins set up forward Jill Camburn on a breakaway. Camburn put the ball past Russell for her fifth goal
of the season.

The Friars (5-4-1, 0-2-1 Big East) outshot the Johnnies in the first half, had more shots on goal and more importantly, had the lead
on the scoreboard.

“I think we learned that we need to start better,” Stone said.

Russell saw much more action than she would have liked, stopping five shots in the first half and a career high eleven in the game. She has stopped eighteen of nineteen shots in the last two games, improving her save percentage to .870, good for second in the Big East.

“She’s very solid,” Stone said about Russell. “She’s playing well right now.”

In the other net, Providence goalie Jill Schott turned in a good performance as well, stopping eight shots.

Both goalies turned in solid performances despite the conditions, which reduced the area around the goal to mud.
“It was a difficult situation for both keepers,” Stone said.

It was an especially stark contrast, he said, compared to the turf at Belson. “Playing at home…is a lot smoother and faster,” Russell noted. “(On grass), there’s a lot of divots.”

Added Stone,”It could have been a lot worse. We handled the conditions pretty well.”

The wet weather failed to douse the offensive fireworks. The two teams combined for 46 shots, including
18 shots on goal.

Despite putting up 17 shots in regulation, St. John’s didn’t put home the equalizer until the 78th minute, when senior defender Courtney Lane fired a shot off the right goal post. The rebound bounced right to freshman Runa if Stefansdottir, who put it home for the second goal of her career.

“To me it was just a matter of time before we scored,” Stone asserted. “Runa was just in the right place at the right time to put it in.”

The overtime periods saw several scoring chances for St. John’s, including a stretch in the first overtime when the team fired five shots in a span of 2:16. Schott was up to the task, saving the two that reached her.

The second overtime saw less action, with only three shots and no shots on goal.The draw snapped a five game winning streak for the Red Storm.

“We have to give every team in the Big East respect,” Stone said. “What happened in the games before
doesn’t matter.”