After falling to No. 6 Syracuse 3-2 in double overtime last Sunday, St. John’s head coach Dr. Dave Masur elected to start his youngest lineup to date on Thursday on the road against Princeton. The lineup included seven freshmen, two sophomores, one junior college transfer and one graduate student.
With the team trailing 1-0 65 minutes into the game, freshman Alistair Johnston netted his team-high third goal of the season to tie the game and jumpstart the Johnnies’ 3-1 comeback victory over the Tigers at Roberts Stadium.
Princeton junior Harry Heffernen scored the match’s first goal just 65 seconds into play.
Red Storm freshman midfielder Ludvik Benco nearly tied the game six minutes later with a point blank shot that was saved by the Princeton goalkeeper. At the 22 minute mark, the Tigers nearly went up by two goals before Red Storm freshman Matt Forster stopped the ball before it had a chance of finding the back of the net.
It wasn’t until Johnston’s goal and subsequent goals from sophomores Mauricio Rivas and Mike Prosuk that the team took a commanding 3-1 lead.
Andrea Previati, Filippo Ricupati, Ben Roth and Harry Cooksley all recorded assists on the night for St. John’s.
“We had a lot of good character from guys off the bench which really helped out,” said Coach Masur postgame to RedStormSports.com. “I think it was a little bit of a choppy first half where we had to be more consistent, more connected and more focused as a team. We were better in the second half, wore them down and got the result.
The second half was one filled with a renewed sense of energy and intensity, which translated into overpowering Princeton in the possession game and keeping the Tigers on their heels with numerous shots on goal.
Johnston’s goal came in the 66th minute, followed by Rivas’ score less than 10 minutes later on an assist from Previati. An insurance goal was added with under seven minutes remaining, when Cooksley found Prosuk, who finished on the ground to give St. John’s a two-score lead and their second win of the season.