QUEENS, N.Y. – Following a 2017 campaign that saw the team finish third in the Big East regular season and turn in its best conference effort since 2009, St. John’s head coach Dr. Dave Masur has announced his team’s schedule for 2018.
The Red Storm will play 17 regular-season games, 10 of which will be contested at Belson Stadium. Eight of the Johnnies’ opponents recorded winning records last year and three made trips to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
Before opening up the regular season, the Red Storm will play three exhibition matches.
The first will come in the city’s northernmost borough when the Johnnies travel to Jack Coffey Field to play Fordham Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. Last season, Fordham recorded its best campaign in program history, reaching the NCAA D-I quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 North Carolina.
The Red Storm will stay on the road for a showdown with New Hampshire, a squad that recorded 13 wins and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament before reaching the third round. St. John’s will close out the exhibition schedule with a home match on Aug. 18 against LIU Brooklyn, which reached the finals of Northeast Conference Tournament. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Belson.
The Johnnies will kick off the regular season on the west coast, playing twp games against UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 24) and Loyola Marymount (Aug. 26). The Red Storm and the Gauchos met for the second time as the Johnnies claimed a 2-1 victory at Belson Sept. 12. The first time the two programs faced off came in the 2003 NCAA regional semifinals as the Red Storm won in two overtimes en route to its third College Cup appearance. The Johnnies will square off against Loyola Marymount for the first time in school history.
After opening the season in Southern California, St. John’s will return home, bookending Labor Day weekend with two matches at Belson. The Red Storm’s home opener will feature defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Fairfield Friday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m. as the Johnnies play host to a team that went 12-5-3 in 2017. St. John’s will square off with Lehigh Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. The Red Storm and the Mountain Hawks will meet for the second consecutive season, as the Johnnies dropped a non-conference decision last year in Bethlehem. Lehigh finished the campaign at 11-7-1.
The following weekend, the Red Storm will hit the road again, traveling to Philadelphia for a showdown with Temple. St. John’s claimed a 2-0 victory over Temple last year at Belson as Matt Forster put the game out of reach with an insurance goal in the 74th minute.
Three days later, the Red Storm will play its final non-conference match, welcoming Loyola Maryland to Belson for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off. St. John’s and Loyola, which finished with an 11-6-1 record last season, will face one another for the third straight year.
St. John’s, which has won six Big East regular-season titles, will open the conference campaign Saturday, Sept. 15, hosting cross-river rival Seton Hall at 7 p.m. This year’s matchup will mark the 40th between the Johnnies and the Pirates, the most frequently played opponent in St. John’s history. The Red Storm is 24-12-3 against Hall, dating back to 1979.
The Red Storm will continue Big East play the following Friday, heading to Cincinnati for a 7 p.m. showdown with Xavier Sept. 21. The Musketeers advanced to last year’s conference championship game, finishing at 11-6-3. Their 5-4 mark in conference action placed the Musketeers in fourth, one spot behind St. John’s. The Red Storm earned its first of several statement wins in Big East play last year against Xavier, defeating the then-No. 19 Musketeers 3-0 Sept. 23 at Belson.
St. John’s will play its penultimate contest of the non-conference season and kick off a four-game homestand Tuesday, Sept. 25, welcoming Mount St. Mary’s to Belson for a 7 p.m. contest. The fall season will mark the first year of collegiate competition for Mount St. Mary’s since the program was disbanded in 2012.
The Red Storm will return to conference action Saturday, Sept. 29, playing host to Butler at 7 p.m. Last season the Bulldogs registered an 8-1 mark in league play en route to a Big East regular-season title. Butler advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to quarterfinalist Wake Forest. In 2017, the Red Storm suffered a 1-0 double overtime defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs, falling on a penalty kick in the 105th minute by Lewis Suddick.
St. John’s will enjoy a week off before returning to the pitch, continuing its homestand against Creighton Saturday, Oct. 6. Last season, the Red Storm and Bluejays played to a 2-2, weather-shortened draw in Omaha before meeting in the opening round of the Big East Tournament. St. John’s found the back of the net twice in the opening seven minutes before prevailing over the Bluejays, 3-1, and securing a spot in the conference semifinals for the first time since 2011.
The Red Storm will close out its longest home stretch of the season with its final match of non-conference play, welcoming Princeton to Belson for a 7 p.m. outing Tuesday, Oct. 9. St. John’s and Princeton share a long series history, having played every year since 2011 and 11 times overall dating back to 1995. The Johnnies will be looking avenge a road loss to the Tigers last season, as Princeton broke a scoreless tie in the 85th minute of a 1-0 victory.
The Johnnies will play their first road match in nearly a month Saturday, Oct. 13, traveling to Milwaukee for an 8 p.m. ET encounter with Marquette. The Red Storm will seek its first win against the Golden Eagles since 2008, a span of six matches in which the Johnnies have gone 0-3-3.
The Blue Demons of DePaul will travel to Queens Saturday, Oct. 20, for the Red Storm’s second-to-last home game of the regular season. Last year, the Johnnies used an eighth-minute tally from unanimous Big East All-Freshman selection Jack Shearer to down the Blue Demons, 1-0, in Chicago.
The Red Storm will begin the homestretch of the regular season with two tough road matches, traveling to Villanova Wednesday, Oct. 24, before heading to the nation’s capital for a showdown with defending Big East champion Georgetown Saturday, Oct. 27. St. John’s went 2-0 against those teams last year toward the end of the regular season, downing Villanova, 2-1, in overtime before topping No. 10 Georgetown, 1-0, on Senior Night. St. John’s then saw its season come to an end against the Hoyas, falling in the Big East semifinals, 2-1, at Shaw Field.
St. John’s will close out the regular season Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. against Providence at Belson. Last year, the Red Storm and the Friars played to a scoreless draw in the final game of the regular season.
This year’s Big East Tournament again will be contested exclusively at campus sites. Seeds 3-6 will play the opening round Nov. 3 with the winner of those games earning spots in the semifinals Nov. 7. The championship contest will be held oNov. 11 at the home stadium of the higher seed.