St. John’s will take on the Syracuse Orange at Belson Stadium at 5:00 PM on Sunday, November 24th, in an NCAA Tournament Second Round game after the Orange defeated Rhode Island in a NCAA soccer tournament play-in game.
If the Red Storm win, they will be on to the nearly unanimous #1 seed, Virginia.
The Johnnies, ranked 9th in RPI and 14th in the United Soccer Coaches’ Poll, found themselves in the 16 seed, the last team selected to get an automatic bid to the Second Round of the NCAA tournament.
Bowing out to Providence in the Big East Tournament may have dashed their fortunes, and kept them from a Big East title, but after a long season, perhaps a few days of rest would be helpful.
The tourney berth is St. John’s first since 2013, and they host a Tournament game for the first time since 2012.
The Johnnies will play in the NCAA tournament with high expectations as the squad was highly regarded by the Big East Awards committee.
The league awarded Tani Oluwaseyi Big East Offensive Player of the Year for his goal and assist total throughout the regular season; he logged six goals and 15 points in league play, and 10 goals/ four assists (24 points) on the season.
Goalie Jan Hoffelner was selected as Co-Goalkeeper of the Year alongside Georgetown’s Giannis Nikopolidis. Hoffelner had multiple streaks of clean-sheets this season, including his 5+ game streak at the beginning of the year.
Dr. Dave Masur and staff received Coaching Staff of the Year honors for turning a 3-3-3 Big East team to 6-2-1 in one year.
The All-Conference teams saw 6 Johnnies making the cut.
Oluwaseyi was the sole Johnny on the first team. Midfielder Skage Simonsen, Defenseman Brandon Duarte, and Goalie Jan Hoffelner represented the Johnnies on the second team, and Midfielders Brandon Knapp and Einar Lye made the third team.
Last time out: St. John’s 1, Providence 2
The game went as follows...
The Johnnies began the game with a hot start as star Forward Tani Oluwaseyi put his Big East-leading 11th goal of the season in the back of the net in the 14th minute. Oluwaseyi’s goal was the result of his own persistence as it came on his 3rd shot in 1 minute and as a rebound of his own saved shot four seconds prior.
For the remainder of the game the Johnnies showed desire to get more goals on the board, but to no avail thanks to the stubborn Providence defense who allowed only 5 shots over the rest of the game.
The Friars were able to capitalize on their defensive success for the final 75 minutes as they tied the game at 1-1 in the 50th minute and score a winner in the 87th minute of play.
The frustrating comeback ended the Johnnies hope for their first Big East title game in over 10 years but fell well short of ending their season.