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St. John's men's soccer looks to turn season around after victory over Harvard

The Red Storm have just one win to their collective name this year, but there's a bigger stat that came out of Saturday's victory over Harvard and it could shape St. John's season.

It hasn't been an easy start for the St. John's men's soccer team.

That may be a bit of an understatement, actually.

In their first five games, the Red Storm was out-scored seven-to-two by their opponents and held scoreless in four of those games. As of September 13, St. John's has also been out-shot 79-to-64, with opponents racking up 20 more corner kicks than the Storm.

Granted, the opponents haven't been easy ones for St. John's, including matchups against West Virginia on the road and Syracuse at Belson Stadium.

But those first five games, while certainly disappointing for the Storm, also helped set up Saturday night's 2-1 victory over Harvard, the first victory of the season for St. John's and, the team hopes, a turning point in the early-season schedule.

"Harvard has a good program and this game capped a challenging week for us against a pair of Ivy schools," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur in a release sent out by the school "We played with a lead tonight and I thought we were able to maintain our focus and play with intensity and determination for the full 90 minutes."

Gabriel Camara and Jordan Rouse both notched goals in the Storm's victory, with the later netting his eventual game-winner in the 53rd minute of the match. Tim Parker also added an assist for St. John's.

The victory in and of itself is an enormous momentum boost for the Storm, but there's an even more interesting stat that came out of the game than just a notch in the win column.

Since 2010, the Red Storm are now 43-1-1 when scoring the first goal.

That's an incredible number.

Think about that for a moment, when St. John's scores first, the momentum and the energy that it creates can, literally, push the Red Storm towards a victory.

Now, the start of the season has been less-than-ideal for this year's team, but if the Storm can carry over some of Saturday night's performance into upcoming games - including next Friday's game against Wisconsin - this could be a totally different team once the Big East schedule begins on September 27.

So, who leads the offensive charge?

That's not an easy question to answer. Right now, senior defender Parker leads St. John's with three points. But there are three players right below him with two points each, including Camara, whose goal against Harvard was the first time the Red Storm had scored in the first half all season.

The key, and it may seem like an obvious one, for St. John's is to get the offensive jump early. The Storm are not a team that can play catchup, especially not in a Big East that is currently fielding six teams averaging four or more points per game.

Right now, St. John's sits at the very bottom of the Big East standings in both average points and goals per game. The Red Storm have two more non-leagues games to figure the offense out, but Saturday's victory over Harvard was certainly a step in the right direction.