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

Right on the money

The St. John’s men’s soccer team has had a reputation as a tough defensive team all year long.

In Sunday’s Big East Tournament championship game, the Red Storm lived up to that reputation.

St. John’s held Notre Dame scoreless during regulation and overtime, and defeated

the Fightin’ Irish 5-3 on

penalty kicks, to win the Big East Tournament for a conference-record eighth time.Notre Dame had advanced in the last two rounds of the tournament on penalty kicks. The third time, it turned out, was not the charm.

After neither goalkeeper could lay a finger on the first five shots, senior goalkeeper Derby Carrillo made a diving stop on a blast to his left by Notre Dame midfielder Matt Thomas.

It was the only stop Carrillo made, and the only stop he would need to make. Sophomore defender Connor Lade put home the final kick to seal the game, and the Big East

championship.

“Penalty kicks are always a tough way to lose,” Head Coach Dave Masur said. “We had to make sure our guys stayed very focused. Our guys did a great job and Derby did a great job of being really being really alert. He made a great save on

Thomas and our guys really hit their penalties well.”

After their mini offensive explosion during the first half of Friday’s semifinal win over Providence, the Johnnies

managed to put up just five shots and two shots on goal in the first half Sunday, with no corner kicks.

Offensively, the Johnnies struggled to get much going. Notre Dame was able to

successfully control the ball in their attacking end for most of the game.However, the Red Storm had a good scoring chance in the 17th minute.

After a Notre Dame handball on their own half of the field, junior midfielder Sverre Wegge Gundhus launched an indirect kick into the box. It was controlled by sophomore midfielder Pablo Punyed at the top of the box. He tried to beat Notre Dame goalkeeper Andrew Quinn on the left sideof the net, but was stopped, unable to get enough on the shot.

“We need to continue to improve on choices on the ball,” said Masur.

Despite this, St. John’s was able to keep the Irish off the board through two overtimes. The game went to penalty kicks.

The lineup for the Red

Storm included senior midfielder Nelson Becerra, junior midfielder Tadeu Terra,

sophomore defender Bjorn de Hoop, senior defender Joel Gustafsson, and Lade.

Despite this, the St. John’s defense held the Irish to just four shots and one shot on goal in the half to keep the game

tied going into the locker room.

The second half was more of the same, except Notre Dame’s senior forward Bright Dike tried to make things interesting.

The Big East’s leading scorer put three shots on goal in the second half, including

two that Carrillo could barely deflect away from the net.

Dike finished with six shots on the day and numerous headaches caused for the undermanned St. John’s defense, who played without second team All-Big East defender Ben Clack for the second straight game.

“We played against a very dangerous team,” Head Coach Dave Masur said. “The back four did a great job.”

Five players made the All-Tournament team,

including Lade, Carrillo, Gundhus, senior defender David Reed and sophomore forward Walter Hines. Hines took home the Most Outstanding Offensive Player award, while Carrillo won the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award.

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