St. John's Heads to Creighton for a Conference Clash on Friday|
Oct. 5, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Looking to pick up its third conference win of the 2017 campaign, the St. John's men's soccer team will continue its road swing on Friday evening, traveling to Omaha, Neb., for an 8 p.m. ET matchup with Creighton.
The game will be broadcast live on FOXSportsGO.com and the FOX Sports GO app.
The Red Storm enters the weekend on the heels of two-hard fought losses to nationally acclaimed opponents. On Saturday night against then-No. 22/16 Butler, the Red Storm kept the high-powered Bulldogs offense off the board for 105 minutes before surrendering the game-winning tally on a penalty kick. The goal came mere moments after Butler goalkeeper Eric Dick made an acrobatic diving stop on Wilhelm Nilsson to prevent the Johnnies from leaving Indianapolis with a victory.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Withers made a season-high six saves against the Bulldogs on Saturday, earning a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the second time in the last three weeks. The league leader in goals against average (0.58) and save percentage (.846), Withers ranks in the top 12 nationally in each of those respective categories. In addition, his five shutouts pace the league and rank 16th in all of Division I.
Friday night presents the Johnnies with another opportunity for a resume-building win, as the Red Storm will travel to face a Creighton team that checked in at no. 16 in the first NCAA RPI released on Monday afternoon. The Bluejays, who were picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll, ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 last week before falling out following a 2-0 road loss to Seton Hall. The Red Storm already sports a convincing win over a top 25 opponent this season, dominating then-No.19 Xavier, 3-0, at Belson Stadium on Sept. 23. Currently, the Red Storm is tied for second in the BIG EAST standings with six points.
The Bluejays enter the contest with a record of 6-4, including a 1-2 mark in BIG EAST play. Having suffered road losses to both Seton Hall and Butler, Creighton's lone conference win of the campaign came at Morrison Stadium, a 2-0 triumph over Villanova on Sept. 23. Offensively, Creighton has been led by the play of Ricky Lopez-Espin a 2016 Second Team All-BIG EAST selection that has found the back of the net five times and dished out two assists this season. Fifth-year senior Michael Kluver has started all 10 games in goal for the Bluejays, compiling a 0.97 goals against average with four shutouts.
St. John's and Creighton have met seven times in a series dating back to 1996, with the Bluejays holding a 4-2-1 advantage all-time over the Johnnies. Prior to Creighton joining the BIG EAST prior to the start of the 2013 season, all three meetings had come in the NCAA Tournament, including a victory for the Red Storm in the 1996 national semifinal en route to the program's first-ever national title. St. John's picked up its first result against Creighton as conference foes last season, as Filippo Ricupati scored in the 77th minute to pull the Red Storm even in an eventual 1-1 draw. The Bluejays would go on to fall two wins shy of the College Cup, losing to fellow BIG EAST program Providence in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.