The hot start continues for the St. John’s men’s soccer team, as a five-goal second half moved the Red Storm into previously uncharted territory with a win at Columbia on Monday.
That win gives this 2019 squad the best-ever start to a season for the program at 6-0-0, besting last 2001’s squad that lost in the NCAA Tournament National Semifinal that season.
This year’s catapults the team into 19th in the United Soccer Coaches D1 rankings, their highest in 6 seasons.
The hot start can be encapsulated with one important word: goalkeeping. The Red Storm goalies combined to hold opponents scoreless through their first 387 minutes of the season, only conceding in their 4th game of the year to Iona.
The past week of soccer for St. John’s has yielded a 3-0-0 record to bring non-conference play to a near-close; the Red Storm break up Big East play, which starts this week, with non-conference challenges at Maryland and home to Temple.
Last night, the Johnnies manhandled hosts Columbia by a score of 5-1, with all of the goals coming in the second half. Midfielder Brandon Knapp led the charge with 2 goals; and midfielders Niko Petridis, Tiago Teixeira, and defenseman Sanoussi Sangarry scored the other 3 goals for the Johnnies. The win marked the 9th straight win, if counting this season’s exhibition matches.
Looking back on last week, below
St. John’s 3, Iona 2
Dr. Masur’s team opened last week hosting Iona on Monday and opened the scoring early with a 12th minute goal by Niko Petridis’ first goal of the year. Midfielder Einar Lye scored his first two goals of the season 53 seconds apart in the second half to bring the Johnnies’ total up to 3.
Iona was able to get on the board in the 40th minute to breaking the Johnnies’ scoreless streak in a chippy game, and then again in the 80th minute off of a PK to bring the score to the final of 3-2. The game featured 4 yellow cards for St. John’s and 3 for Iona.
St. John’s 1, Penn 0
The Pennsylvania Quakers visited St. Johns to close out the week for both teams as nearly 1,000 fans piled in to Belson Stadium for the match. The match became a defensive battle with shots on target coming at a premium. The first half ended scoreless.
The lone goal of the game came late in the second half when midfielder/forward Tani Oluwaseyi found the back of the net on a centering pass from midfielder Brandon Duarte in the 80th minute.
The upcoming week for the club brings up a match against #11 ranked Xavier and then at #24 ranked Maryland.
The two games serve as a chance for the club to keep their momentum going and test themselves against well-regarded squads as the Red Storm sail into the deep waters of the Big East schedule.
St. John’s will look to improve on from last year’s 3-3-3 Big East record — and make their first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 6 seasons.