Tani Oluwaseyi was a huge sparkplug off the bench for the Red Storm. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Entering the second half of Wednesday’s match against the St. John’s University men, No. 13 Providence College had yet to allow a goal this season in nearly 450 minutes. By the time the final whistle sounded, that number stood at two as it recorded a 2-0 Big East victory.
The Red Storm (4-2-0, 2-2-0) secured three crucial points in the conference standings and snapped a nine-game winless streak against the Friars dating back to 2013.
Tani Oluwaseyi, who missed the Red Storm’s Saturday loss to Villanova Univerristy, entered the game in the 58th minute. Over the final half hour, Oluwaseyi scored the game-winner and picked up an assist. Oluwaseyi, the reigning Big East offensive player of the ar and a selection to the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, has five goals in as many appearances this seeason and has scored all four game-winners.
Oluwaseyi’s first goal, a header in the 63rd minute, came off an entry pass from Drew Rosen. The assist was the first of Rosen’s St. John’s career.
In the final minute, Oluwaseyi dribbled the ball down the left side before sending a pass into the middle to Wesley Leggett. The sophomore sent a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net past the outstretched hand of a diving Rimi Olatunji. Leggett, who had missed the last three games, found the back of the net for the second time in three games.
Goalkeepers Luka Gavran and Jan Hoffelner combined to log their third clean sheet in six opportunities, but the team’s lone save of the afternoon was made by a field player, Johan Aquilon.
After the opening 10 minutes were played primarily in the midfield, the Friars began to control possession. In the span of eight minutes, Providence fired off four shots, one of which had to be turned aside on the goal line by Aquilon.
The Red Storm began to play more in the attacking third. Tommy Scalici recorded the Johnnies’ first shot in 22nd minute before Ossian Hallberg, making his collegiate debut, narrowly missed tucking one inside the right post three minutes later.
An Einar Lye shot in the 31st minute that was stopped by an Olatunji diving save was the Red Storm’s last scoring chance of the half.
After the break, the Red Storm began to control the contest.
Following several solid looks at the net, the Johnnies broke through in the 63rd minute with Oluwaseyi’s eventual winner.
Oluwaseyi narrowly missed making it a 2-0 game in the 67th minute with another header.
After assisting on Oluwaseyi’s opening goal, Rosen nearly added one of his own in the 77th minute, but a Providence field player made a stop on the goal line.
The Red Storm visits No. 3 Georgetown, the defending national champion Saturday at noon.