St. John's Heads to Georgetown for BIG EAST Semifinal|
Nov. 6, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Following a wire-to-wire victory over Creighton in the opening round of the BIG EAST Championship, the St. John's men's soccer team will head to the nation's capital for a semifinal tilt with Georgetown on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network with Dan Helfrich, Tom Greaser and Marisa Pilla on the call.
A win over the Hoyas on Wednesday would put the Red Storm (9-6-3) one step closer toward a 10th BIG EAST title, a total that is unrivaled in the history of the league. Among current schools in the conference, no one program has more than four (Seton Hall) while Connecticut ranks second among all-time league members with seven. In 54 conference tournament games scattered over 26 separate appearances, the Red Storm owns a record of 35-14-5, good enough for an all-time winning percentage of .673 that leads all BIG EAST schools with at least four tournament berths.
The Red Storm earned a spot in the conference semifinals thanks to a tremendous effort at home on Saturday night against Creighton. The Johnnies wasted no time getting on the board, scoring twice in the first 6:53 to take a commanding two-goal lead before winning the contest by a final score of 3-1. The offensive explosion at the start of the game marked the first time in 11 years that the Red Storm tallied a pair of goals that quickly, as Patrik Ensgtrom scored at the 2:38 and 5:30 marks in a 5-2 win over Georgetown in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10, 2006.
Sophomore Alistair Johnston, the team's leader with six goals on the year, paced the Red Storm with two tallies against Creighton for his second brace of the season. Classmate Matt Forster added a goal and an assist while senior Harry Cooksley, who was named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year just one day prior, became the first St. John's player since 2010 and just the 16th Johnny in program history to register three assists in a game. Cooksley's eight assists on the campaign place him in a tie for the most by a Johnny in single season since Matt Groenwald dished out nine in 2003, a season that saw the Red Storm make its third appearance in the College Cup and Groenwald earn a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team.
In addition to Cooksley becoming the fifth player in St. John's history and the first since 2011 to take home BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year honors, fellow senior David Enstrom became the ninth Johnny and the first since 2008 to be named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. 2017 marks just the fourth time in program history that two members of the Red Storm have taken home major individual awards from the conference in the same season. In two of the previous three instances (1993, 2003 and 2008), St. John's went on to appear in the College Cup. On top of the honors from Cooksley and Enstrom, rookie forward Jack Shearer was unanimously selected to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team after registering three goals in conference play.
Georgetown enters the conference semifinal following a week off from action, a benefit of clinching the no. 2 seed in the tournament with a win over Creighton on the final day of the regular season. A mainstay in the national polls this year with a record of 12-3-2, the Hoyas sport the nation's 13th best goals against average (0.63) and are tied with St. John's for the league's top shutout total with eight. Offensively, the Hoyas are led by rookie sensation Derek Dodson, who was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year after recording eight goals and two assists on the season. Second Team All-BIG EAST Selection J.T. Marcinkowski has played every minute between the pipes for Georgetown on the campaign, stopping 83 percent of opposing shots on target.
St. John's and Georgetown will meet for the second time in two weeks when they square off on Wednesday, 11 days after the Johnnies picked up their signature win of the season over the Hoyas on Oct. 28 in Queens. In that contest, Enstrom headed home the game-winner for the Red Storm in a 1-0 victory while Andrew Withers stopped both of the Hoyas' tries on target to pick up one of his eight shutouts on the year. Dating back to 1985, St. John's is 22-8-3 all-time against the Hoyas with a 4-2 mark in BIG EAST Tournament action. Since 2011, the last seven matches between St. John's and Georgetown have been decided by one goal with the last five featuring 1-0 final scores.