The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Luck not on their side

The St. John’s women’s soccer team had always struggled mightily against Notre Dame.

Ever since their first meeting on Sept. 3, 1995, the Red Storm have never closely
competed with the Fighting Irish. Heading into Saturday’s Big East Tournament meeting, St. John’s career record against Notre Dame was 0-11, five of those games lost by at least six goals. For the
series, St. John’s had been
outscored 54-0.

History did not fully repeat itself Saturday night for St. John’s.

Although the team suffered a 2-1 overtime loss at Merrone Stadium at the University of Connecticut during the semi-finals of the Big East Tournament, Head Coach Ian Stone said the team competed more this game than any other past meeting.

“This was a great performance by the team tonight,” Stone said. “I wasn’t happy with how we played in the first half, but we really played strong in the second.”
The Red Storm seemed unsure of themselves during the first 20 minutes of the game. They were tentative approaching the ball on offense, could not connect the majority of their passes and failed to consistently defend against Notre Dame’s constant offensive penetration.

By the 8th minute, Notre Dame’s Rose Augustin took a free kick and fed Lauren
Fowlkes a seamless pass 10 yards away from the net. St. John’s goalkeeper Kristen
Russell charged to deflect the pass, but missed. Fowlkes then headed the pass into the top left corner of the open net.

“I think we were surprised by their play early on,” sophomore Jen Leaverton said.

“They were really physical and quick.”

Leaverton and Russell both said it wasn’t until the media timeout at the 21-minute mark when they felt composed.

Leaverton said Stone told the team during the huddle that he had confidence in them and that they had to believe in themselves if they wanted to stay competitive.

“It made a big difference,” Leaverton said.
“I was comfortable during the middle of the first half,” Russell said. “That’s when we really started to play the way we usually do.”

The Red Storm began to penetrate against Notre Dame’s elite defense and pitted some of the Fighting Irish’s movement with the ball.

It wasn’t until the 68th minute that St. John’s mounted its first score of the game.

Senior Courtney Lane took the corner kick and smashed the ball about five yards away from Irish goalkeeper Nikki Weiss.

Amid the crowd of defenders, Nicole Doran headed the ball past Weiss and into the bottom-left corner of the net.

“All season Courtney Lane has given us great corner kicks,” said Doran, who has scored one other goal in her career. “The ball was perfectly placed and I just had to get a head on it.”

“It was a great pass from Courtney,” Stone said.

“Nicole showed glimpses of this in practice. It was a beautiful goal.”

Notre Dame relentlessly
attacked St. John’s for the rest of the half. For the game, the Fighting Irish held a 26-5 shot advantage.

The game remained deadlocked until the 99th
minute, when Augustin fed Jessic Schuveiller on a free kick. Schuveiller headed it into the top-right corner of the net, eluding Russell’s outstretched hands.

Still, Stone remained positive.

“I’m so proud of these girls,” Stone said.

“Tonight, we proved we can compete with anyone.”

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