Heading into Cincinnati, Coach Dave Masur and St. John’s men’s soccer had one thing on their minds.
“We expected to win,” Masur said.The Johnnies returned to Queens with its mission accomplished, shutting out the Bearcats with a 2-0 road victory.
St. John’s got off to a quick start, taking a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the contest off a goal from Mike Mingione.
“Mike [Mingione] made something out of nothing,” Masur said. “We always talk about trying to score scrappy goals. It gave us a lift but we had a long way to go.”
Cincinnati had a quality scoring chance in the 13th minute, but keeper Jason Landers made a solid save on Matt Telting’s header. The Bearcats had another scoring chance just minutes into the second half, but Landers came up big again for St. John’s with a save.
Following 70 minutes of scoreless play, the Red Storm pushed its lead to two when Tafadzwa Chiduku notched his first career goal in the 72nd minute. Chiduku finished from about 15-yards out off a quick pass from Omar Alfonso, who notched his first assist as a Johnny.
Despite ten shots attempted by Cincinnati, only two made it to Landers. The defense for the Johnnies has been stellar as of late, allowing just one goal in the last six contests and serving as the framework for a six-game unbeaten streak.
“Guys know what their role is [on defense] by covering for each other and preparing with a tenacious attitude,” Masur said. “Its not only the back four that do it, but also the front runners and following the game plan and limiting teams [to opportunities].”
With the win, the Red Storm improved its record to 7-4-4 overall and 4-1-2 in the Big East, good for second in the Red Division at a half game behind Louisville.With just four conference games left in the regular season, Masur says that St. John’s will look to capitalize on its opportunities.
“We have four more big games, and we know we’ll have to concentrate and do well,” Masur said. “We play four more Big East games so its gonna be a challenge, especially with the last two games being [on the road].”