The St. John’s men’s soccer team booked its place in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament with a 2-1 win against Georgetown at Belson Stadium Thursday night.
Coming off of two straight 1-0 losses, the Red Storm (11-6-2, 5-5-0) came out of the gates attacking with real incentive.
“We wanted to take it to them [Georgetown] and get on their heels early,” said senior defender Connor Lade.
The Johnnies did just that by scoring the first goal of the match in the seventh minute through sophomore midfielder Jimmy Mulligan. Mulligan slalomed through two defenders and struck a low ball from 15 yards out that snuck inside the far post. It was the midfielder’s first goal of the season.
“Coach was telling me to create space and shoot quickly,” said Mulligan. “So I shot quickly and found the side netting.”
The Johnnies did not let up after Mulligan’s strike and almost found their second goal of the first half on two separate occasions. Senior full back Chris Lebo controlled a ball off of his chest and volleyed a shot that Georgetown (10-5-4, 5-4-1) goalkeeper Tomas Gomez saved while sophomore midfielder Adrian L’Esperance skied a point blank opportunity that was created by a Jack Bennett cross.
The Red Storm were punished by their missed opportunities in the 37th minute when Georgetown forward Andy Riemer was fouled in the St. John’s 18-yard box. Midfielder Ian Christianson converted the resulting penalty kick. With that, the Johnnies entered halftime with the score deadlocked at one despite dominating the first 45 minutes.
Before the start of the second half, St. John’s head coach Dave Masur entered the on-field huddle of the Red Storm starters and seemed to give them an enthusiastic speech.
“He was telling us a few, quick things on depth, covering behind on defense, and keeping the intensity and energy going to win the game,” said Mulligan.
Masur’s men responded quickly to their coach’s demands by taking the lead in the 49th minute through freshman defender Time Parker. The goal resulted from junior midfielder Jack Bennett sidestepping a Georgetown defender and sending a grounded ball across the face of goal which Parker quickly latched onto and converted, sending the ball into the roof of the net. It was Parker’s first goal of the season and the first of his collegiate career.
“It was all off the service,” said Parker. “I saw Jack [Bennett] cut down the line so I made my way to the near post, got across my man, and I was able to put it away.”
Parker’s goal ensured the Johnnies’ victory and also kept alive the team’s preseason objective of making it to Red Bull Arena for the Big East Tournament semifinals and final.
“It’s been our goal from the beginning of the year to get to Red Bull Park [sic],” said Parker. “We’ve had it in our goal list, we’ve been pushing to get there the entire year. Red Bull Park [sic] is a big push for us so we definitely want to get there.”
The Red Storm continue on their journey to Red Bull Arena on Nov. 6 as they travel to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.