May 4, 2012
St. John's women to meet 3 NCAA teams
QUEENS, N.Y. Ė St. Johnís womenís coach Ian Stone released the fall soccer schedule on Thursday, a lineup that includes three teams from last year's NCAA Division I Tournament.
The schedule also features nine home matches on the re-surfaced Belson Stadium and three first-time opponents, two in Queens.
ďItís a work of art putting a schedule together and trying to find the right level of competition for the team with having some very challenging non-conference opponents to prepare you for a tough BIG EAST schedule,Ē said Stone, who will enter his 19th season as coach. ďWhen you look at preparing a schedule, you are looking to optimize your teamís success. If we do well over the course of the fall season we have a good shot of not only making the Big East Tournament but going further than we have last year and putting us in a good position for a possible NCAA berth.Ē
The season starts in early-August with three exhibition games that include Central Connecticut State, Rider and University of Maryland, which reached the NCAA third round last fall.
St. Johnís begins the regular season with a home contest against George Mason on Friday, Aug. 17. It will be the first match played on the Red Stormís new turf at Belson. It is just the second meeting between the Red Storm and Colonials, as St. Johnís defeated George Mason, 2-1, in 2011. Kick off is slated for 7 p.m.
On the same weekend the Red Storm travels to University Park, Pa., to play its first game against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State was the national fourth seed in the 2011 NCAA tournament, and advanced to the third round, defeating fellow Big East opponent, Marquette on its way. The Nittany Lions have won 14 consecutive Big Ten titles.
St. Johnís returns to Belson Stadium for its first double home game weekend, hosting Air Force on Friday, Aug. 24 and Stony Brook on Sunday, Aug. 26. Air Force is also a first-time opponent for the Red Storm, while local-rivals St. Johnís and Stony Brook havenít played each other since 2005.
The following Friday, St. Johnís will play Brown for the first time in a 7 p.m. match at Belson.
The Red Storm will take to the road to finish up non-conference play with a tri-borough rivalry weekend. On Friday, Sept. 7, St. Johnís will travel across the Long Island Sound to play Fordham at Coffey Field in Bronx, N.Y. at 7 p.m. Sunday will have the Red Storm in Manhattan for a match up against Columbia at Baker Athletics Complex. The Sept. 9 contest between St. Johnís and Columbia is set for 7 p.m.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, St. Johnís will open Big East play at Belson with a 7 p.m. match up against Providence. On Sunday, Sept. 15, the Red Storm will welcome the UConn Huskies to Queens for a 1 p.m. start.
The following weekend, St. Johnís will play the first of four cross-divisional league rivals starting with a road trip to Cincinnati. The Red Storm will play the Bearcats in a Friday night, Sept. 21 contest at 7 p.m. On Sunday, St. Johnís will travel to Louisville, Ky. to play the Big East National Division regular season champions and defending Big East tournament champions at Cardinal Park on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. The Cardinals advanced to the Third Round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, defeating Dayton and Oregon State before eventually losing to Florida State, a College Cup opponent.
On Friday, Sept. 28 St. Johnís hosts Rutgers in the first of a three-game home set that includes the Scarlet Knights, Seton Hall (Sunday, Sept. 30) and Pittsburgh (Sunday, Oct. 7).
The following Friday, St. Johnís will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to play the leagueís American Division co-regular season champion Marquette in an 8 p.m. (ET) contest on Valley Fields on Oct. 12.
The Red Storm will close out the regular season on the road, first in Tampa, Fla. for a Sunday afternoon match against the Bulls on Oct. 14. Six days later, on Saturday, Oct. 20, St. Johnís will travel to Western New York to play its regular-season finale against in-state rival Syracuse at 4:30 p.m.
The Big East Womenís Soccer Championship First Round and Quarterfinals will be played Oct. 25 and Oct. 28 at respective campus sites. The Big East semifinals and championship game will be held at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium at University of Connecticut.
Keep up to date on all St. John's women's soccer news by following the Red Storm on Facebook and Twitter: @stj_wsoccer #stjwsoc.