QUEENS, N.Y. – Fresh off a 2-0 victory over Temple University at Belson Stadium Saturday night, the St. John’s University men will close out their longest homestand of the year, playing host to the University of California-Santa Barbara Tuesday night.
The Johnnies enter with a 2-2-1 record after downing the Owls Saturday night. After more than an hour of scoreless action, the Red Storm found the back of the net twice in a four-minute span as Alistair Johnston scored on his first collegiate penalty kick and Matt Forster added an insurance tally. The offensive outburst marked the second time that both of those second-year players have scored in the same game as both found the back of the net in the Johnnies’ season opener at Drexel.
The Red Storm’s win over the Owls also marked the third clean sheet in five tries for redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Withers, who registered two saves. Having conceded two goals on the season in a pair of 1-0 losses, Withers carries a goals-against average of 0.38 and a save percentage of .900. Through games played on Saturday, both of those totals are the best in the Big East.
Leo Donnellan registered his first career assist on the Red Storm’s insurance goal. A 6-foot, 170-lb. midfielder from Edgware, England, Donnellan has played 140 minutes in five appearances, including one start this season.
UC Santa Barbara comes to Belson Stadium with a record of 0-3-2, having most recently fallen to Akron, 3-1 at home Saturday night. The Gauchos did not record a goal until their fourth game of the season, a 3-1 loss to San Diego State on Labor Day. Both of UCSB’s goals have come from underclassmen, as freshman forward Rodney Michael and sophomore forward Ignacio Tellechea have found the back of the net for the Gauchos. Freshman Alan Carrillo has started all five of UCSB’s games this season between the pipes, compiling a goals against average of 1.01 with two shutouts.
The Red Storm and the Gauchos have met on one occasion in the history of the two storied programs, a 2003 NCAA regional semifinal at Belson Stadium, which saw the Johnnies advance, 3-2, following a golden goal from Ryan Kelly in the game’s second extratime period. St. John’s went on to make its third College Cup appearance before falling to Indiana in the national championship game.