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Let's get offensive: why the SJU men's soccer team needs to bring the focus up-front

It's seems like an obvious stat, but the Red Storm are better when they're scoring and with seven games left on their Big East schedule, that's just what this team needs to do.

Wendell Cruz

The St. John's men's soccer team has been more than a little dramatic this season.

Case in point? Saturday night's double overtime, 3-2 victory over Butler to post the team's first victory in Big East play.

Aside from the obvious, as freshman Anthony Viteri notched the game-winning goal in the second overtime period, the Red Storm notched a handful of firsts in the matchup and the victory could be a big-time momentum boost for a team that has faced a handful of ups-and-downs all fall.

"I'm really proud of the way our guys continued to fight after the disappointment of allowing a late equalizer," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur said in a statement released by the team. "I thought our effort in the overtime periods showed a lot of determination and [Anthony] Viteri came through with a nice finish to get his first collegiate goal."

Viteri's game-winning shot was also his first-ever career goal, but more impressive was Luis Esteves' pair of goals in regulation. The stat was the first a Red Storm men's soccer player had notched a multi-goal game since Jack Bennett did it against Iona in 2011.

Think about that for a second.

That means, of course, that no St. John's soccer player had recorded more than one goal in any game in just over three years. That's not the best kind of stat.

Now, this may seem fairly obvious, but if the Red Storm can find some sort of leadership on this team, an offensive force who can put the ball in the back of the net more than once in any given game, this can be a team that could make some serious noise in the Big East.

The thing about the Storm this season is that they're so good when they're attacking and pushing the ball up on offense, that it almost looks like a different team from game-to-game.

Since 2011, St. John's has only ever lost one game when the team is able to post the first goal. That didn't happen in this Butler game, but the point still stands; when the Storm get offensive, good things happen.

In 11 games this season, St. John's has been outshot 144-to-117, but the Red Storm are slightly more efficient than their opponents, recording 12 goals to the opposing team's 13. Through that same frame, there is not a single player on the team with double-digit points - Mohamed Awad leads the team with five total.

The moral of this story? Those numbers can't stay the same if the Red Storm have any plans to find some kind of rhythm against their upcoming Big East opponents.

After all, it doesn't get any easier. St. John's returns to action on October 11 on the road against No. 12 Marquette. The Red Storm wrap up their schedule with six Big East games, four of which will be played at Belson Stadium.

The Storm have to take advantage. There are players on this team who can score. They can live up to the dramatic moment and, truth be told, they need to.