Sept. 14, 2009

Courtesy of Boston University

BOSTON -  Sophomore Stephen Knox scored his first goal of the season and his first career game winner off an assist from junior Aaron O'Neal in the 34th minute to help lead the #17/14 Boston University men's soccer team (3-1-1) past #1/3 St. John's (1-1-2), 1-0, on Sunday night at Nickerson Field. Senior keeper Hrafn Davidsson posted two saves, while sophomore defender Colin Henry made a tremendous save at 78:33 by heading away the ball with an empty net to preserve the victory.

The victory marks the program and 25th-year head coach Neil Roberts' first win over a top-ranked team since 1994, when the Terriers opened the season by defeating ISAA preseason poll's No. 1 Virginia, 3-2, in Charlottesville.

Ranked No. 1 in the nation by College Soccer News and third by Soccer America, St. John's jumped out of the gate quickly with Tadeu Terra kicking a shot wide at 1:21. A minute later, he placed a corner kick in the box that Josh Faga headed wide.

The Terriers quickly settled into the game though, as both teams traded possession of the ball without attempting a shot until Ade Akinsanya rifled one inside the box that was blocked quickly by a defender at 11:52.

Their best chance to break open the game came at 23:46, when Samuel Appiah fired a shot that hit the crossbar after goalie Derby Carrillo jumped up with hands extendend to stop the ball from going in for the score.

The Red Storm had two more opportunities to score at 28:53 and 32:30 before O'Neal found Knox on the right hand side with open space inside the box to kick past a diving Carrillo toward the near post for the score. The goal was his third career score, while O'Neal tallied his second assist of the season and team-leading 10th point as well.

Last year in two games, including the second round of the NCAA tournament, St. John's recorded late second-half goals to defeat BU both times en route to the College Cup, but Sunday, the Terriers found themselves ahead.

The Red Storm did not back down and came out of the locker room attacking, putting together back-to-back scoring chances by Nelson Becerra and Sverre Wegge Gundhus in the 52nd minute that were blocked by BU defenders. A minute later, Becerra attempted another that was blocked by the defense.

The Terriers had their opportunities in the second half to extend the lead, including in the 68th minute when Ryan Shea ran into the box past a defender and attempted a shot. However, he was pressured to make a quick shot and did not have enough power on it, as Carrillo moved into position to make the save.

Ten minutes later, the fans in attendance gasped when the Red Storm's Adam Himeno tried to score over Hrafn Davidsson from a side angle with the ball going toward the near post. Davidsson came out to deflect the ball, but it went over him and seemed destined to go in for the tie. However, Henry was in position to head it away, at which point Wegge Gundhus attempted a shot from several yards out that was blocked out of bounds by a wall of defenders.

Becerra attempted two more shots in the 83rd and 84th minutes, respectively, but the Red Storm never threatened again to tie the game. Carrillo finished with three saves, while the Terriers had three for their third shutout win of the season, all against Big East opponents, and second over a nationally-ranked opponent, including a 3-0 win at then-No. 12 UConn.

St. John's out shot the Terriers, 15-8, and edged BU in corner kicks, 6-5. Still, the Terriers evened the all-time series at three games apiece and recorded their first shutout over the Red Storm since 1980.

Up next for the Terriers is a visit by cross-town rival Boston College on Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by the Fox Soccer Channel.