St. John’s soccer wins tight matchup with Brown to advance in NCAA Tournament
The St. John’s soccer team kept its magical season alive on Saturday afternoon in Rhode Island in a tight 1-0 overtime win over Brown.
The first half was dominated by Brown as the Bears held down Zsani Kajan and the Red Storm just could not get out of its own half.
Brown came close on two occasions on consecutive corner kick opportunities to open the scoring, but Nicole Multer came up with two huge goal-line saves to keep the game scoreless.
The sophomore defender was on the post on the corner kicks and cleared out both efforts on goal after they got past Naya Lipkens.
Shots were 7-2 in favor of Brown in the first half.
The best chance the Red Storm had in the first half was a chipped-through ball into the box to Kajan, but she could not wrap her foot around it. The Hungarian also had a shot in the 21st minute that was easy enough for Kayla Thompson to save.
However, the Johnnies turned things around in the second half by possessing the ball well and threatened the Bears’ backline.
St. John’s outshot Brown 7-5 in the second half, although most of the shots for Brown were not terribly threatening.
The Red Storm controlled large portions of the second 45 minutes and were almost rewarded for it when Nicole Gordon latched onto a cross in the 75th minute, but her shot hit the post.
The game would head to overtime after Brown could not punch in a goal despite their late pressure.
Nine minutes into overtime, Ava Collins latched onto a loose ball in the box and fired a shot into the upper right-hand corner to hand the Red Storm the win.
The match-winner was Collins’ fourth goal of the season.
St. John’s finally comes out victorious over an Ivy League opponent this season after three previous attempts as the win on Saturday moves St. John’s to a 13-6-2 record overall and was just their second-ever victory in the NCAA Tournament.
The first came back in 2013 in a 3-1 win over UCF.
St. John’s win also broke Brown’s 21-game unbeaten streak at home.
St. John’s soccer now heads to Durham to face Samford
Next up for the Red Storm is a second-round matchup with the Samford Bulldogs in Durham, North Carolina.
As the Duke is the No. 1 seed, the Blue Devils will host the next two rounds of games in the region.
The Bulldogs upset No. 4 seed Auburn on Friday, 2-0, to advance.
St. John’s will face Samford next Friday with the time still to be announced. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
The Bulldogs have the No. 21 ranked offense in the country, scoring 46 goals this season. They are led by junior midfielder Mary Ramondm, who has nine goals and four assists on the season.
Senior midfielder Alyssa Frazier is also a player to watch with seven goals and 10 assists on the year.
Samford gets its offense from several different places and, once again, it will be a difficult test for the Red Storm defense.
If the Johnnies can replicate its second-half performance from Saturday, then St. John’s has a good chance to go where this program has never gone before; the Sweet 16.