The Johnnies, who ranked tenth in last week’s United Soccer Coaches poll, trailed only undefeated Virginia in the first official RPI standings released by the NCAA on Monday.
The Red Storm’s 11-1 start is the best by a St. John’s squad since 1993, when the team won 13 of its first 14 decisions and opened the campaign with a 21-game unbeaten streak.
The Red Storm is 4-0-0 in conference play for the first time since 2003 after defeating Villanova, 4-0, at Belson Stadium on Saturday. Entering the contest, Villanova had surrendered just three goals in 11 games on the season.
Brandon Duarte became the fourth St. John’s player in just seven opportunities this season to be named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week. Duarte, normally one of the team’s top midfielders, slid down to the backline this past week and helped the Red Storm record a pair of shutout victories against Temple and Villanova.
On Saturday against one of the nation’s top defenses, Duarte helped the Red Storm outshoot the Wildcats by a 17-6 margin, including a 9-3 edge in shots on goal.
The senior from Toronto also assisted on the Johnnies’ third goal of the, match sending a cross into the box for Einar Lye, who headed it home for his first of two goals on the evening.
Luke Hansen, Matt Chandler and Rafael Bustamante have also been named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week so far in 2019.
Tani Oluwaseyi, last week’s Big East Offensive Player of the Week, found a spot on the Weekly Honor Roll after tallying a goal and two assists during the Johnnies’ two wins.
He scored the game-winner on Tuesday against Temple before assisting on the Red Storm’s second and fourth goals of the match against Villanova.
On the season, Oluwaseyi has seven goals, the highest total by a St. John’s player since the College Cup season of 2008. Of those seven markers, four have been game-winners, good enough for seventh in the nation in that category.
The sophomore’s seven goals and 17 points both lead the Big East near the midway mark of conference play.
Through games played on Sunday, St. John’s ranks in the top 10 nationally in goals against average (0.40-fourth), shutout percentage (0.67-third) and total goals (28-eighth).
The Johnnies return to action on Saturday, traveling to Omaha for a showdown with the Creighton Bluejays.