Luka Gavran registered 12 shutouts and a o.57 goals-against average. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s)
For the second time in three season and the 22nd occasion in team history, the St. John’s University men earned an NCAA Division I tournament berth.
Directed by head coach Dr. Dave Masur, the Red Storm reached the second round, losing to top-seeded Oregon State University, 2-0, on Nov. 21 after defeating Princeton University in the opening round on Nov. 18. Brandon Knapp tallied the lone goal of the match in the 43rd minute as goalkeeper Luke Gavran recorded his 12th shutout.
Despite being eliminated by Butler University, 4-2, in the Big East quarterfinals on Nov. 8, the Johnnies were awarded an at-large berth in the Division I competition.
Gavran, a junior redshirt, was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America third team.
The Big East goalkeeper of the year, Gavran was the first Johnnie to garner All-American honors from the national coaches association since Joel Gustafsson in 2008. Gavran’s selection marked the 15th time in program history that a Red Storm player has garnered All-American selection from United Soccer Coaches (formerly known as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America).
Gavran started all 20 matches, registering a 11-6-3 mark, a 0.57 goals-against average and an .844 save percentage. He led the nation in shutouts and save percentage while ranking third in GAA. Gavran’s 12 clean sheets are tied for third on the program’s season record list in that category.
Besides Gavran’s Big East honors, Lucas Bartlett secured a place on the second team and Knapp garnered third team honors.
They played a role in helping the Red Storm solidify a reputation as one of the nation’s top defensive units.
Bartlett needed only one season with the Johnnies to make his mark. A graduate transfer from Drake University, Bartlett earned selection to the All-Big East first team after starting all 20 games at center back and helping the Red Storm post the conference’s top GAA and highest shutout total. Bartlett was also one of the team’s top offensive producers, scoring five goals, three of which were game-winners, and recording three assists.
Knapp played a variety of roles in his fourth year with the program. The three-time all-conference honoree spent time at forward, midfield and on the back line, helping the Red Storm record 12 shutouts while posting a team-high 16 points. He scored five goals, four of which were game-winners, and finished one off the conference lead with six assists. The Abingdon, Md., native scored the game-winner for the Red Storm in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.