Moving On

Ryan Soroka has sent the Red Storm to second round action. The freshmen led No. 9 St. John’s men’s soccer to a 1-0 victory over No. 16 Monmouth on Friday night in the Storm’s first NCAA matchup.

His goal, scored in the opening minutes of the second half, gave St. John’s the only point they would need.

“He (Tadeu Terra) kind of lofted it in and I was wide open,” Soroka said. “I’m not really sure how but I just concentrated and put it towards the post.”

“It was pretty simple,” he added.

Until that point, though, St. John’s was having trouble scoring. The first half showed the momentum swinging in both directions with both teams having a few opportunities at goal.

In the 10th minute, Johnnies goalkeeper Jason Landers made a terrific jumping save on a ball to his right, saving a goal.

Monmouth’s Tom Gray had another opportunity in the 34th minute with a free kick but Landers leaped and caught it amongst the attackers in front of the net.

It looked as if they might have broken through in the 38th minute when Damon Wilson kicked one into the back of the net while Landers was out. He celebrated but the official called a foul on the play and no goal.

With only one minute left in the half, Soroka fought through three defenders to get into the box but he was tripped up and no foul was called.

But, he was just warming up for the next half. Five minutes in and he had put in his ninth goal of the season. Terra looped one in and froze the goalkeeper as Soroka gently headed it into the far corner.

For St. John’s the rest of the game was all about holding the lead. Landers showed off good hands, catching more than a few balls directed at goal.

As if to punctuate his night, Landers made another great catch in the last minute on a free kick. The Johnnies kicked the ball down the field and were able to run the clock down, securing their 1-0 victory.

St. John’s defense has been so good, they set a new school record for consecutive scoreless minutes. Breaking the previous mark of 613, the Storm is up to 648 and still on the streak.

Moving on in the NCAA Tournament, St. John’s will next travel to Maryland to play the defending NCAA champions on Wednesday.