Men's Soccer Falls in BIG EAST Semifinals
TAMPA, Fla. Two first-half goals were too much to overcome as the DePaul men’s soccer team lost to St. John’s, 2-0, in the BIG EAST Semifinals. The Red Storm scored in the 19th and 34th minutes and held off the Blue Demons in the second half.
St. John’s (16-1-3) kept the ball in the DePaul half of the field early in the match and broke through with the evening’s first goal just under 20 minutes into the action. Following a DePaul defensive miscue, Brian Visser was attempting to head the ball out of the 18-yard box and collided with a St. John’s offensive player. Visser was whistled for the foul and Nelson Becerra converted the ensuing penalty kick at 18:05 for the 1-0 Red Storm lead. Visser guessed right on the penalty kick, but his dive was just short of Becerra’s shot to the lower left corner.
St. John’s, ranked No. 3 in this week's NSCAA poll and No. 5 in the Soccer America top 25, struck again with just under 12 minutes left in the first half when the Red Storm broke up a DePaul clearing chance at midfield. Sverre Wegge Gundhus found Ryan Soroka behind the DePaul defense and he scored with a low liner past a charging Visser at 33:44.
DePaul (9-7-4) looked to cut the deficit in the second half as they totaled five second-half shots. Visser kept the Blue Demons in the game with a diving save on a one-v-one chance for St. John’s. Visser’s stop with just over 20 minutes left in regulation kept the score at 2-0. He finished the match with three saves.
St. John’s totaled 11 shots in the game while DePaul finished with nine shots. The Blue Demons totaled three corner kicks to four for the Red Storm while St. John’s goalkeeper Neal Kitson made three saves.
The Blue Demons await a potential NCAA Tournament at-large bid. The selection will be announced Monday evening between 5-5:30 p.m. CT on ESPNews.
Game Notes: DePaul is now 2-3-1 against ranked teams this season... Friday’s game was just the fourth time in 20 matches this season that the Blue Demons allowed more than one goal... the series between the two program is tied 2-2-1.