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

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The streaks saved the men’s soccer season

Midway through the men’s soccer season, it was a pretty safe bet that the St. John’s Red Storm were not a strong pick to win either Big East championship.

Though the Red Storm gave opponents all they could handle defensively, and though their new goalkeeper, Derby Carrillo, eventually finished the season atop the conference shutouts list, the Johnnies could not consistently score goals.
Over the span of 374 minutes, the Red Storm did not once find the back of the net. They went 0-1-3 over that span in late September, and a team that was once favored in both the conference and national
rankings suddenly began to spiral downward. The northeast’s perennial soccer powerhouse
began to crumble.

During that beleaguered stretch, Head Coach Dave Masur told the Torch that the team’s gameplan would not change, and that his team did not focus on the scoreless streak they were in. They would go out and play a tight defensive game and attack as best as they could offensively. And make no
mistake; their offense did not need fixing.
Their expectations, in fact, were as high as ever. The team still expected to win every gameas if they were still on top.
It didn’t seem justifiable. How could a team that couldn’t score win games? Defenses may win championships, but offenses score points and, at the very least, manage time. Surely something needed to be done.

Then something happened. Tadeu Terra scored against Villanova on Oct. 3, and everything changed. The team immediately got its mojo back.

As soon as it took to fall out of the Top 25 in the NSCAA/adidas rankings, as soon as it took to go four games without scoring a single goal, the Red Storm went on a
13-game unbeaten streak – and a six-game winning streak – that culminated Sunday in a 5-3 shootout victory over Notre Dame after a scoreless stalemate during regulation and two overtimes of the
Big East Championship game.

Thirteen consecutive games without a loss. For those of you counting at home, the Red Storm scored 20 goals since their last loss on September 25. Not bad for a team that went four games without scoring one.

Blink once and the Red Storm were looking up in the Big East standings. Blink again and you missed their second Big East championship in as many years. That’s how
quickly it happened.So Dave Masur and his team may not necessarily believe in streaks, but it may very well be two streaks that won him the Big East championship and saved the season.

Without the team’s current unbeaten streak, the Red Storm would have been an NCAA bubble team at best, with nearly as many ties as wins to their overall record. They’d be just another schizophrenic offense that excells on defense.

And the Red Storm scored at least two goals in each of their last five games entering
Sunday’s match. Without the sharp offense – the inverse of those early season struggles – they may very well have had a hard time scoring against the Irish.

Thanks to streaks, the best soccer is still yet to come for Masur’s team. The Red Storm learned Monday that their perseverance through the frustrating stretches and the
successes this season would not go overlooked, as it earned a first-round bye and a No. 13 seed in the NCAA, where the team advanced to the College Cup last year.

So, at least for the time
being, the Red Storm’s streaking
will continue.

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