QUEENS, N.Y. – The St. John’s University men were predicted to finish sixth in the Big East by a preseason poll of the league’s coaches, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon by the conference office.

Georgetown, the 2019 NCAA Division I champion, topped the preseason poll with 98 points, trailed by Seton Hall University(93) in second. Creighton University (74), Providence College (67) and Marquette University (64) rounded out the top five while the Red Storm (60) was close behind in sixth. Butler University (55) placed seventh while UConn and Xavier University tied for eighth with 29 points apiece followed by DePaul University (24) and Villanova Universityy (12).

In each of the past three seasons contested in the fall, St. John’s has outperformed its preseason prognostication from the league’s coaches.

In 2019, the Johnnies were picked to finish seventh before coming in second. The Red Storm also chosen seventh in 2018, a year in which the team placed sixth and earned a Big East Tournament berth. In 2017, the Johnnies finished third in the league after being selected to finish eighth before the season.

St. John’s returns three of its top four scorers from a season ago, as two-time first team All-Big East selection Tani Oluwaseyi is slated to miss the fall season following knee surgery. Junior forward Wesley Leggett found the back of the net three times this past spring while Einar Lye and Jared Juleau scored two goals apiece for the Johnnies. Lye and classmate Brandon Knapp were rewarded with spots on the All-Big East third team at the conclusion of the season.

The Red Storm also returns redshirt junior goalkeeper Luka Gavran, who compiled a 0.72 goals-against average and .846 save percentage in 10 appearances last season. The Hamilton, Ont. product played a part in four shutouts. In front of Gavran, St. John’s returns all of its backline starters from a year ago.

St. John’s, which reached the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 in 2019, will kick off the fall season Aug. 26 when it visits No. 6 Clemson University.


BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Preseason Honors

Preseason Co-Offensive Players of the Year

Diego Gutierrez, Creighton, Sr., F

CJ Tibbling, Seton Hall, Sr., F

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Luca Dahn, Seton Hall, Sr., D

Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year

Giannis Nikopolidis, Georgetown, Sr., GK

Men’s Soccer Preseason All-BIG EAST

Wilmer Cabrera Jr., Butler, Jr., F

Diego Gutierrez, Creighton, Sr., F ^

CJ Tibbling, Seton Hall, Sr., F ^

Lukas Sunesson, Marquette, RS-Jr., F

Sean Zawadzki, Georgetown, Sr., M

Dante Polvara, Georgetown, Jr., M ^

Paulo Lima, Providence, Sr., M ^

Luca Dahn, Seton Hall, Sr., D

Rhys Myers, Butler, Grad, D

Ramzi Qawasmy, Providence, Sr., D

Giannis Nikopolidis, Georgetown, Sr., GK

Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll

First Place votes in ()

1. Georgetown (8)

98 points

2. Seton Hall (3)


3. Creighton


4. Providence


5. Marquette


6. St. John’s


7. Butler


T8. UConn


T8. Xavier


10. DePaul


11. Villanova


Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.