Terps Weather the Storm

For the fourth straight year the St. John’s Red Storm men’s soccer team fell to the Maryland Terrapins in the NCAA Tournament, ending its season.

Maryland won the game with a final score of 2-0, sending the St. John’s team and fans back to Queens sooner than they had hoped.

The Red Storm, seeded ninth in the tournament, started the game strong, with freshman Ryan Soroka looking to score his 10th goal of the season by taking the first shot on goal of the game. Fifteen minutes into the game, Soroka’s shot was handled easily by Maryland goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who gained honors last season by being named to the ACC All-Freshman team.

Minutes later Maryland got its first shot on goal with St. John’s goalkeeper Jason Landers just out of position. Maryland forward Graham Zussi had a clear lane to the goal and fired a shot from about 20 yards out that just sailed over the crossbar.

Three minutes later Maryland took its second shot on goal, and the lead, with a strong passing attack. Senior A.J. Goldbolt pushed the ball across the field to freshman Jason Herrick, who found freshman Jeremy Hall. Hall’s shot beat Landers giving the Terps a 1-0 lead.

Maryland’s offense never let up, out-shooting the Red Storm 17-6 for the game. The Terrapins controlled the ball and slowed the tempo of the game, seemingly frustrating the Red Storm offense and never allowing it to execute effectively.

The Red Storm offense started the second half aggressively, and play by both teams became very physical, with members of each team hitting the turf repeatedly. Red Storm senior Billy Hole received a yellow card as well as Maryland freshman Jason Herrick.

The desperation became more apparent after St. John’s gave up its second goal of the night, this time off of a stolen pass. Keeper Jason Landers attempted to pass the ball in only to have it taken away by Graham Zussi. Zussi intercepted the bad pass and made a move toward the center of the goal leaving Landers unable to make a play to save the shot.

Ryan Soroka and Jeff Stepan had the only two Red Storm shots on goal for the game, with Soroka’s coming in the second half. The freshman tracked down a pass from Tadeu Terra near the Maryland goal and took a shot while Seitz was out of position. With the crowd ready to explode thinking the Storm could get back into the game, the shot missed high.

The loss ended St. John’s season as well as the team’s school record of seven consecutive shutouts.