For the St. John’s men’s soccer team, the long and bumpy road to the NCAA championship came to an abrupt end as Boston College knocked them off track and out of the tournament.
On Sunday, November 22, Boston College advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a decisive 1-0 victory over the 13th seeded Red Storm.
“We gave up an early goal to a very strong [Boston College] team,” said assistant head coach of St. John’s, Marc Reeves. “Our possession time was strong, but we just couldn’t come away with a clear shot.”
In the eighth minute of the match, the Eagles would take the first advantage of the game, and it would be enough to seal the victory for them. After Kyle Bekker dribbled the ball down most of the left side of the field, he took a quick shot which clanked off the post and was rebounded by his teammate Karl Reddick who one-timed it into the back of the net. That was the only goal that Red Storm goalie, Derby Carrillo, would give up in the game.
Though the red shirts had more shots on goal and a much higher ball possession period, the Eagles single scoring drive sealed St. John’s fate.
“I don’t really know what happened in the first eight minutes of the game,” said Carrillo, who posted 10 shutouts on the season. “I guess we came out a little too cocky and paid for it,” he said.
For seniors like Carrillo, this would be their last time in front of a roaring crowd at Belson Stadium in Jamaica.
“We were all disappointed and sad … especially because we knew that we weren’t coming back next year,” Carrillo said.
Though they didn’t advance in the prestigious tournament, St. John’s can still hold their heads high, knowing that they were the top-tier squad out of the heavily-stacked 16 teamed conference in the Big East. As the reigning Big East champions, the team can take pride in the hard work and dedication they put forth this season.
“We are the Big East champions and we won it against some great teams in our conference,” Reeves said. “We were obviously disappointed when we lost, but we will look forward and move on.”
St. John’s stands to lose six seniors who were all key components of this year’s NCAA team. Despite that loss, the team looks for some of the underclassmen to step up, while they look to develop some of their new members who have verbally committed from high school.