SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – St. John’s (6-1-3) storm into Owen T. Carroll field and emerge victorious with a 1-0 win over Seton Hall (4-4-1) behind Diana Poulin’s (0) seventh shutout of the season, Saturday afternoon.
Offense came at a premium Saturday as the ball saw the back of the net only once in what would be the first BIG EAST Conference game for both sides. The goalkeeping performances played a huge roll in Saturday’s game as both goalies kept a clean sheet until the 69-minute mark. The Red Storm’s Anna Maria Baldursdottir (18) beat Seton Hall goalie Anna MacLean (0) off the right post on a penalty kick. The penalty came as Samie Scaffdi (21) was taken down in the penalty box after both teams fought for a loose ball. The converted penalty proved to be all St. John’s needed in a tough drag out game.
“Any win on the road in the BIG EAST is a good one,” said St. John’s head coach Ian Stone.
The game was knotted up at the half but it saw St. John’s dominate in time of possession and shots taken. The Red Storm had six shots to the Pirates’ two after the first 45 minutes. Much of the same would ensue in the second half as the Red Storm were able to tally an extra 11 shots on goal opposed to the Pirates’ three. Offense wasn’t easy to come by but St. John’s was able to capitalize on their best opportunity of the match.
“We made some tactical changes in the second half, which allowed us to create more opportunities.” said Stone
The crowd was fired up for the first conference game of the year but it was also special for other reasons. The game was also Seton Hall’s annual Marry Jennings Memorial game/ fundraiser in memory of the former pirate who lost her battle with cancer in 2006. Seton Hall tried to feed off the energy of their crowd, which was a special one at Owen T. Carroll field but were unable to score.
Seton Hall made a late attempt to even the score when they surged forward in the last three minutes of the game. Frankie Maier (10) sent a cross into the box that eventually led to a shot by Lauren Hall (17). The shot was blocked by the Red Storm defense but trickled onto the foot of Sarah Schweinberg (20) who then blasted a rocket on goal from 25 yards out. The shot was pushed over the crossbar by a diving Poulin who would notch her final save of the day securing the shutout and team victory for the Red Storm.
Diana Poulin positioned herself in the top-five goalies in the conference with her seventh shutout of the season. Her performance Saturday puts her only two short of her 2014 personal record of nine shutouts in a single season. The senior goalie also improved her save percentage to .900 on the season (redstormsports.com)
Both programs will continue conference play on Thursday. The Pirates will travel to Milwaukee to face Marquette (4-5-2) who also lost their BIG EAST opener to Creighton in double-overtime. While St. John’s will look to add another conference victory to their record, as they will match up with Butler (8-2-1) at home. Butler is also coming off of a victory as they defeated Villanova 2-0.
By Khadeem McLean