QUEENS, N.Y. – After leading the St. John’s University men to one of its most successful seasons in the past decade, four Red Storm players have been named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region teams, it was announced Monday by the organization.
Tani Oluwaseyi was named to the first team while Brandon Duarte, Einar Lye and Jan Hoffelner earned spots on the third team.
The Red Storm’s four selections are tied for the second-highest total in program history, trailing the six set during the national championship season of 1996. Head coach Dr. David Masur also saw four of his players garner All-Region honors in five seasons: 1992, 1994, 1997, 2003 and 2005.
Oluwaseyi became the first St. John’s men’s player in more than two decades to be named the Big East offensive player of the year. The first Johnnie to take home the award since Medufia Kulego in 1996, Oluwaseyi scored 11 goals and dished out five assists in 20 appearances, eight of which were starts. The first team All-Big East selection’s goals were the most scored by a St. John’s player in a season since Simone Salinno found the back of the net 14 times in 2003. The sophomore from Mississauga, Ont., also had five assists, good enough for second on the team.
A senior from Toronto, Duarte played an integral role in the Red Storm’s success. In addition to his two goals and three assists, Duarte anchored the defensive efforts, shifting between the midfield and backline on a team that allowed fewer than one goal per game on average. Six of Duarte’s seven points came during conference action, as he scored goals against Xavier University and DePaul University while registering assists against Seton Hall and Villanova. Duarte was named to the All-Big East second team.
In his first year with the program, Lye made his presence felt immediately in the Red Storm lineup. The owner of five goals and five assists, Lye finished second on the team in both categories. A native of Undheim, Norway, Lye displayed a penchant for explosive offensive outings, registering two goals apiece in games against the University of Penn and Villanova University. The third team All-Big East selection added an assist against the Quakers for the program’s first five-point game in 14 years. The sophomore picked up one of his five assists in the Red Storm’s NCAA Division tournament second round win over Syracuse.
Another first-year Johnnie, Hoffelner established a reputation as one of the top Big East goalkeepers. Splitting time with sophomore Luka Gavran, Hoffelner played only the first half in 18 of the Red Storm’s 20 contests, keeping the opposition off the board on 14 of those 18 matches. The Big East co-goalkeeper of the year, Hoffelner played the full 90 minutes twice, including a 1-0 shutout at Butler University Sept. 28. The Frankfurt, Germany, native played a part in nine shutouts, eight of which were combined. He finished with 0.82 goals-against average and a .775 save percentage. Entering the Johnnies’ round of 16 matchup against top-seeded and College Cup-bound University of Virginia, those numbers stood at 0.57 and .829, respectively.
The Red Storm (14-5-1) advanced to its 21st NCAA Tournament in program history and earned a national seed for the ninth time. After receiving a first-round bye, the 16th seeded Red Storm downed Syracuse to advance to the round of 16 for the 12th time and the first since 2008.