St. John's set to face FDU in the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament

Norman Rose

The Red Storm are making their 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Will this year be their title run year, or will they bow out early?

The No. 18 St. John's men's soccer team is set to take on Fairleigh Dickinson (9-5-6) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. St. John's started the season as favorites to win the Big East, but struggled through conference play finishing 4-3-1, best for 3rd place in the Red Division of the conference.

The Red Storm (10-4-4) are coming off a 2-1 quarterfinal loss against No. 6 Georgetown that stopped their quest for a repeat Big East Championship.

A 5-1-0 beginning of the season included a sweep of Gamecock Classic, in which St. John's outscored their opponents 9-2. The team continued to play the current #1 men's team in the nation Akron in The University of Akron Tournament to a 0-0 draw in a two overtime game.

But that would be all the success they would face against ranked opponents this year.

In their first conference game against No. 7 UConn, the Huskies exacted revenge on the Red Storm after losing in last years Big East Championship game winning 3-0.

St. John's would go on to win the next two out of three, then drop another game against a ranked opponent in No. 17 Louisville. The Red Storm would continue the trend winning the next two out of three again and then losing to Georgetown.

Now, making their 19th NCAA appearance, including four of the last five, St. John's looks to forget about the woes of the regular season and begin a new journey. Last year's NCAA experience went as far as the 2nd round last year, since the Red Storm were ranked No. 9 in the nation, they seeded well enough to earn a first-round bye. The team lost to Brown, 1-0.

If St. John's wins against FDU, they would face No. 8 Saint Louis in the 2nd round.

FDU won the Northeast Conference Championship on penalty kicks. Jack McVey (five goals), Nico Wright (five goals), and Jan Aubert (four goals) will be the three guys St. John's need to keep an eye on all game.

The Red Storm have only suffered one blowout loss this season to UConn, so expect another close game at Belson Stadium.

Those unable to brave the cold or make it out to the game will be able to watch a live stream of the game on ESPN 3 starting at 7:30. Tickets are $4 for students including +4 MVP points.

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