Early offense makes bold statement

When Adam Himeno made his return to the field at Belson Stadium, he made a clear statement to the visiting Lafayette team: I’m back and to future opponents, beware.
The redshirt junior’s first half hat trick helped propel the St. John’s men’s soccer team to a 4-0 win exhibition win against Lafayette Aug. 22.

“I was excited to come back, especially after being injured for so long. I’ve worked hard during the summer to get ready for the season,” Himeno said.

Himeno dominated the offensive end of the field during the game, using his quickness and strength to connect on assists from rookie Nick Matthews and junior Sverre Wegge Gundhus.

Sophomore forward Walter Hines outran two defenders to score the other goal early in the second half.

“Against Lafayette, we got a lot of guys involved and it was great to see people step up. We are going to need people to step up more,” said head coach Dave Masur.
Gundhus and rookie Jimmy Mulligan tallied a goal a piece in the Red Storm’s Aug. 28 exhibition win over Hofstra.

Mulligan scored his goal on a long 25-yard shot late in the second half, redshirt freshman Matt Bienkowski found Wegge Gundhus less than a minute
later to secure the win for the Red Storm.
In the final matchup of exhibition play against Lehigh Aug. 28, the Red Storm’s offense was stifled by the Mountain Hawks defense, falling 1-0.

“It was a good, spirited effort for our team on both sides of the ball, but we have to work on some details before our opener next week,” Masur said.

Throughout the three games, the Red Storm defensive line of Joel Gustafsson, David Reed, Ben Clack, and Connor Lade remained a consistent force.

Gustafsson, who was recently named as a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and was named the Big East’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, has been the backbone of the defense that has helped goalies Derby Carrillo and Nunzio Belifiore transition into this season.

The defensive line, Carrillo and Belifiore combined to only allow just one goal during
the preseason.

“The defense has been strong so far and the three seniors in the back provide strong leadership,” Masur said.

Besides the strong performance of the defense, midfielders Tadeu Terra and Trevor Chiduku had quiet yet impressive preseasons.

Terra controlled the midfield and helped the Red Storm have offensive success, while Chiduku used his speed and skill to create many opportunities.

The Red Storm have the possibility to make one of the most talented midfields in all of Division 1 with Terra,Chiduku and juniors Ale Ivo and Nelson Becerra, who both missed most of the preseason due to injuries.

“Our medical staff is working to make everyone ready and healthy for this
season,” Masur said.
The Red Storm open up the season this Friday
against Indiana.