St. John’s battled Providence to a 0-0 draw

St. John’s men’s soccer visited Providence Sunday afternoon, finishing with a scoreless double overtime tie, 0-0. The tie gives the Red Storm (4-4-2, 2-1-1 Big East) its first draw in conference play and leaves the team with a 0-1-2 record in overtime games played this season.

“We had a couple of chances, but were not able to capitalize on them,” said head coach David Masur.

The Red Storm came out strong against the Friars (5-3-1, 2-1-1), out-shooting the team 7-2 in the first half alone.

Junior forward Michael Mingione recorded the first shot on goal of the period at the 22:24 mark. However, the shot was blocked by Providence’s goalie Timothy Murray, who had a save for each shot on goal attempted by St. John’s, totaling five.

Another attempt by sophomore defender David Reed in the 28th minute proved unsuccessful.

The Friars were able to get some shots off but not many clear attempts to the net. Providence’s sophomore forward Benjamin Wexler, with five seconds left in the period, attempted one shot on goal up against St. John’s keeper Jason Landers but was rejected before the half closed, 0-0.

In the second half, senior forward Jeff Stepan attempted his first shot on goal off a corner kick into the box set-up by freshman midfielder Alexandre Ivo, but the play was not effective as Murray denied it at the 71:49 mark.

Throughout the game, both sides were trying to find the best offensive strategy to score a goal to clinch the win before the 90th minute, but defense was unbreakable and intense on both sides of the field and the game was forced into a ten-minute overtime.

Not much action took place in the first overtime except for another shot attempt by Mingione, who finished with three. The period ended with a stalemate at zero.

In the second overtime, Providence and St. John’s both tried to quickly clinch a win with creative plays. In the 103rd minute, Friars sophomore forward Jonathan Medcalf attempted to get one through the net for his team, but Landers denied it.
With the clock winding down to only two minutes left in overtime, St. John’s players went into crunch mode.

In the 109th minute, sophomore midfielder Nelson Becerra launched a shot on goal to the net, but was blocked by Murray.
Stepan then propelled a shot to the net after a corner kick transfer to the box by sophomore midfielder Michael Luk, but was rejected by Murray again.

“With the last two plays, we were trying to pinch out a win in overtime,” said Masur.

Despite hard work and resiliency, both teams had to settle for a tie.

“I thought we played better on offense, but we kept playing hard against a team that was trying to limit our possibilities,” said Masur.

Although neither team was able to capitalize, the Red Storm was slightly more active on offense, out-shooting the Friars 13-11 and topping the team in corner kicks 6-2.

The Red Storm defense limited the Friars to only two shots on goal, each blocked by Landers, who posted his second shutout game of the year.

Currently, the men’s soccer team is about midway through the schedule and Masur seems hopeful for the rest of the season.
“In the beginning, we had different lineups almost every night and our team had to battle against hard competition,” said Masur. “We had to rely on each other and the team pulled together.”

“I think we performed fairly well so far,” Masur continued. “We just have to lift our intensity in the second part of the season to make the next games on the schedule go in our favor.”