Thanks to a dominating defense and a timely goal, the Red Storm left Cardinal Park as 1-0 victors Saturday night in Louisville. The lone goal was scored by Red Storm junior Jeff Stepan, his third of the season.
The story on the field, however, was once again, the stifling Red Storm defense. The Cardinals were unable to muster an official shot on goal in the final 32 minutes of the game. It might not have mattered if they had gotten one off anyway. Red Storm junior goalkeeper Jason Landers saved the three Louisville shots that reached him.
The Storm’s sixth shutout of the season moved Landers into sixth place on the St. John’s career shutouts list with 17, and into a tie for eighth on the school’s career wins list with 18.Despite slick conditions due to storms that had passed through Louisville during the preceding 36 hours, the Red Storm came out firing with Stepan and sophomore Rory Quinn both getting shots at the Louisville net within the first 10 minutes of regulation.
Stepan eventually broke through in the 27th minute of the game scoring a goal off a pass from senior Georgios Spanos, which gave the Storm a lead they would not relinquish. Stepan’s goal was the first game-winning shot of his career, and made him the sixth different game-winning goal scorer for the Johnnies this season.
The Red Storm did experience a scare in the 85th minute of play after it appeared that Louisville’s Frank Jonke scored a game-tying goal. However, the goal was negated because Jonke was offsides before he let the shot off.
St. John’s improved their record to 6-2-1 for the season, including 3-1-1 in Big East play. The Storm is now riding a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) and is now undefeated in its two meetings with Louisville (3-5-1, 2-3-0 Big East). The shutout was the team’s third straight and extended the Storm’s scoreless minutes streak to 367.