After defeating Virginia Tech 2-0 on Friday, the St. John’s men’s soccer team lost to defending national champion Virginia 5-0 on Sunday at Klockner
Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
The loss drops the Red Storm to 1-1 on the season.
The Cavaliers scored their five goals on just 14 shots. Eight of those hit the target, and they scored on three of their first six shots. Virginia freshman forward Brian Span began the barrage in the 12th minute when his left-footed blast from 15 yards out sailed by freshman goalkeeper Rafael Diaz and into the top right corner of the net for the first goal of his career.
After junior midfielder Pablo Punyed’s shot was blocked in the 19th minute and senior midfielder Tadeu Terra’s effort went wide in the 21st minute, Virginia struck again in the 23rd minute when sophomore midfielder Ari Dimas’ pass found junior midfielder Jimmy Simpson, who headed it in for his first goal of the season.
Just 70 seconds later, the Hokies struck again when sophomore striker Will Bates settled a long pass and beat Diaz one-on-one to push the lead to 3-0. St. John’s put its first two shots on target in the second half within the first fifteen minutes. In the 49th minute, Terra tested Virginia keeper Diego Restrepo for the first time.
Ten minutes later, the Johnnies saw their best chance of the day when senior striker Adam Himeno’s breakaway chance was stopped by Restrepo.
Less than three minutes later, Virginia sophomore Sean Murnane put home a pass from Span from 12 yards out. That fourth goal marked the end of Diaz’ day, as he was lifted for fellow freshman Alex Naples at keeper. Diaz finished the day with four goals allowed on just seven shots on goal.
The goal barrage finally came to an end in the 73rd minute, when Span, who had a hand in three of the five goals scored, was on the receiving end of a cross by Virginia freshman Marcus Douglas. He put the ensuing one-timer past Naples to cap the scoring at 5-0.
Head Coach Dave Masur lamented his team’s attitude, especially defensively.
“We played a little too wide open and a little too much attacking soccer,” he said. “We certainly were exposed. People have to understand how to play a little bit better as a group and not so much individually.”
For St. John’s, only senior midfielder Kyle Hoffer, junior defender Connor Lade and freshman defender Jordan Rouse played all 90 minutes, as 19 players saw action on the day. Rouse filled in for injured junior center back Bjorn de Hoop, who was out with a knee injury.
Tadeu Terra, who played 57 minutes off the bench, led the team with four shots, including one on goal. Himeno put up three shots, two on goal, in 60 minutes.
St. John’s will try to get back in the win column Friday, when they play their home opener against Fairleigh Dickinson at Belson Stadium at 8 p.m.