Setonian Sports Quick Links: March 16, 2021

After the conclusion of the men’s Big East Tournament last Saturday, conference play has officially ended for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The men’s basketball team surpassed its second-round opponents St. John’s off the back of a pair of double-doubles by Sandro Mamukelashvili and Jared Rhoden, but was beaten by eventual champions Georgetown in a hard-fought semifinal game. Rhoden was named to the Big East All-Tournament Team after combining for 41 points, 21 rebounds and three assists in two games.

The men’s basketball team also missed out on the NCAA Tournament this season and declined an invitation to participate in the National Invitation Tournament, per a release from Seton Hall’s Athletic Department.

“Our student-athletes’ health, both physical and mental, is of the utmost importance, and rather than travel to Texas and go into another bubble, we believe these fine young men’s next steps are to decompress from the long season, focus on finishing the semester strong and get ready to either graduate and begin a professional career or return to compete for a conference championship and NCAA bid in 2021-22,” the statement said.

Photo via SHU Athletics

The women’s basketball team ended the regular season on a high, winning five straight games as Desiree Elmore, Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Lauren Park-Lane all found their best form in time to push the Pirates up to a No. 3 seed ahead of the tournament. However, the Pirate’s Big East Tournament hopes were put to an end early in an upset loss to No. 6 seed Creighton.

Unfortunately, the women’s basketball team also missed out on an NCAA Tournament bid despite finishing the season with an overall record of 14-7 and earning a No. 3 seed in the Big East Tournament despite three pauses in play due to COVID-19-related circumstances. They also declined an invitation to compete in the WNIT where Big East rivals DePaul and Creighton will  compete later this month.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Related stories: Everything you need to know about this year’s NIT and NCAA Tournaments

Men’s soccer remains undefeated at home

Seton Hall remained undefeated at home this season after winning both of their home games against Villanova and No. 13 Providence last week. Defender Luca Dahn had a goal and an assist after both games to help improve the Pirates’ overall record to 5-1-2 and conference record to 3-1-1. If Seton Hall wins a fourth conference game this season, it would be the first time they surpassed three conference wins in one season since 2006 when they had seven.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Junior forward JP Marin scored the game-winning goal against Providence for his first goal of the season. Sophomore defender Johannes Pex has also proved to be a stalwart in the Pirates’ back line and a crucial addition to the team after transferring to Seton Hall from the University of Passau in Germany this year. Goalkeeper Andreas Nota also recorded his fourth cleansheet of the season in the team’s 1-0 win over Villanova, and junior transfer Paavo Riihijarvi’s game-winning goal against the Wildcats was his second of the season.

Saturday’s win over Providence was also Seton Hall’s first over a top-25 team since 2017 when they beat No. 25 Creighton. Their 5-0 start to their home record this season is also the best start to a home schedule for the Pirates since 1999 when they started 7-0 at home.

Dahn earned Big East Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after helping Seton Hall maintain their clean sheet against the Wildcats and see out their win over the Friars.

Seton Hall will have the opportunity to do the double over St. John’s when they square-off against their metropolitan rivals on Wednesday. The Pirates won the first game against the Red Storm 1-0 at home at the end of February to kick off their Big East season.

Women’s golf finally begin play for their spring season

After over a year off the links, the Seton Hall women’s golf team finally returned to play on Sunday in the first round of the All-State Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate hosted by Tulane University.

The familiar faces of graduate student Lizzie Win, senior Mia Kness and junior Sarah Fouratt were all listed in the Seton Hall lineup ahead of the tournament. Sophomore transfer Ludovica Busetto also made her Seton Hall debut after transferring to the Hall from the University of North Florida but not making a tournament appearance in the spring. Freshman Ginevra Ricciardelli also made her debut for Seton Hall on Sunday competing individually.

Their final round of action down in New Orleans will take place throughout Tuesday. Seton Hall currently sits in 11th after two days’ worth of rounds. Fouratt is the highest-ranked individual golfer heading into day three tied for 18th place.

Justin Sousa can be reached at justin.sousa@student.shu.edu. Follow him on Twitter @JustinSousa99.

Author: Justin Sousa

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