It would not be a storybook ending for the five seniors on the St. John’s men’s soccer team in their final game at Belson Stadium, as the Red Storm fell 1-0 to their tri-state rival Seton Hall on Thursday night.
The night began with a ceremony to honor the five graduating seniors of the 2014 class. Marco Bordon, Daniel Herrera, Casey Osborne, Jordan Rouse and captain Tim Parker were each greeted by family members at midfield during the celebration. The five seniors made three NCAA Tournament appearances (2011, 2012, 2013) and tallied 19 total goals throughout their St. John’s careers.
As the pre-game festivities came to a close, the match would begin with a slow start for each team. After the rivals would trade a few meek scoring chances, the Red Storm would have a golden opportunity to take an early lead in the 28th minute.
After Bordon was able to fire a shot at Seton Hall goaltender Julian Spindler, it would be deflected away by the goalie. Luis Esteves had a chance on a close-range header that bounced off the crossbar, keeping the game scoreless.
Neither team would really threaten for the remainder of the half, as only nine total shots would be taken throughout the period, five of them to Seton Hall and four to St. John’s.
However the Pirates, who were playing to keep their Big East Tournament hopes alive, would come out much more energized in the second half, and in the 56th minute, they found their go-ahead goal. It would be Andrew LoManto who rifled in a shot from inside the six-yard box after a beautiful pass from Samuel Geiler to give Seton Hall a 1-0 lead.
From there St. John’s struggled mightily to find an equalizer, as the offensive woes, which have plagued them all season were prevalent once again Thursday night. They would have a few chances in the game’s final 15 minutes, but none of them came to fruition, and the Pirates held on for a 1-0 victory.
The Red Storm would finish the year with a dismal 1-7-1 conference record and a 4-10-4 overall record. This marks the first season since 2010 that they failed to make the NCAA Tournament.
“This was a difficult season for us,” head coach Dave Masur told RedStormSports.com after the game, “but our guys played with a lot of pride and showed a lot of character throughout, and I am proud of that.”
When asked about what was going through his head as he walked off the Belson Stadium field for the final time, captain Tim Parker responded, “Shock. Kind of how quickly the years go by here. You experience so much and had so many moments of joy and happiness, and it kind of goes real quick.”
Parker tallied four goals and four assists while playing in 79 of a possible 80 games in his four years at St. John’s, including 78 starts. He and his fellow seniors will certainly have the support of the Red Storm community for years to come.