Three-Goal Second Half Propels No. 15/19 St. John's Past Columbia, 3-1

Jelani Williams netted his first-career game-winning goal to help lead the Red Storm.

Sept. 25, 2012

Box Score

QUEENS, N.Y. - Fueled by a three-goal second half, No. 15/19 St. John's racked up a 15-3 shot advantage and defeated Columbia, 3-1, to improve to 4-0-1 in five home games at Belson Stadium this season. Jelani Williams notched the game-winner, while Jimmy Mulligan had one goal and one assist to lead St. John's (6-1-3). Nick Matthews also added a goal and Rafael Diaz made two saves in net for the Red Storm. Henning Sauerbier scored for Columbia (2-5-1) and Kyle Jackson made four saves.

"It was unfortunate that we weren't able to finish our chances in the first half because I thought we played very well," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur. "Getting that quick goal after halftime, though, really set the tone for a productive half."

After an early off-target shot by Jack Bennett in the 3rd minute, St. John's nearly got on the board in the 12th minute as a centering pass set up a quick one-timer for Jordan Rouse. Jackson, however, made a quick reaction save and a rebound attempt was blocked to keep the game scoreless.

Columbia did not register a shot until the 21st minute, but Diaz made a save on a shot from Kofi Agyapong.

St. John's had another good scoring opportunity in the 32nd minute. After the Red Storm played short on a corner kick, Brandon Savino had a 20-yard blast saved.

A shot by Matthews sailed high in the 37th minute before Bennett went wide in the 45th minute and the game remained scoreless at the break despite a 7-1 Red Storm advantage in shots.

St. John's wasted no time going on the attack after halftime and took a 1-0 lead just 31 seconds into the period. After taking the ball up the left flank, Bennett sent a cross into the box. The Columbia keeper went for the punch, while Andres Vargas got his head on the ball and Matthews came in with a diving header into an open net.



The Red Storm quickly regained possession after the restart, but a shot by Mulligan was saved in the 47th minute.

St. John's made it a 2-0 game in the 64th minute. Mulligan began the play on the defensive half of the field with a long forward pass into the offensive third. Williams collected the ball and took it into the box before firing a shot inside the left post.

Columbia, however, responded with a goal on a counterattack in the 73rd minute. Agyapong played a through ball towards the right flank and Sauerbier pushed a shot past Diaz and inside the far post to make it a 2-1 game.

St. John's quickly answered in the 76th minute to regain a two-goal cushion. After intercepting a pass from the keeper just outside of the box, Mulligan sent a high-arching chip shot just under the crossbar for the final 3-1 margin.

St. John's returns to action on Sept. 29, traveling to DePaul for a 2 p.m. game that opens a stretch of eight-straight conference games to conclude the regular season.


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