St. John’s was one win away from earning the Big East regular season title and the top seed in the conference tournament, but they ran into a hungry Georgetown team that needed points to stay alive for postseason play.
The hosting Hoyas (7-8-1, 5-4-1 Big East) were able to earn a 0-0 double overtime tie at Kehoe Field, putting the Red Storm’s (11-1-5, 7-1-2) celebration on hold.
The celebration would never come, because Boston College won its final match of the year, taking the top spot in the Big East by one point and denying the Johnnies their first Big East regular season crown since 1997.
Georgetown had a pair of chances early in the match to take the lead when Kasier Chowdhry broke free and had two shots on goal, but both were saved by SJU keeper Bill Gaudette.
St. John’s best chance in the first half came in the closing minutes when Chris Wingert took a direct kick from 18 yards out, but couldn’t convert a chance on goal, keeping the game scoreless.
“We didn’t play well the first 20 minutes,” St. John’s Head Coach Dave Masur said, “but we picked it up the rest of the way.
“Georgetown is a much improved team and had a lot to play for.”
The Red Storm picked up their play in the second half and had several chances throughout the second frame.
In the first five minutes of the half, shots by Alberto Duenas and Jean Camere went high, while Rich Bradley’s header went wide.
The Johnnies relentless attack continued with a header by Chris Corcoran and a chance by Andre Schmid, but Hoya keeper Tim Hogan stopped both.
“We had a lot of chances,” forward Angel Rodriguez said, “but we just couldn’t put them away.”
The two overtime periods saw much of the same, as Bradley took a goal kick from Gaudette and fed Schmid, but Hogan made a diving save to preserve the shutout.
St. John’s, the defending tournament champions, will host Seton Hall at Belson Stadium on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. in a Big East Quarterfinal match-up.
“Their going to be a tough opponent,” Rodriguez said. “We just have to concentrate harder on the small details, be even more ready.”
The Pirates, which lost 1-0 to the Red Storm at Belson earlier in the season, earned the No. 7 seed with a 5-5 record in conference play.
The winner will play the victor of the Connecticut/Rutgers match in the semifinals next Friday evening at Rutgers.