QUEENS, N.Y. – Entering its 30th campaign under the direction of head coach Dr. David Masur, the St. John’s men’s soccer program has released its schedule for an unprecedented spring season that will kick off in less than a month.
Start times and broadcast destinations for all games will be announced at a later date.
The Johnnies will begin their spring campaign with three non-conference home games before kicking off a 10-game Big East schedule against regional foes. The league’s six teams on the eastern seaboard (St. John’s, Seton Hall University, University of Connecticut, Providence College, Villanova University and Georgetown University ) will play home-and-home matches in the East Division while Creighton, Marquette, DePaul, Xavier and Butler will play home-and-home matches in the Midwest Division.
The Red Storm’s schedule has three bye weeks built in for rescheduling purposes, which should give teams enough time to complete their regular season slates before the four-team Big East men’s soccer championship kicks off April 14. The title match is scheduled for April 17 with all contests to be played on campus sites.
St. John’s will begin the chase for a 10th Big Tournament title Saturday, Feb. 13, when it hosts Saint Joseph’s at Belson Stadium. That match against the Hawks will be the first of three non-conference matches in Queens for the Red Storm, as the Johnnies also are set to welcome Fordham University Feb. 17 before closing out non-league play with NJIT Feb. 20. The Highlanders are coming off an 10-5-4 effort in 2019 that featured an ASUN title and a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament.
Fordham, coached by former Johnnie Carlo Acquista, was one win away from the College Cup in 2017 and has finished above .500 in Atlantic 10 play each of the past two seasons.
The Red Storm will kick off Big East play a week later when the Johnnies head across the Hudson to meet Seton Hall in South Orange Feb. 27.
St. John’s will then host a pair of home matches at Belson Stadium, renewing a conference rivalry with Connecticut March 3 before welcoming Villanova March 6.
A tough week on the road awaits the Johnnies when they travel to Providence March 10 before heading to D.C. for a match against defending national champion Georgetown March 13.
The Red Storm will host Seton Hall on St. Patrick’s Day and travel UConn on March 20 before entering the first of three scheduled bye weeks that will help in the event that any game needs to be postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. St. John’s then will head to Villanova March 27 before entering into its second bye week.
The Johnnies will close out the regular season with two home matches, welcoming Providence April 3 before wrapping things up with Georgetown April 10.
The Big East championship will be held April 14 and April 17 with the NCAA Men’s Soccer Selection Show to follow April 18. The size of the NCAA Division Tournament also will be smaller than usual this spring, as the 24 automatic qualifiers and only 12 at-large bids will make up the field of 36, a 12-team decrease from a typical fall season.
The Red Storm is coming off a 2019 campaign that featured a 14-5-1 record and an appearance in the NCAA Round of 16. The NCAA berth marked the Johnnies’ 21st in the past 29 seasons while the program advanced to the round of 16 for the 12th time since 1996.
The Johnnies, who climbed as high as no. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll and no. 1 in the RPI during the season, produced three Big East major award winners and six conference selections.
Tani Oluwaseyi became the first Johnnie to be named Big East offensive player of the year since 1996 while Jan Hoffelner shared conference co-goalkeeper of the year honors with Georgetown’s Giannis Nikopolidis.
Masur, a two-time national coach of the year, led the Big East coaching staff of the year for the fourth time during his St. John’s tenure. The Red Storm is set to return four of its six conference honorees in Oluwaseyi, Hoffelner, Brandon Knapp and Einar Lye.