LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Junior midfielder Matt Forster scored a brace — early and late goals — to power the St. John’s University men to a 4-1 triumph over Loyola Marymount in the final game of their season-opening West Coast swing Sunday night.
The Red Storm’s four-goal explosion marked the team’s best offensive output since the final game of the 2013 regular season, when it downed Seton Hall, 5-0, in South Orange, N.J.
Forster scoring in the ninth minute before adding an insurance goal in the 85th minute for his first multi-goal match.
St. John’s saw two freshmen register their first collegiate goals, as Skage Simonsen kicked things off in the sixth minute and Tani Oluwaseyi broke the game open with a 78th-minute tally. Oluwaseyi also added an assist.
Jack Shearer and Josiah Crawford added their names on the score sheet for the first time this season, assisting on the Red Storm’s second and third goals, respectively.
St. John’s outshot the Lions (1-1) by a 16-4 margin, including a 10-0 advantage in the second half.
Goalkeeper Tyron Matuta picked up the win in his collegiate debut, turning aside two LMU shots.
The Red Storm needed only one shot to get on the board as Simonsen carried out a skillful individual sequence to give St. John’s its first goal of the year. Holding the ball near the top of the 18-yard box with his back to the net, the rookie turned and fired, sending one past goalkeeper Paul Lewis in the sixth minute.
Less than three minutes later, the Johnnies added another goal, as Forster scored the first of of the night. Shearer initiated the action, sending a shot toward the cage that was deflected in front by a defender. The ball found its way to Forster, who knocked it home for a 2-0 lead.
LMU tallied in the 19th minute, as Francis Avoce converted on a penalty kick to pull the Lions back within one.
With the Red Storm dominating possession, the visitors added their first insurance goal in the 78th minute. The play began with a long pass into the offensive zone from Crawford that was corralled by a streaking Oluwaseyi. The freshman forward sent a try on net from the top of the box that made its way past Lewis, extending the Red Storm lead back to two goals.
Seven minutes later, Forster found the back of the net for the second time, taking a pass from Oluwaseyi before slipping a shot from the right side past the keeper.
Seven members of the Red Storm’s Starting XI were either freshmen or sophomores in their first season of Division I soccer.
St. John’s welcomes Fairfield University for the team’s home opener Friday at 8 p.m. Fans unable to make it Belson Stadium can watch the game live on ESPN3, available on WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.