|Women's Soccer Drops Season Opener at St. John's, 2-0|
QUEENS, N.Y. - Reminiscent of a year ago, the George Mason women's soccer team battled two weather delays in Queens, New York in the season-opener against St. John's, falling to the Red Storm 2-0. Freshman Emma Starr posted two shots on goal as Jazmin Cardoso led the Patriots with three shots in the season-opener for both teams.
The Patriots outshot the Red Storm 13-6, including an 8-4 second half advantage, but the home squad converted two of their three shots on goal for the difference. In the first half, Mason took three corner kicks to St. John's' one and finished the game with a 4-3 advantage.
The teams combined for seven shots in the first half as the Patriots outshot the Red Storm, 5-2. The home squad, however, was able to convert one of their two shots to grab the 1-0 halftime lead.
Morgan Ritter put St. John's on the board with a tally in the 13th minute as the junior carried the ball up the right side, beat out a Mason defender one-on-one and slipped the shot behind Mason goalkeeper Lyndse Hokanson for a 1-0 lead.
Liz Hodges attempted the equalizer with a strike from 20 yards out in the 14th minute, but the shot went wide as the Patriots saw another scoring opportunity less than four minutes later. Off a Jazmin Cardoso corner kick, Nicole Clark blasted a shot that was blocked by the Red Storm defense and on the rebound, Clark sent the shot high.
Ten minutes later the teams were forced to exit the field for the first time due to lightning in the surrounding area. After an hour delay, the teams resumed play to close out the period. Mason took two corner kicks over the next 10 minutes and Starr forced the only St. John's save of the half in the 42nd minute when the freshman tried to complete an Emily Harvey pass from the left corner, but Lauren Ferris was in position to scoop up the attempt.
As the teams entered halftime, a second weather delay began causing the teams to remain off the field for another hour. The second half finally got underway at 10 p.m. as the Patriots dominated the final period and controlled the pace of play.
The Red Strom looked to cushion their lead in the 65th minute when Runa Stefansdottir dribbled the ball up the left side. As a Mason defender got a foot on the ball, Stefansdottir regained control and drilled a shot to the left corner of the net as Hokanson dove to her right to make the save.
Mason rattled off two shots within a minute of each other, but both attempts went wide right of the net as the Red Storm maintained a 1-0 lead just inside the 17 minute mark. Harvey and Kelly Pizzingrilli tried to knot it up in the 75th minute as Harvey carried the ball down the right side, regrouped after a sliding tackle by St. John's and passed it off to Clark who then sent a cross to Pizzingrilli on the left side of the net. The sophomore took a step and blasted a shot just high of the net.
St. John's secured the 2-0 win with under a minute to play as Hailey Hemmer picked up the ball just over the midfield line and carried the ball up the center. Hemmer beat out a Mason defender coming up from behind and scored on an open net as Hokanson came out to cut off the play for the final score.
Mason and St. John's opened the 2011 season facing each other in Fairfax, Va. in similar conditions. The non-conference foes battled through 56 minutes of action before storms forced the teams to restart the game the following day.
Mason returns to action and opens its home slate on Wednesday, August 22 welcoming American to George Mason Stadium at 7 p.m.