The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Four straight

St. John’s men’s soccer faced Louisville Saturday night at Belson Stadium, finishing in a scoreless tie and giving the Red Storm (6-4-3, 3-1-2 Big East) its fourth straight shutout of the season.

St. John’s has not given up a single goal since the loss against UConn on September 28, and has since recorded two wins and two ties.

The Johnnies had some promising scoring opportunities, but were not able to capitalize on offense as Cardinals (7-4-2, 3-2-1) players used their size advantage over the Johnnies, crowding the box to prevent second chance shot-on-goal opportunities.

“[Louisville] is a good team, well coached, well-organized, very physical and good in transition,” said head coach Dr. Dave Masur. “They are very dangerous on a counter and very dangerous on set pieces.”
Sophomore forward Ryan Soroka attempted the first shot of the game but it hit the goalpost early on and went over the net in the fifth minute. Shortly afterwards, teammate sophomore midfielder Michael Luk posted another shot for the Johnnies at the 5:41 mark of the first half, but his attempt was blocked.

No stats were posted for the Cardinals until the 19th minute when junior midfielder Aaron Clapham attempted a shot on goal, but St. John’s sophomore midfielder Adam Himeno denied it and picked up the defensive save for the team.

At the 42:29 mark, Luk attempted the first shot on goal for the Johnnies, but was denied by Louisville sophomore keeper David Simolike. St. John’s senior goalie Jason Landers returned the favor by preventing a shot on goal launched by Cardinals sophomore defenseman Phil Edington in the last minute of the half.

By the close of the first half, St. John’s was out-shooting Louisville 5-3, and also led the Cardinals in corner kicks, 3-1. The game remained scoreless due to the solid and consistent defense displayed by both teams.

“[Louisville is] a defensive team,” said senior midfielder Jeff Stepan. “Whenever we got the ball in [the box], it was kind of compacted and crowded, so that’s why it was tough.”

20 minutes elapsed in the second half before the Johnnies’ next shot on goal. In the 66th minute, Soroka kicked one to the net, but Simolike was there again to prevent St. John’s from clinching a win.
Landers posted his second save of the night in the 80th minute after he denied a shot on goal by Cardinals freshman midfielder J.T. Murray.

Louisville had a strong second half, adding five more shot attempts to the stat sheets and limiting the Red Storm to only two.

This was still not enough for the Cardinals to clinch a win, since the Red Storm kept their opponents at bay, forcing the game into two sudden-death overtime periods.
During the first overtime, no shots were recorded for either team.

“I think our set pieces weren’t that great tonight, both our serves and our plays were free set pieces,” said Masur.

In the second overtime, Louisville senior forward Marco Terminesi attempted a shot on the net, but St. John’s sophomore defenseman David Reed picked up the crucial save at the 102:44 mark to prevent a loss to the Cardinals. The Red Storm finished with four saves.

St. John’s junior forward Michael Mingione attempted what could have been a great set-up to the net, but before the shot on goal was recorded, a foul was called on him in the 108th minute. Louisville held a strong front so that St. John’s could not close down on them offensively.

“They have good defense, but we had our chances,” said Stepan. “Sometimes we’re not going to put some shots away, but we have to prepare a little better, prepare for teams that are going to sit back on us.”

The 0-0 draw gives St. John’s its second scoreless tie of the season. Although neither team was able to claim victory, Louisville topped St. John’s in shots 9-7, but the Red Storm held a 6-1 advantage over the Cardinals in corner kicks.

St. John’s currently holds a 2-1-0 record in historical contests against Louisville. This draw gives the Johnnies an overall record of 0-1-3 in overtime games played.

“It’s a good effort defensively to keep them shut-out,” Stepan said. “I’m a little disappointed that we couldn’t get a win. We had some chances, but we have to just push through.”

“We want to win– we want to win every time we play,” Masur added. “We’re pushing the game the best way we can to win. And, we have to turn the page and move forward.”

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