Skage Simonsen scored St. John’s third goal. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)
QUEENS, N.Y. – Coming off two road wins to start the season in North Carolina, the RV/No. 22 St. John’s men’s soccer team showed no signs of letting up in its home opener against Manhattan College recording a 3-0 victory at Belson Stadium Friday night.
The Red Storm improved to 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008.
“I thought it was an impressive victory for us,” head coach Dr. Dave Masur said. “I think Manhattan has a great team. They’re big, they’re physical, they’re organized, they’re technical and I was just pleased at our ability to stay with the game plan and do the right things.”
All three of the Red Storm’s goals came from sophomores, as Brandon Knapp, Tani Oluwaseyi and Skage Simonsen found the back of the net.
Knapp, who scored the game-winner, scored his first collegiate goal. Oluwaseyi has registered a point in each of the team’s three matches, scoring the winner against NC State and assisting on a goal at Appalachian State. Simonsen etched his name on the score sheet for the second time in as many outings, as he assisted on Oluwaseyi’s golden goal against the Wolfpack.
Goalkeepers Jan Hoffelner and Luka Gavran combined to record their third shutout in as many matches. Hoffelner registered one save in the opening half to improve to 2-0-0 before Gavran made two over the final 45 minutes.
St. John’s outshot Manhattan, 19-4.
The Red Storm wasted no time jumping out on top, as Knapp netted his first career goal in the 14th minute. Ron Alkobi headed a cross from Matt Forster off the right post to a waiting Knapp. He collected the ball and sent it beyond the reach of keeper Marcellin Gohier. The assist was the first of Alkobi’s collegiate career.
St. John’s extended its lead just over 10 minutes into the second half. Oluwaseyi converted on a Manhattan mistake, as a Jasper defender attempted to play a ball back to his goalkeeper from the center of the field. Oluwaseyi quickly tracked down the loose ball and beat the keeper for his goal this season.
The Johnnies put a final exclamation point on the evening in the 73rd minute, when a failed Manhattan clear off the end line found an uncontested Simonsen near the top of the box. The 2018 Big East freshman of the year promptly buried the ball into the upper 90 and gave the Johnnies the 3-0 lead.
When the Red Storm squares off against Iona College at home Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., it will look to improve to 4-0-0 for the first time since 2001.