#12 St. John's Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

St. John’s Red Storm

Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #3 Big East
St. John's Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
St. John's Team Page


St. John’s finished last season on top taking the Big East tournament crown and making it into the NCAA tournament.  Their success didn’t last long as they lost to Brown in the second round after receiving a first round bye. The unfortunate loss, however, didn’t break the spirits of the returning players or Head Coach Dr. Dave Masur, especially after receiving their Big East championship rings in front of a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden back in February. The Red Storm will hope to maintain their stride this season and take another Big East title to add to their nine previous crowns and achieve a bid for the NCAA tournament. St John’s has always had good success in the tournament as well, making it to the Sweet Sixteen 10 consecutive times between 1996-2005 while under coach Masur’s reign. In his 21 seasons at St John’s, Coach Masur also brought home a national championship in 1996 and he looks to do it again.

2011 Record: 14-7-2, 4-5-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dr. Dave Masur

The Red Storm defense will welcome back three goalkeepers for the 2012 season: Jordan Stagmiller, Rafeal Diaz, and Alex Naple. All three saw playing time last season and all three contributed to the defense. Stagmiller played only one game but was able to log three saves, while Naples tallied 22 saves in nine games and Diaz saved 40 in 15 games. Together the keepers only gave up 21 goals throughout the 23 matches of the 2011 season. Returning in the defender spot is Bjorn de Hoop. Jamie Thomas, Jordan Rouse and Tim Parker round out the back line. Jack Bennett, who led the team in goals last season with six, returns in a midfield spot alongside Ido Ligety and Adrian L’Esperance, who both contributed three goals last season. Andres Vargas will be in the forward position again this season to lead the offensive front.

With only four defenders and one forward returning, both the offense and defense will be looking to fill holes in the preseason. Coach Masur will need to keep the team’s stride at a steady pace this season and make sure the new recruits step into the holes can hold fast as the defense did last season. Allowing only 21 goals out of 23 games last season, the defense has set their standard high for this year.  This year defense will definitely be facing some aggressive shooters. The offense will need to take a few more shots and be a little more aggressive than last season. St John’s only took 342 shots last season while other teams are taking closer to 400. That small difference could be the line between a win or loss and quite possibly a title.  

Final Projection:
St John’s does have another slight advantage over some competitors as they take on highly ranked Boston College in an exhibition match then one week later they see them again for their regular season opener. Taking on a tough squad like BC back-to-back like that helps prep the team for other tough squads in and out of conference. As long as the defense holds strong with the new additions and the offense gets a little more aggressive, then St Johns could be a contender and earn a top ten spot.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Jack Bennett, Senior, M, 6
Assists: Jack Bennett, Senior, M, 6
Shots: Jack Bennett, Senior, M, 58
Saves: Rafael Diaz, Junior, GK, 40

Madness 2012 MLS Draft Rankings:
#47 Tim Parker

Madness 2012 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#96 Sean Sepe