St. John’s soccer falls to Butler in Big East Tourney Quarterfinals
St. John’s soccer lost to Butler again in Big East Tournament Quarterfinals.
The St. John’s soccer team was upset once again on its own field in the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals by Butler as the Bulldogs took down the Red Storm in a penalty shootout.
It marked the second defeat for St. John’s against Butler in just four days with both games taking place at Belson Stadium.
The Red Storm were defeated by the Bulldogs in the regular-season finale last Wednesday 1-0 in overtime to set up this No. 3 seed vs No. 6 seed rematch on Saturday.
The game was very similar to the first matchup between the two teams.
It was an incredibly physical matchup with the teams combining for 40 fouls in the game, resulting in six cards being handed out.
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Butler also picked up a red card in the match.
The game was a back and forth contest with the Johnnies and the Bulldogs having their moments.
The only big opportunity of the first half for the Johnnies was a shot fired in that was just wide by Riyan Tori, the sophomore midfielder from Japan making his fourth appearance of the season.
Coming out of the halftime break, St. John’s started out on the front foot generating some dangerous opportunities by Wesley Leggett and Atila Ashrafi but Leggett’s shot gets saved and Ashrafi’s header is just outside the post.
As the second half went on, Butler had some dangerous opportunities of its own as forward Nick Okoro had a one-on-one opportunity with Luka Gavran but the junior would make the save as well as save the rebound from Wilmer Cabrera Jr.
While the shot count was 15-8 in favor of the Red Storm, just like Wednesday night, it felt like Butler carried much more of a threat on goal than the Red Storm.
However, both goalies stood strong as the game remained scoreless and went to overtime.
Seconds into extra-time, Butler’s Perrin Barnes was sent off after his second yellow card of the night giving St. John’s almost 20 minutes of a man advantage.
Despite losing arguably its best player on the night, Butler held firm to send the game to penalties.
Even with the man advantage, the biggest opportunity the Red Storm generated was an acrobatic effort from Tani Oluwaseyi in the 102nd minute that was saved.
In the penalty shootout, Butler successfully converted its four penalty kicks while the Red Storm could only convert two.
Johan Aquilon and Lucas Bartlett converted, but Jared Juleau’s shot was saved and Einar Lye’s chip shot was over the bar to hand the win to Butler on PK’s, 4-2.
St. John’s soccer now awaits its fate
It is a disappointing way for the Red Storm to end the season given how well they played, earning the No. 3 seed in the Big East Tournament despite not having their star striker, Oluwaseyi, for the entire regular season.
Butler was able to hold the Johnnies scoreless for 214 minutes of play and it was more so on St. John’s not executing well in the final third and not executing that final pass to create enough opportunities on goal.
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Butler will advance to play No. 2 seed Providence in the Big East Tournament Semifinals on Thursday.
St. John’s will now await its NCAA Tournament fate as they should be in line for an at-large bid despite the two losses to Butler.
The NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament Selection Show will take place on Monday, November 15 at 1:00pm EST.