St. John’s men's soccer suffers first loss
Sep 24, 2019 | 7049 views | 0 0 comments | 706 706 recommendations | email to a friend | print

After more than 108 minutes of scoreless soccer, Brett St. Martin found the back of the net following a corner kick and 25th-ranked Maryland handed ninth-ranked St. John’s its first loss of the season on Monday night.

St. John’s appeared to neutralize the initial threat off the corner, as Luka Gavran punched the ball outside the box.

The Red Storm keeper, however, was knocked to the ground on the play and was unable to recover in time to stop a second chance and a deflection from Maryland.

The loss snapped a school-record seven-game winning streak to start the season for St. John’s (7-0-1). Maryland, the defending national champion, improved to 4-3-0 with the victory.

St. John’s was outshot for the first time in 2019, as the Terrapins recorded 12 chances to the Johnnies’ seven. Four of the Red Storm’s seven tries were on target, but Maryland keeper Niklas Neumann managed to save all four.

Maryland came out of the gate firing, logging a pair of scoring chances in the opening three minutes of action. Jan Hoffelner and the Red Storm backline managed to keep the Terps off the board.

St. John’s began to swing momentum in its favor a few minutes later, as Matt Forster found himself with an open look in the box in the 11th minute, but Neumann was there to smother it and record his first stop of the night.

The two teams traded blows over the remainder of the half, but neither side was able to break through.

St. John’s recorded its fair share of chances after Niko Petridis, Tani Oluwaseyi and Johan Aquilon checked into the game late in the period, but the Johnnies and the Terps entered the locker room knotted at zero.

The Terrapins came out strong to start again in the second half, as Eric Matzelevich missed just wide twice in the opening three minutes of the period.

The Red Storm’s best look of the night to that point came in the 57th, as Oluwaseyi corralled a clever pass from Skage Simonsen, but his try sailed just wide of the post.

Brandon Knapp sent a shot on target in the 67th, but Neumann came up with his third save of the evening. Petridis fired off another try a minute later, but sent it wide.

Brandon Duarte and Forster made it four chances in as many minutes in the 70th, as the former was turned aside on a header before Forster missed a great look at goal in front off a cross from Petridis.

The Red Storm earned one last scoring opportunity toward the end of regulation, sending a shot over the bar as time expired.

Maryland drew a foul just outside the top left corner of the box in the 95th minute and was rewarded with a dangerous free kick. Brayan Padilla sent a ball toward the back post for Chris Rindov, but his header missed wide.

The Terps outshot St. John’s in the second overtime by a margin of 3-0, the last of which ended the contest. Gavran made one save in the final stanza.

St. John’s will look to rebound on Saturday night in Indianapolis, resuming its Big EastT schedule with a game against Butler.

Petridis honored

After helping the St. John’s men’s soccer team extend the best start in program history with a pair of lopsided wins, Niko Petridis has been named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week.

The senior midfielder tallied three goals, two of which were game-winners, and two assists in a 2-0 week for the ninth-ranked Red Storm.

On the road against Columbia Monday night, Petridis scored the Red Storm’s second goal of the evening, the eventual game winner, and assisted on the team’s third tally just three minutes later in a 5-1 rout of the Lions.

Anchored by Petridis’ efforts, St. John’s scored five goals in a regular season game for the first time since 2013.

On Friday against 19th-ranked Xavier in the Red Storm’s Big East opener, Petridis registered the most productive offensive outing of his collegiate career in a 3-1 win.

With the Johnnies facing their first deficit of the season, 1-0, at the intermission, Petridis assisted on the equalizer in the 57th minute before scoring the game-winner in the 69th and adding an insurance marker in the 87th.

He delivered a picture perfect corner kick to the back post for Brandon Duarte to tie the game before unleashing a pair of spectacular individual efforts for goals two and three.

Both started with a turnover that Petridis helped force before he dribbled a considerable distance and beat the goalkeeper.

After his stellar week, Petridis now tops the team with four goals on the season while his three assists are tied for the team lead.

With Petridis playing a pivotal role, St. John’s has scored 18 times in its first seven games, matching its goal total from all of 2018 and surpassing its totals from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The last St. John’s team to score more than 18 times in its first seven games was the 1998 squad that went on to win a Big East Championship.

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