QUEENS, N.Y. – Fresh off back-to-back home wins and unbeaten in its last three, the St. John’s men’s soccer team will open its Big East season, traveling to South Orange, N.J. to meet Seton Hall University Saturday at 1 p.m.
Saturday’s match will mark the first of the season for the Red Storm on the Big East Digital Network, available on the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.
The Johnnies are riding high, coming off consecutive wins over Temple and UC Santa Barbara that saw the Red Storm outscore its opponents, 4-1. Alistair Johnston led the way, scoring three of the team’s four goals, including both tallies in the Red Storm’s 2-1 victory over UCSB on Tuesday night at Belson Stadium. He has four goals through six games, matching his total from last year.
The reigning Big East goalkeeper of the week, Andrew Withers has excellent. With shutouts in three of his first six outings, Withers ranks 13th in the nation in goals-against average (0.48) and 14th in save percentage (0.875). The redshirt junior from Wellington, New Zealand has yet to allow more than one goal in any of his starts.
Earning his second career start on Tuesday night against UCSB, freshman Jack Shearer assisted on both of Johnston’s goals, tying him for the team lead.
Following a 2-0 home loss to the University of Delaware Wednesday night, the Pirates enter league play with a 3-3-1 record. After going winless (0-2-1) in its first three games, Seton Hall rattled off three wins in a row last week over Sacred Heart, Princeton and Penn to climb above the .500 mark before falling to the Blue Hens. The Pirates are led by senior midfielder Andres Arcila, the reigning United Soccer Coaches national player of the week. In Seton Hall’s three wins last week, Arcila netted three goals and dished out three assists.
The Red Storm has squared off with Seton Hall more than any other opponent in school history, with the Johnnies owning a 23-12-3 record in 38 matches. St. John’s has secured wins over the Pirates in each of the last two meetings between the sides, a pair of 1-0 victories for coach Dr. Dave Masur’s squad. Last season, despite going down a man in the 21st minute, the shorthanded Red Storm managed to hold off Seton Hall and claim victory thanks to a penalty kick goal from Filippo Ricupati in the 68th minute.