The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

View this profile on Instagram

The Torch (@sju_torch) • Instagram photos and videos

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Jojo Siwa
Jojo Siwa’s Bad Karma
Catherine Pascal, Staff Writer • May 3, 2024
Torch Photo / Anya Geiling
Live Show Spotlight: Roger Eno
Anya Geiling, Contributing Writer • April 30, 2024

Diaz stays strong in between posts

Diana Colapietro
Rafael Diaz has three shutouts in the four-game winning streak.

Clean sheets at Belson are becoming the norm for the St. John’s men’s soccer team, as the Red Storm (5-1) beat West Virginia 1-0 Sunday night.
The victory was the Johnnies’ fourth in a row – and the team’s third straight with a 1-0 score line.

“It really starts in practice with a lot of focus, a lot of preparation for the game,” senior goalkeeper Rafael Diaz said. “And we’re getting a little groove now and the forwards are putting them in and giving us confidence that if we get a shutout, we’re going to win.”

Sean Sepe was the forward who found the back of the net for the Red Storm Sunday. The sophomore slalomed past three West Virginia (3-2-1) defenders before slotting home to the far post in the 23 minute. The goal came barely five minutes after he squandered a chance created by senior midfielder-turned-fullback Jamie Thomas.

“I was mad at myself that I didn’t score the first one and I was like, ‘I’m definitely getting one this game – I’m going to push to get it,’” Sepe said.

The strike was Sepe’s second goal in as many games and his third overall on the season.

“[Scoring goals] is a lot easier for confidence and it just helps my mindset knowing if I score, it’ll help my team out,” Sepe said.

Despite Sepe’s good run of form, the story of the early season continues to be the Red Storm’s firm defense. Head coach Dr. Dave Masur’s implementation of a 5-3-2 formation along with Diaz’s presence in goal has seen the Johnnies thwart opponents in the final third, conceding just two goals in six games.

The Red Storm’s performance against a West Virginia team that scored 12 goals in the five games heading into the Sunday night matchup puts into perspective the Johnnies’ defensive prowess at the moment.

“I think this was the best defensive game we played [thus far],” Diaz said.

“They had a couple early chances in the beginning, but we took care of that and in the second half, I don’t think they had a clear shot. It’s a team that scores a lot of goals and for them to not have that many shots is a testament to what we did.”

However, always looking to improve, Masur was quick to point out his team’s sloppy passing in midfield.

“We gave the ball away too easily,” Masur said. “They [West Virginia] were very aggressive to squeeze up on us after we scored the goal and we didn’t handle it well at all,” Masur said.

Masur and co. will look to record their fifth straight victory when they travel to Nebraska Saturday to take on Creighton.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Mitchell Petit-Frere, Managing Editor
Contact: [email protected]. Mitch likes Cristiano Ronaldo. Other than that, he’s been a great Sports Editor the past year. Mitch came in as the biggest question mark, with only half a year of experience as a staff writer and fresh from a semester abroad where he picked up weird fashion trends like scarves in the summer. He quickly answered any questions about whether he was up to the task, improving the sports section in every facet, while adding a unique voice in his columns. Now, as managing editor, I’m sure he’ll bring that same perspective and quality to the paper as a whole. — Mike Cunniff Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus
Diana Colapietro, Photo Editor
Photo Editor: Diana is a senior Photojournalism major/International Studies minor who has been involved in the Torch since her freshman year in the fall of 2012. This year she hopes to incorporate more photo spreads in the newspaper and make the content more visually appealing. [email protected]
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *