Oct. 4, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. -
Rafael Diaz tied a season-high with six saves as No. 12/16 St. John's remained unbeaten in six games at home this season with a 0-0 draw against Villanova in BIG EAST action. Diaz was credited with his sixth shutout of the season to lead St. John's (7-1-4, 1-1-1), which improved to 4-0-2 at Belson Stadium. John Fogarty made three saves for Villanova (7-2-2, 0-0-2).
"Villanova is a very physical team with some great attacking players and this type of hard-fought game was exactly what we expected," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur. "I think we did well to keep their attack in check for most of the game and Rafael [Diaz] made some big saves when we needed them."
St. John's earned a pair of early corner kick opportunities in the 7th and 9th minutes, but could not create a shot on either attempt.
Villanova followed with the first shot of the game in the 12th minute, but an attempt by Oscar Umar was blocked by the defense.
The Red Storm quickly answered with its first shot of the game in the 14th minute as Brandon Savino fired a shot wide.
Neither team registered a shot on goal until the 30th minute when Diaz was forced to save a shot by Dylan Renna to keep the Wildcats off the board.
The next two scoring opportunities for the Red Storm came courtesy of Andres Vargas. After missing just wide to the right in the 33rd minute, the forward rolled another attempt just wide right in the 39th minute.
Villanova had one final opportunity in the first half as Will Cason missed high in the 45th minute and the game remained scoreless at halftime.
St. John's went on the attack early in the second half as a blocked shot by Danny Bedoya in the 46th minute resulted in a corner kick. The corner kick was played short and then into the box for Vargas, who fired high in the 47th minute.
A turnover in the midfield set up the next chance for the Red Storm as Tim Parker
intercepted a pass and brought the ball all the way to the 18-yard box before firing high in the 60th minute.
Villanova had the next two chances, but Diaz was able to save both attempts. After stopping a Hayden Harr shot in the 69th minute, Diaz made perhaps the biggest play of the game to save a point-blank effort from Damilola Adetola in the 73rd minute.
The Wildcats then created a flurry of activity. A corner kick in the 75th minute resulted in a shot by Danny Gonzalez that was pushed past the endline by Diaz. The ensuing corner kick then set up a shot for Umar that was blocked out of bounds in the 76th minute for another corner kick attempt.
The Red Storm then went on the attack, but an effort from Jelani Williams was saved by Fogarty in the 79th minute and the game remained scoreless at the end of regulation.
The only Villanova shot attempt in the first overtime came in the 93rd minute as Umar had a shot blocked by the defense.
St. John's answered with an attempt, but a header from Vargas was saved by Fogarty in the 95th minute. The Red Storm had one final opportunity as a long run set up Vargas for one final attempt, but the shot was blocked as time expired and the game remained scoreless.
Just as in the beginning of the second half, St. John's created quickly in the second overtime. After Jack Bennett had a shot blocked in the 102nd minute, a follow-up attempt by Sean Sepe was saved by Fogarty.
Villanova followed with a header attempt from Emerson Lawrence that sailed high in the 108th minute before the Wildcats had the final chance of the game, but Diaz saved a shot from Aaron Dennis in the 110th minute and the game ended in a scoreless draw.
St. John's returns to action on Oct. 6, concluding a brief two-game homestand with a 7:30 p.m. game against Cincinnati.