Despite its dominant performance in the last two matches, the Princeton men’s soccer team (3–3–1, 0–0 Ivy) fell 2–1 against Saint John’s (2–5–1, 1–1 Big East). The game was a rematch of the 2021 NCAA Tournament First Round, when Princeton was knocked out of the tournament after losing against the Red Storm.
Midfielder Einar Lye opened the scoring for St. John’s in the 18th minute. Forward Nigel Griffith delivered a low cross down the right wing, giving Lye the perfect opportunity to knock the pass into the net from close range.
Despite outshooting the Red Storm 4–2 in the first half, the Tigers still couldn’t equalize the score.
In the second half, forward Wesley Leggett gathered an offensive rebound off a shot by forward/midfielder Adrian Rosarth to put St. John’s up by two.
The Tigers would have fallen further behind were it not for a crucial save made by sophomore goalkeeper William Watson in the 60th minute. Watson stood tall against the Red Storm and blocked Griffith’s shot on a solo drive to keep the score at two–nil.
Still, the Tigers refused to give up.
A Princeton goal finally came in the 77th minute when senior forward Daniel Diaz Bonilla performed a header relay off with senior defender Lucas Gen, sending the ball into the net to halve the deficit.
With renewed momentum, Princeton pounded the net with 12 shots in the second half. Despite Princeton’s efforts, St. John’s sealed their home win with good defense for the remainder of the game. The defeat also marked Princeton’s third consecutive one-goal loss to St. John’s.
In the remaining 13 minutes, the Tigers peppered shots towards the goal continuously in search of an equalizer. However, luck was not on their side, as St. John’s kept their lead to the last minute.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Tigers will make their trip to Hanover, N.H. for the Ivy opener against Dartmouth.
Brian Jiang is a contributing writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.