Oct. 26, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - Having already clinched a spot in the BIG EAST Tournament by virtue of an afternoon result, No. 18 St. John's secured at least a No. 4 seed as Brandon Savino netted his first-career goal, the game-winner, to give the Red Storm a 1-0 Senior Night win against Syracuse in front of a season-high 1,563 fans as well as a national audience on ESPN3. Danny Bedoya and Nick Matthews had assists to help lead St. John's (10-3-4, 4-3-1), while Rafael Diaz made four saves to match a career-high with his eighth shutout of the season. Alex Bono made two saves to lead Syracuse (12-5-0, 5-3-0).
"This was a great result for us tonight against a very good team," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur. "At halftime we stressed the urgency of playing quicker and getting forward and I think we were able to execute in those areas in the second half."
A St. John's corner kick in the 4th minute set up the first shot of game, an effort from Jack Bennett that was blocked.
The Red Storm then had a great chance to get on the board in the 16th minute as Jimmy Mulligan found himself alone, but could not find the target with a header just outside the right post.
Following a blocked Bennett shot in the 17th minute and an off-target attempt from Andres Vargas in the 19th minute, St. John's had its first shot on goal in the 32nd minute as Matthews had an attempt saved by Bono.
St. John's had another good scoring chance in the 38th minute as Jelani Williams worked his way through traffic and fired a shot before Bono deflected it out of bounds for a corner kick.
Syracuse earned a corner kick in the 42nd minute, but could not create a shot and the game remained scoreless despite a 6-0 advantage in shots for the Red Storm.
The Orange took its first shot of the game in the 51st minute as Jordan Vale unleashed a strike on net from 30-yards out that Diaz was able to corral. Syracuse quickly regained possession, but a shot from Louis Clark was blocked in the 52nd minute.
Syracuse continued to apply pressure and Stefanos Stamoulacatos fired a shot on net in the 69th minute, but Diaz made the stop to keep the game scoreless.
After Bennett missed high from 20-yards out in the 75th minute, St. John's took a 1-0 lead in the 78th minute. Matthews began the play with a run up the right flank before sending the ball past the far post. Bedoya kept the ball in bounds and sent a chip into the box for Savino, who tucked a shot inside the right post from 8-yards out.
St. John's remained on the attack and Matthews blasted a shot high in the 79th minute before Daniel Herrera had an attempt blocked in the 81st minute.
The Red Storm continued to maintain possession as Bedoya had a pair of attempts. After having a shot blocked in the 83rd minute, the freshman had a sinking strike from 20-yards drop just over the crossbar.
Syracuse would have one more opportunity, however, as a foul setup a free kick from 30-yards out. The kick was sent into the box and Vale flicked on a header, but Diaz made the save with just two seconds remaining to secure the victory.
St. John's will now wait for the result of tomorrow's game between Louisville and Cincinnati to find out its seeding and first playoff game.