Seton Hall knocked off Providence to secure the eighth and final spot in the BIG EAST conference tournament. Going into the game, all five eligible teams had implications to earn their spot. For The Hall, it was simple: win and you’re in.
Providence started the game controlling the ball, as the Pirates offense struggled to control it. As the game went on though, The Hall’s defense tightened up and were able to generate opportunities.
Similar to the controversial penalty against Stony Brook, the Pirates faithful believed there was a missed call in the 31st minute. The atmosphere began to feel increasingly more aggressive.
Providence sophomore midfielder Diego Batista sucker punched Seton Hall midfielder Tomas Nunez after a scuffle. Despite clear evidence for a red card, and the referees reviewing the action, Batista got away with a yellow card. The game entered the second half with a 0-0 tie.
“It’s just unacceptable,” Seton Hall head coach Andreas Lindberg said of the refereeing throughout the match.
Halftime didn’t change either team’s demeanor. Both teams played just as aggressively, and the officials hesitated to blow their whistle. However, as the half went on, the Pirates offense truly opened.
Finally, in the 70th minute, graduate student and marketing major Andrea Borg rolled down the right sideline and hit fellow graduate and captain James Boote to notch the deciding goal of the game.
“We knew as the minutes went on, we were going to get chances,” Boote said. “We knew we only needed one, and we stayed in there and kept working hard.”
Although The Hall saw multiple productive shots-on-goal, Providence goalie Lukas Burns made crucial saves to keep the Friars in the game. With one final chance around the 89th minute mark for Providence, Seton Hall graduate goalie Mats Roorda made an incredible save to keep the Friars scoreless. Roorda, the graduate student, has eight saves in 2023.
Another scuffle led to a couple of red cards for Seton Hall’s Ian Albuquerque and Bernardo Prego, though they held strong and clinched the final spot for the BIG EAST tournament to thunderous applause from the Pirate faithful.
“It was an emotional day, with it being potentially our last game, and my last game at Owen T. Carroll, [there’s] a lot of emotions in the air,” Boote said. “We knew it was going to be a tough battle.”
Seton Hall will face No. 1 seed Georgetown in the first round of the BIG EAST championship tournament on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 12:00 pm in Washington, D.C.
John Misiewicz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.