Heading into the University of Akron Tournament, the 15/12 St. John's men's soccer team sported an impressive 5-0-1 record.
In their first game of the mini two-game tournament, the Red Storm went to double-overtime with Akron, ranked 7th in the nation. Throughout the second half of the game, St. John's controlled the pace of the game. The Red Storm earned a few opportunities, including in the final seconds of the second overtime, to get a go-ahead goal but were unable to punch the ball into the back of the net. The game ended in a well-regarded draw.
In their second game of the tournament, the Red Storm also drew in double-overtime, this time against Butler. 1-1 was the final score in that one. Daniel Herrera (2 goals on the season) scored the lone goal for St. John's.
In the first conference game of the season, St. John's lost to 2nd ranked nationally UConn, losing 3-0. The Huskies Carlos Alvarez led the charge with two goals and one assist. The Red Storm played shorthanded for over a half of the game as well, with Danny Bedoya being booked with a red card in the 32nd minute.
Surprising in the UConn loss was goalkeeper Rafael Diaz's performance. Normally steady, and almost unbeatable in the first eight games of the season, Diaz was unable to keep the talented UConn squad from scoring - though two of the goals came in the last 15 minutes of the match.
It wasn't just Diaz, of course. The Huskies took 15 shots compared to the Red Storm's six, so the defense also struggled; six of the 15 shots for UConn were on goal compared to St. John's two.
UConn got a taste of revenge after losing to the Red Storm in last year's Big East Championship game 1-0 on a Jack Bennett game-winner in overtime (96').
St. John's heads back into Big East action Saturday September 29 at DePaul in their second conference game of the season.
St. John's regrouped in their next match against Columbia. Nick Matthews (3 goals/ season), Jelani Williams (3 goals/ season) and Jimmy Mulligan (2 goals/ season) led the goal surge as the Red Storm came out strong in the second half, scoring all three goals to win 3-1.
The Red Storm were ranked 13th at one point but after their loss to UConn dropped back to 15th.