After opening the season with two shutout wins in the Virginia Soccer Classic, the Red Storm already has some hardware to show for their work.
Junior forward Adam Himeno was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week and Storm goalie Neal Kitson took home Goalkeeper of the Week honors.
Himeno scored the lone goal in St. John’s 1-0 win over No. 18 Virginia and netted the insurance goal in the 2-0 defeat of Old Dominion. Himeno’s nose for the goal played a large part in the Red Storm’s recent No. 19 ranking in the Soccer America Top 25 Poll.
“Adam has the ability to read those kinds of situations,” Masur said of Himeno’s knack for goal scoring.
“He reads the play from the beginning so he can sniff out where the ball is going to end up. It is very fortuitous for us and gives him a great opportunity to stick a goal in.”
Himeno says he was just at the right place at the right time.
“Any number of my teammates could have done what I did,” Himeno said. “It’s definitely a big thing in college soccer to think ahead not just one step, but two steps ahead. You have to predict it.”
Kitson, a redshirt senior, posted a career-high seven saves against Virginia. While the shutout statistic is given to the keeper, Kitson says that the stat wouldn’t exist without the 10 guys in front of him. “I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Kitson said. “The defensive line played really well. Both games they made huge plays, whether it was blocking shots or pushing attackers out wide. It made it a lot easier for me.”
In addition to the Soccer America ranking, the Red Storm graced the ranks in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. The NSCAA made St. John’s No. 1 in the Northeast region. But to Masur, rankings are just numbers and do not raise the expectations for his squad.
“The standards are already sky high,” Masur said. “We push the standards to the roof. We are a young team with a tough schedule, so it’s going to be a challenge to meet those standards. We’re not concerned about the polls.”
The Storm knocked off No. 18 Virgina in their first game.
Brown University and Boston College, the Johnnies’ opponents this weekend, also made appearances in this week’s poll. The Bears and Eagles are ranked 10th and 3rd in the nation, respectively.