BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Despite playing with 10 players for the final 23 minutes, graduate transfer Max McNulty scored his second goal of the game in the 75th minute to lift the St. John’s University men to a 2-1 victory over Lehigh University in the season opener for both teams at Ulrich Sports Complex on Thursday night.
Alejandro Rabell, who also made his debut, and Miguel Diaz logged one assist apiece.
St. John’s Antek Sienkiel was red-carded in the 67th minute.
The Johnnies secured their first road season-opening win since 2019 when they toppled Appalachian State, 2-0. The Red Storm also evened the all-time series with Lehigh at 2-2.
Both teams exchanged possessions over the next 20 minutes before the Red Storm found the back of the net in the 26th minute. After defender Lenny Cidolit made a sliding block on Lehigh’s Yusef Gueye in the box, the Johnnies turned on the jets with Macoumba Ba propelling Rabell down the right side. The NJIT transfer chipped a pass to a streaking McNulty, who headed home for a 1-0 lead.
The Mountain Hawks halted the Red Storm’s momentum shortly after as Trey Sheeler headed home a corner set piece from Austen Carranza in the 54th minute to knot things up at 1-1.
Lehigh continued to pressure the Red Storm, eventually forcing the Johnnies into trouble and causing the Red Storm to play down a man with just over 20 minutes remaining.
In the 74th minute, McNulty caused a turnover just outside the box before chipping the ball to a cutting Diaz. The forward tapped a pass back to McNulty, who bent in his second goal of the game and gave the Johnnies a 2-1 edge.
Lehigh did not go down quietly as Sam Davis nearly put home an equalizer in the final seconds, but Antonio Biggs cleared the shot at the goal line.
Goalkeeper Alec McLachlan made his St. John’s debut in net, recording one save in his first win of the season.
St. John’s will remain on the road, heading to Piscataway, N.J., to take on reigning Big Ten champion Rutgers University at 7 p.m. on Monday.