St. John’s soccer bounces back with tight win over Fordham

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

The St. John’s soccer team got back in the win column against rival Fordham

The St. John’s soccer team took on rival Fordham at Belson Stadium on Monday night looking to get back in the win column after a disappointing loss to Marist over the weekend.

The Labor Day matchup was special as it was a homecoming of sorts for Fordham’s head coach Carlo Acquista.

Acquista spent four years in Queens and was a part of two Big East Championship teams and was a member of the 1996 National Championship squad.

In just his second season with Fordham this past spring, Acquista led the Rams to the Atlantic-10 Championship and into the NCAA Tournament where Fordham lost in the Second Round to the eventual National Champion Marshall Thundering Herd.

Monday night marked the 18th all-time meeting between the two programs and the first since 2017 when Fordham won 1-0 at Belson Stadium.

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The matchup was originally scheduled for the Spring 2021 season, but it did not take place due to a COVID-19 pause within Fordham Athletics at the time.

The game started out with St. John’s dominating Fordham and really holding them in their own half. The Rams could barely string a few passes together, let alone establish any sort of rhythm in the first ten minutes of the match.

The pressure from the Red Storm was eventually rewarded with a goal in the 11th minute by Andrew Bennett for his first Red Storm goal.

It would eventually be the game-winner as Lucas Bartlett started the move, found Brandon Knapp in the box, went back to Bartlett, and then drove into the six-yard box for a tap-in for the sophomore midfielder and Georgia State transfer.

Fordham does exit quietly against St. John’s soccer

After the goal, Fordham grew into the game especially after the introduction of midfielder Matt Sloan.

The Rams looked much more dangerous with his passing, giving them a foothold in the game.

For the rest of the half, St. John’s would have to do plenty of defending and Luka Gavran even had to come up with some incredible saves to preserve the Red Storm lead.

Fordham would have six corner kicks in the span of 25 minutes as the half progressed including Matt Forester having to save a shot off the line on one corner kick situation.

The second half would be more of the same as the Rams pressed for an equalizer. The aforementioned Gavran would be called into action yet again as he made some incredible saves Monday night, but none bigger in the 55th minute.

Bennett may have scored the winner, but the junior goalkeeper from Ontario was no doubt the hero for the Red Storm on Monday night.

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St. John’s had a few chances late to seal the win, but could not put the ball on the net.

Nonetheless, the Red Storm would hold on and close out a tough 1-0 win. They move to a 9-8-1 all-time against Fordham, but are now 6-1-1 since Dr. Dave Masur became the Red Storm’s head coach in 1991.

The win moves the Red Storm back to a .500 record at 2-2 and next up they will take on Boston University on Friday at 7:00pm EST on FloSports at Belson Stadium.

Fordham is still seeking its first win and goal of the season despite retaining most of their stellar squad from the spring and being picked to repeat as A-10 champions as they move to an 0-3-1 record.

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