Red Storm topples Cards

Matt Groenwald had done just about everything else in St. John’s game against Louisville at Belson Stadium Saturday night.

He assisted on two out of the team’s first three goals and was content to play point guard, dishing the ball about liberally as he was checked roughly by Cardinals defenders.

All that was left for Groenwald to do in the 4-0 win was score a goal himself – which he did in the 56th minute.

“Matty’s got to stay more mobile and more involved,” St. John’s coach Dave Masur said. “The more he stays mobile and involved, the better player he will be and the better team we will be.”

Sophomore Justin Abel got St. John’s off the snide by scoring the first Red Storm goal in three matches – a 20-yard strike assisted by senior Andre Schmid and graduate student Sebastian Alvarado-Ralph. The goal was also Abel’s first career shot to find the back of the net.

Groenwald’s score was the last in a torrid exhibition that saw St. John’s run up three goals within five minutes of each other. And Groenwald made his presence felt in all of them.

The 5-foot-8 speedster got by his defender towards the end line in the 51st minute and flicked a gorgeous pass towards the middle of the field to Schmid.

The senior booted it past Louisville goalkeeper Steven DeGeorge for his first goal of the season.

But it turned out Groenwald wasn’t even looking for Schmid with the pass.

“I moved toward the end line and I looked up and saw Billy Hole make a run,” Groenwald said, “and I just tried to get it near him or behind him.”

But it turned out Groenwald wasn’t even looking for Schmid with the pass.

“I moved toward the end line and I looked up and saw Billy Hole make a run,” Groenwald said, “and I just tried to get it near him or behind him.”

Less than a minute later, Groenwald found someone he was looking for: freshman Tony Beltran on the near side.

The highly regarded first-year player looped a rainbow of a shot over the keeper’s head from about 22 yards out and nestled it into the upper left-hand corner of the net for the team’s third goal of the night.

It was Beltran’s second goal of the season.

“He saw the keeper out off his line and he took advantage of it,” Groenwald said.

The Hermann Trophy candidate blew by his defender, got one-on-one with DeGeorge and sent the ball on a line to the keeper’s right into the bottom corner of the net.

The game was sophomore Jason Landers’ fourth straight shutout (he combined with senior Reed Dailey Saturday) and he and sophomore defender Steven Old were honored by the Big East this week.

The Red Storm also had a season-high 19 shots against the Cardinals.

But still Masur was not pleased with an offense that had only scored three goals in four Big East matches before the Louisville game.

“We (still) need to be more decisive,” said Masur, in his 16th year. “Unfortunately, the situation hasn’t changed.”