Sepe’s goal lifts SJU over South Carolina

Sophomore Sean Sepe scored the decisive goal in No. 12/12 St. John’s 1-0 victory over South Carolina. The game was a defensive clinic until Sepe’s goal in the 60th minute gave the Red Storm a slim goal advantage which would eventually be the final.

The first half of play saw the Red Storm (4-1-0) more aggressive, outshooting the Gamecocks (2-3-0) 7-2. Despite having opportunities to score, the Johnnies narrowly missed out on cashing in for a goal. Their closest opportunity came in the twenty-eight minute of play when sophomore Gabriel Camara played a header. The defender looked to have scored his first goal of the season, but the ball deflected off the upper right post and was ultimately cleared out of the box.

With no goals in the first half of action, the Gamecocks came out in the second half looking to push the Red Storm’s defense. As early as the 51st minute, a miscued pass by junior Tim Parker was intercepted by a South Carolina striker inside the box, but he was not able to send it past senior goaltender Rafael Diaz, who had six saves in the game.

“Diaz has got to be there to make saves, to control his box,” head coach Dr. Dave Masur said. “I was happy to see his feet were calm at times because they were a fast and pressing team which caused a little bit of trouble and he handled that very well.”

With Sepe coming off the bench in the early minutes of the game, the St. John’s offense started to find its rhythm again, applying pressure to the Gamecocks’ defense. They were finally able to open the game in the fifty-ninth minute when Sepe found himself in the middle of a hectic play, until the ball rolled right to his feet for him to put away the only goal scored in the game. Sophomore Danny Bedoya and senior Jamie Thomas were both credited with the assist.

“Someone crossed the ball to the backcourt, I don’t know who it was,” Sepe said. “And I was in the right spot and just tapped it in.”

The Red Storm kept their forceful tempo up after Sepe’s goal. Looking to extend the lead in the 75th minute, Bedoya dribbled past two defenders in the box, but only to be stumped by South Carolina’s keeper.

St. John’s was able to hold off South Carolina for the remaining minutes of play to secure their fourth win of the season, shutting out their opponents in two consecutive games.

St. John’s concludes their four game home stand on Sunday when they host West Virginia.