Saint John's 2, UCLA 1



Los Angeles, CA - St. John's scored a goal in each half and withstood a late rally by No. 6 UCLA en route to a 2-1 win over the host Bruins in front of 363 fans on a cold and blustery night at Drake Stadium.

The Red Storm, who improve to 12-5-4 overall, advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. St. John's will face the winner of Sunday's match between Maryland and Creighton next weekend. Should the Terrapins win, the Red Storm would travel to Maryland; if the Bluejays win, St. John's would host Creighton for the third-straight year in the NCAAs.

"I'm really happy with the result, obviously," St. John's Head Coach Dave Masur said. "We were able to get the early lead and held off a strong challenge from a very good UCLA team. We're excited to advance, but know that the challenges get tougher."

On Saturday night, St. John's controlled play early. An overcast and cool day in Los Angeles - with temperatures in the 50s - turned into a rainy evening, as kickoff bean with a near downpour. The rain stopped toward the end of the first half, but the winds picked up.

And for the first 70 minutes, things blew St. John's way. The Red Storm outshot UCLA 5-3 in the first half, taking four corner kicks and limiting the Bruins to none, taking a 1-0 lead at intermission.

Senior Ryan Kelly gave the Red Storm a 2-0 lead on a free kick from 22 yards out early in the second half. A Bruin foul on Simone Salinno as he drove toward the goal resulted in the set piece. Kelly sent his shot to the near side of the Bruins four-man wall, beating Bruins keeper Eric Reed to the lower far post at 59:45.

The Bruins cut the lead in half at 72:29 when Mike Enfield took a feed from Kamani Hill and beat St. John's keeper Bill Gaudette from the right side, 12 yards out.

UCLA continued to press, with shots from Chad Barrett, Enfield and Luke Mehring off the mark, but a staunch Red Storm defense - led by freshmen Steven Old and Sam Matthews, Kelly and junior Jeff Carroll - withstood the challenge, lifting the Red Storm to a thrilling win.

"UCLA is a great team and we know this is a tough place to play," senior keeper Bill Gaudette said. "They put up a tremendous fight late in the game, but we were able to hold them off and get the win."

The Red Storm had taken a 1-0 lead with under five minutes left in the first half when California native Andre Schmid, playing in his first game in his home state since beginning his collegiate career, scored from 25 yards out. Junior Jeff Carroll took possession from a UCLA player at midfield and sent a pass toward midfield to Schmid, whose blast beat Bruins keeper Eric Reed to the lower near post at 40:50.

The Bruins first legitimate threat came in the 53rd minute, with shots from Jonathan Bornstein and Kamani Hill. Bornstein picked up a loose ball on the near sideline and drove toward the goal before taking a shot, which was deflected out by Gaudette. On the rebound, Hill's shot went high.

St. John's dominated play in the first half before taking the lead. An early corner from Andrei Gotsmanov was headed by Ryan Kelly, but saved by Reed.

Overall, UCLA out shot St. John's 12-8, but the Red Storm had seven corner kicks, to UCLA's one.

--Courtesy St. John's