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St. John’s defeats Syracuse in 2nd round of NCAA soccer championship

The Johnnies advance to the 3rd round of the NCAA Soccer tournament; they will travel to #1 ranked Virginia on Saturday.

Tani Oluwaseyi
Wendell Cruz

Following a win over former Big East rival Syracuse, the Johnnies will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia to take on the #1-seeded University of Virginia next weekend.

The game against Syracuse went as follows:

St. John’s 2, Syracuse 1

The Johnnies seemed to fall behind from the start, as the Syracuse Orange maintained possession and controlled the pace for the first 15 minutes.

Once St. John’s found their groove, however, midfielder Brandon Knapp scored the opening goal assisted by defender Sanoussi Sangary in the 19th minute. A defensive battle ensued until the 36th minute when Skage Simonsen put a goal in assisted by Tani Oluwaseyi to bring the Johnny lead to two for the half.

The second half slowed the Johnnies down as they mustered only three shots and gave up 10 to the Orange. Luckily for the Johnnies however, the visiting Orange scored only once as goalie Luka Gavran saved 2 and the other 7 were off target.

Though the Orange weren’t able to capitalize on their numerous opportunities in the 2nd half, they found a groove to bring into next season. The visitors passed the ball well in the second half and instilled a sense of fear after their 69th minute goal to narrow the gap 2-1.

The Johnnies move up to 14-4-1 on the season as they will face #1 Virginia in the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday, November 30. (St. John’s is ranked #15 by Top Drawer Soccer, $14 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, and #9 in NCAA’s RPI.) The game will be at 7 PM in Charlottesville.

Virginia won 2-0 over Campbell.

The winner of next Saturday’s game will go on to face the winner of UCF and SMU for the Region 1 championship and a chance to go to the NCAA College Cup.

Around the Big East, Georgetown defeated Pittsburgh 5-0, and moves on to face Louisville; Providence beat #15 Penn State in overtime, 3-2, and moves on to face Clemson. Butler was ousted in the play-in game by West Virginia, 5-1.