Sept. 14, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. - Less than five minutes after entering the game as a second half substitute, Sean Sepe scored his first-career game-winning goal to lead No. 12/12 St. John's to its third-straight victory with a 1-0 win against South Carolina in front of 1,364 fans at Belson Stadium. Rafael Diaz made a season-high six saves to post his second-straight shutout and help lead St. John's (4-1-0), while Jamie Thomas and Danny Bedoya each recorded an assist. Marco Velez made three saves for South Carolina (2-3-0).
"South Carolina is a very well-coached squad and really showed high-levels of energy and athleticism tonight," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur. "We were able to control most of the play throughout the game, but unfortunately we were not able to capitalize on many of the good chances that we created."
St. John's worked quickly to earn a corner kick just 32 seconds into the game, but could not create a shot.
Both teams would be held without a shot until the 11th minute when a Josh Godec header sailed high. St. John's continued to press in the offensive third and earned consecutive corner kicks in the 13th minute, but could not create any scoring chances.
A South Carolina foul in the 19th minute set up the first on-target attempt for either team as the ensuing free kick resulted in a dangerous opportunity from 25-yards out. Jimmy Mulligan used the free kick to push the ball out wide and Daniel Herrera ripped a blast, but Velez was able to make the save.
The Gamecocks followed with a dangerous opportunity on a counter-attack, but Diaz was up to the challenge and stopped an Asa Kryst attempt in the 20th minute.
The fourth Red Storm corner kick of the game created another great chance in the 28th minute, but a header by Gabriel Camara bounced off the crossbar.
Another counter-attack for South Carolina resulted in another good scoring chance, but Diaz saved a Hunter Wyer shot in the 32nd minute.
An effort by Bedoya in the 43rd minute sailed high and the game remained scoreless at halftime despite a 7-2 shot advantage for the Red Storm.
South Carolina went on the attack immediately after the start of the second half, but Diaz kept the game scoreless with three saves in the first five minutes of play.
Sepe came on in the 55th minute and promptly made his presence known with a shot on goal in the 58th minute that was saved by Velez.
Sepe, however, would put St. John's on the board in the 60th minute. Thomas started the play 30-yards out from goal with a pass to Bedoya on the left side off the field. Thomas then raced into the box and was on the receiving end of a ball from Bedoya that curled towards the right post. Thomas sent a header back across the face of goal and Sepe was there for the tap-in to give the Red Storm a 1-0 lead.
St. John's looked to extend its lead in the 72nd minute, but a shot from the top of the box by Cody Albrecht missed just wide to the right. Bedoya followed with a shot in the 75th minute, but Velez was able to keep it a 1-0 game with a save.
The Gamecocks battled right to end, however, registering five shots in the final eight minutes of regulation. Diaz saved a shot by Ryan Arambula in the 84th minute and the other four attempts were blocked as St. John's held on for the 1-0 win.
St. John's returns to action and concludes a four-game homestand on Sept. 15 with a 7 p.m. game against West Virginia.