The Seton Hall men’s soccer team (0-7-1) dropped a close 1-0 match to Big East rival St. John’s (3-6-2) on Saturday.
Though the temperature was cold, the game was filled with heated emotions. It was a true rivalry game, and each side’s desire to win was on full display. This made life for the match officials very busy, as six total yellow cards were given out, with four being given to the Pirates.
St. John’s scored the deciding goal off a set piece in the 57th minute. The Pirates played an even game, however, and had their chances to tie it. During the first 75 minutes, Seton Hall had a few chances to score, but none of the opportunities were put away.
“It comes to a point where some of these guys have to take responsibility and step up,” head coach Gerson Echeverry said. “Regardless of what we are doing, it is just not good enough right now.”
The Red Storm had more scoring chances, but could not put them away either until their breakthrough early in the second half. SHU junior goalkeeper Julian Spindler had kept the Johnnie’s in check until then, but there was nothing he could do to stop that goal. He did make four saves on the day and had a highlight-reel save in the 47th minute when he tipped a St. John’s shot over the crossbar.
The last fifteen minutes saw a complete change in the game. Seton Hall was dominating the possession, keeping the ball in its final third and putting constant pressure on the St. John’s defense and goalkeeper.
The Pirates nearly had a goal with 11 minutes to play. Junior forward Danny Bartok was able to score, but his goal was called back after the referee put up his flag for offside. Despite this late push to tie the game, Echeverry was not happy with his team’s performance and continued struggles.
“If we play like we did the last fifteen minutes, and not wait until then, we will be alright,” Echeverry said. “I just cannot comprehend why we couldn’t play like that early on.”
The Pirates will try to bounce back on the road against Princeton next Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.