Tani Oluwaseyi scored the Red Storm’s lone goal. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)
QUEENS, N.Y. – Rafael Bustamante found Tani Oluwaseyi for a goal in the 66th minute as the No. 10 St. John’s University men recorded their 10th win of the season in a 1-0 victory over Temple University at Belson Stadium Tuesday night.
Oluwaseyi, the reigning Big East offensive player of the week, found the back of the net for the fourth time in his last three matches and registered his fourth game-winning goal this season. Bustamante, who was named to Monday’s Big East weekly honor roll, extended his point streak to two games.
Oluwaseyi raised his league-leading goal total to seven on, the highest by a St. John’s player since the College Cup campaign of 2008.
Goalkeeper Jan Hoffelner and Luka Gavran combined to record the Red Storm’s third successive shutout and its seventh of the season. The goalkeeping tandem stopped all seven Temple tries on target.
“I knew Temple was going to be a really tough team,” St. John’s head coach Dr. Dave Masur said. “I thought we started out really well for the first 15-20 minutes and then Temple kind of lifted their intensity, made a lot of subs and made the game a bit physical and chaotic for us. We didn’t always respond well. We need to be able to play with more efficiency and more positional savvy to be able overcome that, but we worked really hard and we’re excited to get a win against a really tough team.”
The Johnnies (10-1-0) have recorded 10 wins in their opening 11 games for the first time since the 1996 national championship season. Temple fell to 3-6-1.
After a stretch of back-and-forth play that featured two saves from Gavran, the Red Storm scored in the 66th minute. Bustamante began the series with a tackle to take the ball away from a outside back in the Owls’ zone. The junior from Corona, Queens charged up the left flank before finding Oluwaseyi in center of the box. The sophomore tapped it through the legs of a Temple center back and into the bottom right corner of the net.
“Rafa’s got good agility, good passion for the game, good instinct in winning challenges and winning headers,” Masur said. “He stepped into the play and made a big-time winning tackle. He made a good play to Tani and Tani had a gorgeous finish.”
The Red Storm returns to action at Belson, welcoming Big East foe Villanova University Saturday at 7 p.m.