QUEENS, N.Y. – Seeded in the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time since 2011, the No. 16 St. John’s University men will welcome former Big East foe Syracuse University to Belson Stadium for a second-round game Sunday at 5 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 with Drew Casey and John Fanta calling the action from Queens.
St. John’s enters the game at 13-4-1.
The Orange, which went 7-6-5 during the regular season with a 2-4-2 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference, earned a spot in the second round after defeating Atlantic 10 champion University of Rhode Island, 3-2, at home Thursday night
Tied at 2-2, Syracuse was awarded a penalty kick in the 87th minute. Ryan Raposo, who had scored one goal and assisted on another, converted on the chance. The sophomore from Hamilton, Ont., has been the catalyst for the Syracuse, ranking ninth nationally with a team-high 15 goals. Raposo also added seven assists for 37 points, ranking second in the ACC and sixth in Division I.
Four other SU players have tallied least four goals. One of those four, freshman forward Luther Archimede, scored Syracuse’s lone goal in an ACC quarterfinal loss to Virginia and added another marker against URI.
Stony Brook University transfer and goalkeeper Christian Miesch has played a majority of the team’s minutes, compiling a 6-6-4 record with a 1.65 goals-against average and a .627 save percentage. While Syracuse’s 2.11 goals per game average is a few spots ahead of the Red Storm in the national rankings (18th), the Orange sits at No. 128 in the nation in GAA (1.54). Only Wright State (1.66, 143rd) has a worse GAA among the 32 teams still alive in the tournament.
The Red Storm and the Orange, Big East foes for nearly three decades, sport a vibrant series history dating back to 1982. In 34 matches between the two programs, St. John’s owns a 19-9-6 advantage, including a 9-2-3 edge in games played in Queens. The only teams that St. John’s has faced more times than Syracuse are Seton Hall (41), Villanova (39) and Georgetown (36).
St. John’s and Syracuse have met twice since they last were Big East foes with both meetings resulting in one-goal victories for the Orange. Syracuse defeated St. John’s, 1-0, at Belson Sept. 6, 2014, thanks to a seventh-minute goal. Two years later, the Orange recorded another one-goal victory at home. Leading 2-1, St. John’s saw No. 6 Syracuse net an equalizer in the 82nd minute before connecting for the golden goal in the 105th.
Matt Forster is the only Red Storm player who has any experience playing the Orange, as he logged 22 minutes as a freshman during that 2016 outing. Syracuse also only has one player remaining that saw action during that match three-plus years ago: senior John Austin Ricks.
The Red Storm closed out the Big East portion of series history with Syracuse on a 15-game unbeaten streak, going 12-0-3 against the Orange from 1997-2012. The year before the streak started, Syracuse was one of only two teams to beat St. John’s during the national championship season of 1996, as the Red Storm went 22-2-2.