BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Trailing by one goal with just over 13 minutes to go, the Lehigh University men struck twice in less than three minutes apart late in the second half, downing St. John’s University, 2-1, at Banko Field Tuesday night.
The loss ended five-game unbeaten and four-game win streaks for St. John’s (5-3-1, 2-0-0), both of which were program bests since the 2013 season. The decision also marked the first time this campaign that the Johnnies allowed more than one goal in a game.
Lehigh (6-2), which received two votes in Tuesday’s United Soccer Coaches poll, was outshot by St. John’s, 11-8, including a 4-3 advantage in shots on target.
Lehigh appeared to tie the game in the 76th minute after a scrum in front of the cage, but the side official raised his flag and a replay clearly showed that the Mountain Hawk in question was offside.
Just over a minute later, Alex Greene tied the game, connecting on a try from just inside the top of the box to knot the contest at 1-1.
Less than three minutes after Greene’s goal, Zarin Tuten struck again for the Mountain Hawks, making it 2-1 Lehigh.
Filippo Ricupati scored the Red Storm’s goal, converting on a penalty kick in the 42nd minute. Ricupati’s tally marked his second in the last two games and the second penalty kick goal of his St. John’s career. The forward also took a game-high five shots in 51 minutes of action.
Lehigh registered the first opportunity of the game, a shot off a corner kick in the second minute of action that was blocked by the St. John’s defense.
The Red Storm quickly regained momentum, firing off five of the game’s next six shots before breaking through on Ricupati’s penalty kick in the 42nd minute to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Alistair Johnston, who recorded two shots in 81 minutes on the game, was pulled down in the box to draw the penalty and set up Ricupati’s goal.
Lehigh recorded its best chance of the contest at the time in the 51st minute, as a try from Alex Greene missed just wide left and resulted in a corner kick that yielded nothing for the Mountain Hawks.
Ricupati narrowly missed his second goal of the contest in the 58th minute, as a ball ricocheted off several players in front before the Italian junior pushed a try just wide of the right post.
St. John’s will play the second match of its four-game road swing Saturday night at No. 22 Butler in a battle of the Big East’s two remaining unbeaten teams.