Tani Oluwaseyi scored 11 goals, helping St. John’s reach the NCAA Division I Sweet 16. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)

Tani Oluwaseyi is the definition of it’s not whether you start, but how you finish.

The Mississauga, Ontario native started eight out of 20 games for St. John’s University men but he finished quite well, thank you. He led the team with 11 goals while assisting on five others.

Oluwaseyi played such a vital role for the Red Storm in 2019 that he was named the FrontRowSoccer.com men’s college player of the year on Thursday. The award is given to a player of a local college who has excelled during the year.

The 6-2, 170-lb. forward was one of four St. John’s players who were named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region teams, and the only one who earned first-team honors.

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. He was the first Johnnie to take home the award since Medufia Kulego in 1996. 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.

For the first time in years, the Jonnies rose to the heights it enjoyed from 1996-2008. They not only booked spot in the NCAA Division I men’s playoffs, they earned a first-round bye and reached the Round of 16 before being eliminated by the University of Virginia.

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 University, 2-1, to advance to the Round of 16 for the 12th time and the first since 2008.

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