Oct. 6, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - Jack Bennett converted a penalty kick to tally his third game-winning goal of the season and No. 12/16 St. John's used a three-goal second half to defeat Cincinnati, 3-0, and snap both a six-game unbeaten streak and six-game shutout streak for the Bearcats. Jelani Williams and Danny Bedoya added a goal apiece to help lead St. John's (8-1-4, 2-1-1), while Sean Sepe added an assist. Rafael Diaz made one save to post his third-straight shutout and seventh clean sheet of the season. Taylor Hafling made one save for Cincinnati (5-5-3, 2-1-1).
"This was a very resilient effort against an athletic and technically-sound Cincinnati squad that hadn't allowed a goal in six games," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur. "We knew at halftime that we just had to continue to work hard and keep sharing the ball to find ways to create space and I think we accomplished that and had some great finishes."
A defensive first half featured limited scoring opportunities for both teams. St. John's earned a corner kick in the 25th minute, but could not create a shot. The first shot of the game for either team did not occur until the 31st minute when Andres Vargas pushed a shot wide of goal.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, was held without a shot until the 35th minute when Leon Powell had an attempt from the right flank saved by Diaz.
St. John's turned on the pressure towards the end of the first half. A corner kick in the 39th minute set up a shot for Brandon Savino that was deflected out of bounds to set up another corner kick opportunity. The Red Storm, however, could not create a shot on the second corner kick.
A shot by Sepe in the 44th minute went high and the game remained scoreless at halftime.
St. John's wasted no time getting on the board in the second half. After the ball was worked up the left sideline, Sepe gained possession on the flank and dribbled into the box before being taken down. The Red Storm was awarded a penalty kick and Bennett knocked it home to give St. John's a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute.
The Bearcats earned their only corner kick of the game in the 53rd minute, but could not find a shot.
St. John's then added a goal in the 63rd minute to take a 2-0 advantage. Vargas began the play in the midfield by chipping a pass to Williams just outside the 18-yard box. Williams played the ball towards the penalty spot and Sepe calmly one-touched a heel pass back to Williams, who curled a left-footed blast just under the crossbar.
The Red Storm continued to attack as Bedoya ripped a shot on goal that was saved by Halfing in the 69th minute.
St. John's had back-to-back chances in the 71st minute, but could not add to its lead. After sending a header off the crossbar, Vargas collected his own rebound and fired a shot that sailed over the crossbar.
A corner kick in the 76th minute set up a shot for Jamie Thomas that was blocked out of bounds to set up another corner kick, but the Red Storm could not create another shot.
St. John's then made it a 3-0 game in the 86th minute. The Red Storm played a ball into the 18-yard box from midfield and a flick from a Cincinnati defender ended up at the feet of Bedoya. After chipping the ball over the head of the oncoming keeper, Bedoya raced towards the goal line and headed the ball into the back of the net for the final margin.
St. John's returns to action on Oct. 13, traveling to Louisville for a 7 p.m. matchup that will air nationally on FOX Soccer.