QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John’s men’s soccer team utilized a David Enstrom header in the 31st minute to pick up three crucial points against No. 10 Georgetown and clinch a spot in the BIG EAST Championship.
The victory pulled the Red Storm (8-6-2, 5-2-1 BIG EAST) into a tie with the Hoyas (11-3-2, 5-2-1 BIG EAST) for second place in the BIG EAST standings. By virtue of their win this evening, the Johnnies also now hold the first tie-breaker with Georgetown and could secure at least the no. 2 seed in the conference championship with a win over Providence on Wednesday night.
Here's another look at the Red Storm's go-ahead tally pic.twitter.com/oTawho7Efz— St. John's MSoccer (@StJohnsMSoccer) October 28, 2017
With the win, Dr. Dave Masur joined one of the most exclusive clubs in all of college sports, becoming just the seventh active head coach and just the 19th Division I coach all-time to reach the 400-win plateau.
“You don’t have much time to really think about it,” said Masur on his milestone. “I think my job is to coach the team to win every game. So that’s my focus and that’s what I want to do every time I coach. I’m happy it happened on a day like today against Georgetown in such an important game and I’m glad the team really came through.”
The Red Storm’s win marked its first against a top-10 opponent in four years, as the 2013 squad topped the then-No. 5 Hoyas, 1-0, at Belson Stadium despite playing the second half with only 10 men. Since 2013, the last five meetings between the Red Storm and the Hoyas have all been 1-0 decisions.
Enstrom scored his first goal as a member of the Red Storm, heading a ball home with just under 15 minutes to go in the first half. Alistair Johnston and Harry Cooksley picked up assists on the play, bumping their team-leading point totals to 11 apiece.
Andrew Withers earned his seventh shutout of the season between the pipes on Saturday night, stopping both of the Hoyas’ tries on target.
The two squads went back and forth in the early going, trading a pair of shots in the opening 15 minutes of the contest. Cooksley registered both of those first two shots, including a try that went just over the bar in the sixth minute.
After Georgetown appeared to gain control of the momentum in the middle part of the half, the Red Storm got on the board thanks to a brilliant sequence from Cooksley, Johnston and, finally, Enstrom in the 31st. Much like the Red Storm’s second goal against the Wildcats on Wednesday night, Cooksley began the play with a free kick just beyond the top right of the box, sending a cross to the far post for Johnston. The sophomore from Ontario once again headed it to the far post, much like on the Red Storm’s first goal against Villanova. This time, it was Enstrom waiting for the perfectly placed ball, as the senior from Stockholm headed into the wide-open net, putting the Red Storm on top, 1-0.
The Red Storm maintained its 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The Johnnies sent their first two tries of the latter stanza on target, but JT Marcinkowski turned aside both. The preseason goalkeeper of the year in the conference made a diving stop on a shot to the bottom right corner of the cage from Cooksley before smothering a header from Filippo Ricupati.
Still facing a 1-0 deficit as the second half continued to wind down, the Hoyas ramped up the offensive pressure, firing off five-straight shots from the 67th to 77th minutes, punctuated by a shot off the cross bar from Declan McCabe on a free kick.
The Red Storm, however, held strong on the defensive end. Anchored by efforts from reserves Zachary Shiposh, Thomas Mickoski, Mauricio Rivas and Jean Leveille, the Johnnies held strong and kept the Hoyas off the score sheet.
St. John’s will close out regular season action on Wednesday night, traveling to Providence for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Friars.