The St. John’s University men closed out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 2-1 victory over Princeton University at Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y. on Tuesday night.
The Red Storm (3-5-1) scored the game’s first two goals before holding off a furious Princeton push in the final minutes of the contest.
Tuesday marked the Johnnies’ third consecutive one-goal victory against the Tigers (3-3-1). Two of those wins came last fall, including one in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Tournament at Belson.
Einar Lye tallied his first goal of the season to open the scoring for St. John’s before Wesley Leggett added his second of the campaign with the eventual game-winner.
Atila Ashrafi, Nigel Griffith and Adrian Roseth recorded their first assists of the year.
Goalkeeper Zenden Hart played the opening 42 minutes before exiting with injury. Emmanuel Smalios manned the netfor the remainder of the contest and made a career-high six saves.
The Tigers outshot the Johnnies, 16-7, including a 12-5 advantage in the second half.
Princeton controlled possession in the early going, but the Red Storm struck first in the 18th minute. Dribbling the ball near the end line on the right side of the box, Griffith centered it into Ashrafi near the penalty spot. Ashrafi sent a shot toward the target as Lye redirected the shot past the keeper.
Lye registered another solid chance in the 32nd minute, but his shot was blocked in the box by Princeton’s Ben Bograd.
The Red Storm added onto its advantage in the 55th minute. The scoring sequence began with a Brandon Knapp corner kick, as the graduate student sent an out-swinger to the far post for Roseth. The Norwegian headed it toward the target, but his shot was blocked by a defender. Leggett found himself in perfect position for the rebound, putting everything behind a booming kick that found the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Princeton cut into the deficit with a 77th-minute goal, but not before Smalios made two big saves from point-blank range in the 73rd and 75th minutes.
St. John’s returns to Big East play when it travels to Seton Hall University on Saturday at 7 p.m.