The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

St. John’s Handed Crushing Defeat in the First Round of The Big East Tournament

The Johnnies bid for a trophy cut short in an overtime thriller.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

The St. John’s men’s soccer team ended their season with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the No. 5 UConn Huskies in what will surely be heralded as a classic game. 

The match got off to an energetic start, as both sides almost scored within the first five minutes. After this flurry of missed shots and heads up defensive play from both sides, UConn ended up dominating possession until they scored the first goal in the 20th minute.

The Huskies broke through with an immaculate header from junior forward Scott Testori that gave them an early lead. This caused the Red Storm offense to wake up, and they began to control the ball for the remaining 25 minutes of play in the first half. This charged offense was blanked by the combative play of UConn’s defense as they shut down the Johnnies’ top players. 

After an overall chippy half, UConn went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. When it came to stats, UConn led in shots with seven to St. John’s four. But the Johnnies had more corner kicks with three, compared to the Huskies two. The Johnnies’ senior goalkeeper Alec McLachlan had an impressive four saves in the first half while UConn only saved one shot.

But the Johnnies emerged from halftime rejuvenated and evened up the contest. Just one minute into the half, graduate student defender Lenny Cidolt scored a stunning equalizer and began St. John’s dominance of ball control this half. Just minutes later Cidolt missed what would’ve been his second goal by just inches over the crossbar.

After these hectic opening minutes, the game settled back into the defensive matchup seen in the previous half, but with St. John’s back line being the aggressors. Head Coach David Masur’s defense outmatched the Huskies with pure physicality, helping the team regain possession for most of the half. However, this physicality did not go unnoticed, with senior defenders Thomas Lamille and Antek Sienkel being handed yellow cards. 

Fleuriau Chateau at Saturday’s game vs. Uconn. Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

The second half ended dramatically with Johnnies redshirt junior Nicolas Fleuriau-Chateau leading one final charge and narrowly missing a game winning goal. With this miss the score remained deadlocked at the end of regulation. 

Ninety minutes was not enough time to decide a winner, so the game went into overtime. At the end of the second half, St. John’s led most major statistics,with 14 shots to UConn’s 11, six corners to UConn’s three and finally McLachlan saving six shots while Connecticut only saved four.

Both teams traded empty possessions to start overtime with no real advantage being given.  Frustration mounted as both sides came close to getting that coveted final goal.

The final goal came in the 101st minute when sophomore forward Eli Conway split St. John’s defenders and scored for UConn in a climactic fashion. Despite some late chances coming from two corner kicks, this final goal would go unanswered with the Huskies being victorious over the Johnnies at a final score of 2-1.

The Johnnies finished the season 8-4-5 with a conference record of 3-1-4.

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