Mauricio Rivas set up both of Red Storm’s goals. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)
QUEENS, N.Y. – Brandon Duarte and Skage Simonsen scored in the first half for the St. John’s University men, who registered a 2-0 victory over Butler University in Big East action at Belson Stadium Saturday night.
The Red Storm (6-3-1, 2-0-1) is off to its best start in conference play in a decade. The last time St. John’s turned in a record of 2-0-1 or better in its first three games of the league came in 2008, when the Johnnies registered an identical 2-0-1 mark to begin Big East play. St. John’s went on to finish 19-3-3 with an 8-1-2 record against conference foes and make the program’s fourth appearance in the College Cup.
Goalkeeper Lenny Wilson made three of his four saves in the second half, registering his third shutout in four tries and improving to 4-1-1. The Aberdeen, Scotland native lowered his goals against-average to 0.63 and raised his save percentage to .826.
Mauricio Rivas helped orchestrate the attack against Butler (2-6-1, 0-3-0), posting the primary assist on both goals.
Duarte scored the game-winner, finding the back of the net for the first time in his St. John’s tenure in the 13th minute.
Eight minute later, Simonsen netted his fourth of the year off passes from Rivas and Matt Forster. Forster has recorded at least one point in each of the team’s last four games and five of the squad’s past six matches. The Bedford, England native leads the team with 14 points and was tied for the league lead in that category entering the weekend.
The Red Storm will take the week off before welcoming No. 9 Creighton, which leads the Big East, to Belson Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.