QUEENS, N.Y. – With the middle six teams in the conference separated by one point in the standings heading into the weekend, the St. John’s University men will travel to Chicago Saturday, taking on DePaul University in a 2 p.m. ET matchup at Wish Field.
With four games remaining in regular season play, the match will prove crucial in the Red Storm’s efforts to clinch a berth to next month’s Big East Tournament.
The Johnnies are locked in a three-way tie for third place with Marquette and Creighton at seven points apiece. Behind them in the standings are Xavier University, Villanova University and Seton Hall University, each of whom has six points. The top six teams in the Big East make the field, with the top two seeds earning a bye to the semifinals.
Despite picking up the loss in the Red Storm’s Saturday night setback defeat Marquette, Andrew Withers still ranks near the top of the NCAA in a number of statistical categories.
Through games played on Wednesday, the redshirt junior netminder ranks first in the Big East and 12th in the NCAA in save percentage (.828) and 22nd in the nation, second in the BIG EAST, in goals against average (0.74). The Wellington, New Zealand, native has been named the conference’s goalkeeper of the week one time this season and has earned a spot on the five-member weekly honor roll twice.
Led by Withers, the Red Storm ranks second in the BIG EAST and 18th in Division I in team goals against average.
Freshman forward Jack Shearer was ranked among the nation’s most promising prospects this week, checking in at no. 43 in the TopDrawerSoccer Freshmen Top 100. Ranking third on the squad with seven points (two goals, three assists), Shearer has made appearances in all 13 games for the Red Storm so far, including nine starts. Both of the Aliquippa, Pa., native’s goals came in a 3-0 win over RV/No. 19 Xavier on Sept. 23, making him one of three Johnnies to have a multi-goal game this season alongside Alistair Johnston and Harry Cooksley.
DePaul enters the match with an overall record of 4-8-2 on the season, including a 1-3-1 mark in league action.
The Blue Demons are led by senior midfielder Philipp Konigstein, who has found the back of the net six times and dished out two assists for a team-best 14 points. Classmate Quentin Low has recorded all 14 decisions for DePaul between the pipes, compiling a goals-against average of 1.44 on the season.
The Blue Demons and the Red Storm have met 13 times since DePaul joined the conference in 2005 with the Johnnies holding a 7-3-3 advantage in those contests. Last season at Belson Stadium, DePaul ended the Johnnies’ quest for a postseason bid with a 1-0 extratime victory Oct. 29.