St. John’s soccer star Tani Oluwaseyi will miss entire 2021 season

St. John's soccer (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
St. John's soccer (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

St. John’s soccer star Tani Oluwaseyi will miss the fall season due to knee surgery. 

The St. John’s soccer team was handed a massive blow this week as it was announced that star striker Tani Oluwaseyi will miss the fall season, and his senior year, due to undergoing knee surgery.

Oluwaseyi, the 2019 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, scored five goals and notched three assists in nine games in the shortened spring 2021 season.

Four of his five goals were game-winning goals for the Johnnies.

The Ontario, Canada native was forced to exit the Red Storm’s 2-0 win at Belson Stadium on March 3 early and missed the St. John’s 1-0 overtime loss to Villanova three days later due to a knee injury.

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“While it’s tough dealing with the fact that I’ll miss my senior season as well as rehabbing my left knee for the next few months, I strongly believe that God has a plan and a purpose for my life and all things happen for a reason,” Oluwaseyi said in regards to the injury.

“The goal is to come back a better player than I was before, and I’m going to do what I can to achieve that.  I’m looking forward to supporting my teammates every step of the way, and I hope we can do something really special this year.”

“We’re obviously heartbroken for Tani [Oluwaseyi] that he’s going to miss his senior year,” head coach Dr. Dave Masur said.

“I know that Tani was gearing up for a big season, but knowing the kind of kid that he is I have no doubt that he’ll still have a huge impact on his teammates from the sideline.  I’m confident that Tani will return to the field better than ever when he’s healthy.”

Who can step up for the St. John’s soccer program in Tani Oluwaseyi’s absence?

The absence of Tani Oluwaseyi is going to significantly hurt the St. John’s soccer team this season as he has a decorated career being named as a two-time First Team All-Big East selection and a former Big East Offensive Player of the Year.

However, the major question for St. John’s will be who can replace Oluwaseyi’s offensive production to help the Red Storm succeed and improve upon their 5-5 (3-5 Big East) campaign last season.

It will take multiple players to step up and produce to fill the Tani Oluwaseyi-sized hole that the Red Storm attack has now, starting with rising junior Wesley Leggett. 

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Legget, a Lawrence, New Jersey native, scored three goals and one assist in seven games this past season and his three goals were the second highest on the team, only trailing Oluwaseyi.

Rising senior Einar Lye is another player that will be looked to step up as well as the Norwegian midfielder scored two goals and two assists this past season, which was third on the team in goals and second in assists.

As one of the more experienced members of this St. John’s squad, Lye was second on the team in goals and assists back in 2019 with a five apiece on a Red Storm that posted 14 wins and made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Someone deeper on the depth chart like Josiah Crawford who appeared in 15 games in 2019 but just two in the spring 2021 season will need to step up, or even rising senior Drew Rosen can contribute more in the attack to help fill the void.

All the answers to these questions will be revealed when St. John’s takes on Clemson to begin the season on August 26.

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