SJU men’s soccer rolled to their fourth straight victory in a shutout over Xavier to kickoff Big East play last week in Ohio.
After more than 70 scoreless minutes, senior captain Brandon Knapp (Abingdon, Md.) finished a header on a cross from Jared Juleau (Stamford, Conn.), netting what proved to be the game-winner for the Red Storm. The goal was Knapp’s third of the season, all of which have been game-winners. Juleau’s assist was his second this season.
For the second time in as many weeks, Knapp was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week. In seven games this season, he leads the Red Storm in goals (3), assists (4) and points (10), good for second in the Big East in all three of those categories.
St. John’s (5-2-0 overall, 1-0-0 Big East) outshot Xavier, 13-4, including a 7-0 advantage in second-half chances. The Red Storm took six corner kicks compared to the Musketeers’ none.
Luka Gavran (Hamilton, Ontario) was named the Big East’s goalkeeper of the week. The Redshirt Junior made three first-half saves to record his fourth clean sheet in just seven tries, collecting shutouts against Albany, Fordham, Columbia and Xavier so far this season. On the year, Gavran has posted a 0.71 goals against average and an .800 save percentage.
Graduate defender Lucas Bartlett (Overland Park, Kan.) was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. Bartlett has been a steadying presence on a Red Storm back line that has been shuffled in recent seasons and currently ranks second on the team in goals (2), assists (2) and points (6). In Saturday’s conference opener, Bartlett played the full 90 minutes and helped hold Xavier off the board. In the 43rd minute of Monday’s win over Columbia, Bartlett headed home a corner kick from Atila Ashrafi for his second goal of the season.
Friday night, the Red Storm hosts Creighton at Belson Stadium for its Big East home opener. The match will be streamed on Flo Sports.
The road ahead is a tough one, as St John’s will match up against some top-level opposition in the coming months.
On Oct. 6, St. Johns will face Providence, ranked #24 on this week’s TopDrawerSoccer.com national rankings
On Saturday, Oct. 16 at Belson Stadium, the Johnnies will face Seton Hall, who were ranked 19th in the NCAA rankings on Sept. 14.
The following week SJU will travel to D.C. for a meeting with Georgetown, who has gotten off to a perfect, 6-0, start, earning the top spot on both the NCAA and TopDrawerSoccer.com charts.