None Better

Possibly starting a new tradition was the farthest thing from Andre Schmid’s mind when he jumped into the stands.

Yet after scoring late in the second half of St. John’s 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh Sept. 28, the sophomore forward may have started a new ritual to go along with a new stadium.

All he was doing was keeping a promise to a friend that when he scored his next goal, he would hop the wall behind the net and into the crowd.

“He’s my roommate,” Schmid said of Joshua Hatch, the fan that Schmid jumped towards. “I told him before the game, ‘Hatch, I promise you if I score I’m going for the stands,’ so I made sure I knew where he was on the side and when I saw him I went for it.”

Schmid’s “Belson Bounce” may have been the first in the fledging facility, but odds are it won’t be the last.

The way the Red Storm (7-1-1, 4-1) played against the Panthers (6-3-0, 1-2), several players would have found their way into the stands, had it not been for Pittsburgh goalie Justin Gaul.

Gaul made several spectacular saves in keeping the game scoreless until late in the game.

St. John’s almost took a 1-0 lead into halftime on an apparent score by Chris Leidner in the 44th minute.

Leidner took a pass from Chris Corcoran and found the back of the net, but the play was called offsides, negating the goal.

The Red Storm had several scoring chances in the second half, but time after time, Gaul turned away each shot.

“The goalkeeper was tremendous,” St. John’s Head Coach Dave Masur said. “He made about four or five game-saving stops.”

Schmid had a breakaway in the 52nd minute but couldn’t lift the shot and Gaul got a foot on it.

Matia Damiani and Tim O’Neill had chances to give the Johnnies the lead, and Schmid had another shot that the Pitt keeper managed to get his hands on.

Finally, in the 79th minute, Schmid blasted a shot from 25 yards out that nicked the bottom of the crossbar and got past Gaul.

Damiani and Jeff Carroll picked up assists on the play.

“It was nice to see Andre get a goal for all the hard work that he put in throughout the game and all the near chances he had,” Masur said of Schmid’s second goal on the year.

Damiani tried to put the game out of the Panthers’ reach, but his header inside the box was kicked away by a Pitt defender.

Pittsburgh had a chance to tie the game with two minutes left, but SJU goalie Bill Gaudette made a diving save on a chance by Bryan Hopper to preserve the shutout and the victory.