#20 St. John's Men's Soccer 2013 Preview

St. John’s Red Storm

Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #4 Big East
#20 St. John's Men's Soccer 2013 Preseason
St. John's Team Page


The shutout can give but it can also take away. St. John’s won six times by shutout last year, but two losses, including a season-ending shutout defeat in the NCAA tournament, cost the Red Storm a chance at advancing further in postseason action. Still, it was a strong season for St. John’s, whose schedule included four ties. The Red Storm couldn’t improve their fates on the road, unlike how they did at home, and that may have cost the team a little in the win column. The team’s main goal is for a stronger conference performance.

2012 Record: 10-5-4, 4-3-1
2012 Postseason: NCAA tournament (lost in first round, 1-0, to Fairleigh Dickinson)
Coach: Dr. Dave Masur

Is it possible to win games without a dominant goal scorer? Yes. Four players had nine points or more last season, and Jelani Williams returns from that group to give the Red Storm some help on offense. Williams scored four times last year to go with one assist. While Williams anchors the offense, the goalkeeping should have no problem maintaining its high standards. Rafael Diaz started all 19 games last year and led the Red Storm to a 0.75 goals against average, which was 12th in the nation in Division I. Its shutout percentage of 0.42 was 29th in the nation. Diaz’s goals-against average was 16th in the country. As long as Diaz doesn’t get hurt, the Red Storm should be fine on defense.

Two goal scorers are gone from a year ago, including Jack Bennett and Andres Vargas, so the Red Storm will need to replace some of that offense it will miss in 2013. The team’s record is also an issue. Although St. John’s went 6-2-2 in its 10 home games, the Red Storm were 3-3-1 on the road and 4-3-1 in conference play. Home-field advantage is a good thing, but St. John’s has to win a few games away from home. The team could also stand to get a few more players in on the action as it ranked halfway down the field in terms of total assists.

Final Projection:
A revamped Big East will be tough to navigate, but before that the team has to face Maryland in an exhibition and Penn State, South Carolina and West Virginia in real games. Creighton, one of the Big East favorites, is early in the conference schedule, but heavyweights like Georgetown and Marquette will not be featured until later in the season. How the Red Storm does will depend on getting off to an early strong start and navigating the crowded conference field.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Jelani Williams, Sophomore, F, 4
Assists: Sean Sepe, Sophomore, MF, 3
Shots: Jimmy Mulligan, Senior, MF, 36
Saves: Rafael Diaz, Senior, GK, 58

Madness 2014 MLS Draft Rankings:
#38 Rafael Diaz
#42 Tim Parker

Madness 2013 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#69 Miguel Alves


See All Men's Soccer Top 44 Team Previews