Matt Forster tallied his 10th career goal for St. John’s, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)
BOONE, N.C. – The St. John’s University men kicked off their season on the right foot, blanking Appalachian State, 2-0, at Appalachian Soccer Stadium Friday night.
The Johnnies improved to 22-11-8 in season openers dating back to 1979, including a 16-7-6 mark under head coach Dr. Dave Masur.
“Tonight was a really good team effort with huge efforts from lot of different guys,” Masur said. “We’re a fairly young team that played against a strong physical side and had a solid performance.”
Matt Forster scored the game-winner for St. John’s (1-0-0), finding the back of the net for the 10th time in his Red Storm career.
Josiah Crawford added an insurance tally in the 71st minute for his first collegiate goal. Tani Oluwaseyi picked up an assist on the play.
“I thought Tani and Josiah came on in the second half and made a really huge difference for our team,” Masur said. “Matt also had a terrific free kick goal for us.”
Goalkeepers Jan Hoffelner and Luka Gavran combined to register the clean sheet in both of their St. John’s debuts. Hoffelner, who played the first half, and Gavran, who played the second half, made a save apiece.
The Red Storm outshot the Mountaineers by an 18-8 margin on the night, including a 13-5 edge in the second half. Oluwaseyi fired off five shots in 45 minutes of second-half action.
The Red Storm scored in the 20th minute, as Einar Lye drew a foul just beyond the top of the box to set up a free kick. Forster then delivered a left-footed strike that bent into the top right corner of the cage beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jacob Madden.
In the 71st minute, a persistent offensive effort resulted in the Red Storm’s second goal.
Dribbling down the left side, Skage Simonsen found Crawford with space in the middle of the pitch just inside midfield. The sophomore moved toward the top of the box and let loose a shot that rang off the cross bar. After hitting the woodwork, the ball came to rest near the goal line, where it was cleared by Oluwaseyi back to a waiting Crawford, who buried his second chance.
The Red Storm will stay in the Tar Heel State, traveling to NC State for a Sunday 7 p.m. contest on ACC Network Extra, available on the ESPN app and WatchESPN.com.