Senior Tim Parker has been one of the best players in the history of the men’s soccer program at St. John’s University. During the defender’s four seasons here, the team enjoyed a consistent amount of success. They won the Big East in 2011, had three winning seasons and appeared in the NCAA Tournament three times.
“Winning the Big East Tournament as a freshman would probably be the highlight,” Parker said. “It was the only championship I won, so it was pretty special. Beating Delaware on the road in the NCAA Tournament last season would be up there as well since we had lost our first game in the previous two NCAA Tournaments.”
Parker personally attributes his success to “hard work, dedication and the desire to be out there competing everyday,” as well as always staying fit. He says he’s learned a lot as a player and a person here at SJU.
“I’ve learned a lot about the tactical side of the game, particularly spacing and where to be on the field in different situations. I’ve also become better at adapting as things happen during games. As a person, I think that I’ve developed as a leader. Soccer shows the importance of taking advantage of opportunities and I’ve taken that mindset off the field as well.”
Parker was certainly a big reason for the team’s success. He registered four goals and 12 assists in his career here (defenders usually don’t get a lot of scoring chances, mind you). The Hicksville native was chosen to be in the All-Big East honors during each of his three years and will likely be named again this year, even after a trying season for St. John’s.
“When I first arrived, my goal was to play,” Parker said. “I wanted to compete and earn a spot in the lineup. As a long-term individual goal, I wanted to be a captain by the time I graduated. As far as the team was concerned, I wanted us to win championships and reach a final four.”
Sadly, it was a struggle for the team in 2014 after three previous campaigns ended in the NCAA Tournament. The Red Storm finished dead last in the Big East (4-10-4 overall, 1-7-1 in conference play) and scored just 15 goals in 18 matches. They were shut out 10 times.
“We just weren’t able to finish in the final third,” Parker said to explain the team’s struggles. “We possessed the ball well and created plenty of chances in the final third, but it didn’t always result in goals. I think we also had some breakdowns on the defensive side and that can be the difference when you lose as many 1-0 games as we did this year.”
Like most collegiate athletes, Parker will have to make a choice regarding his athletic future. He says he plans to pursue a professional career, preferably still in the United States in the ever growing MLS (Major League Soccer).
“I would love to play for the new team in New York, NYCFC,” Parker said. “Of course, I’d like to keep playing soccer for as long as I can. After that, I would like to coach a college soccer team or use my finance degree to work in the sports industry.”