Oct. 29, 2011
CINCINNATI, Ohio -
Trailing at the half for just the fourth time this season, No. 18/11 St. John's found the post three times in the second half and was not able to find the equalizer in a 1-0 loss at Cincinnati. Alex Naples tied a career-high with four saves for St. John's (10-6-2, 4-5-0), which secured the Red Division No. 3 seed for the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament. Ashani Walker scored the game-winner in the 24th minute to lead Cincinnati (6-11-1, 2-7-0), while Joey Barnard made seven saves.
"We haven't been able to find the back of the net in these past few games and that always puts pressure on your team, especially on the road against a tough team like Cincinnati," said head coach Dr. Dave Masur. "It is a frustrating result because we had our chances, but we found the post three times and just could not finish."
St. John's fired wide on its first opportunity of the game in the 5th minute, but Pablo Battuto Punyed forced Barnard to make a save on a 20-yard shot in the 7th minute.
A Cincinnati corner kick in the 15th minute set up a 25-yard shot from Emmanuel Appiah that was blocked and St. John's quickly brought the ball upfield on the counterattack.
St. John's could not create a shot following a corner kick in the 16th minute, but Walter Hines had a shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box saved by at the left post in the 19th minute.
After a shot by Cole DeNormandie went off the crossbar in the 19th minute, the Bearcats took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute. DeNormandie sent a cross into the box from the right flank and Walker settled and made a quick turn before beating Naples with a low blast from 10-yards.
A shot by Jimmy Mulligan was deflected past the endline in the 30th minute to set up a Red Storm corner kick, but the Bearcats were able to clear the ball out of the box.
Cincinnati followed with a shot in 34th minute, but Naples made the save on a blast by DeNormandie.
St. John's could not create any shots on back-to-back corner kicks in the 41st minute, but Cincinnati could not get the ball out of their defensive third and Jack Bennett later had a shot from the right corner of the box saved in the 42nd minute.
The Red Storm earned its fifth corner kick of the first half in the 45th minute, but the Bearcats quickly cleared and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Naples was tested early in the second half, saving a slow roller from Matt Remaley in the 50th minute before diving full-extension to his left to save a shot by Appiah in the 52nd minute.
The first Red Storm shot of the second half came later in the 52nd minute, but Barnard was able to save a shot by Bennett.
St. John's nearly found the equalizer in the 58th minute as a centering pass set up a shot for Hines, but it hit the post and was quickly cleared by the defense.
The Red Storm again nearly picked up the equalizer in the 64th minute as a 10-yard shot by Mulligan found its way past the dive of Barnard, but bounced off the right post.
A third-consecutive shot from St. John's found the post in the 69th minute as Battuto Punyed entered the box from the left side and sent in a riser that found the top of the left post and deflected out-of-bounds.
A shot by Mulligan in the 72nd minute was tipped over the crossbar by Barnard to set up a corner kick, but Cincinnati was able to clear without allowing a shot.
The Red Storm had one final chance to grab the equalizer as a Cincinnati foul set up a free kick from the left flank in the 90th minute. Mulligan curled a shot in towards goal, but Barnard made the save and the Bearcats held on for the 1-0 win.
As the No. 3 seed from the Red Division, St. John's will host the No. 6 seed from the Blue Division in a first round game on Nov. 2. Time and opponent have yet to be determined.