August 23, 2012
Bennett ready to lead St. John's men
Senior midfielder Jack Bennett is ready to lead the St. John's men this college soccer season.
|Senior midfielder Jack Bennett is expected to play a vital role in St. John's success this season.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Red Storm will hold their campaign against Boston University, at Belson Stadium in Queens, N.U. at 8 p.m. on Friday. it will be the first time since 2007 that the Storm will open a season at home.
A deep corps of midfielders is paced by Bennett (six goals, six assists), who led the team with 18 points, scored a team-best five game-winning goals and was one of only five players to start all 23 games.
Bennett, the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the 2011 Big East Tournament, also assisted on five game-winning goals and flourished in the post-season, tallying one goal and four assists in four Big East Tournament games. He also may see time at the left back position this season.
Two juniors established themselves as fixtures in the starting lineup last season. Adrian L’Esperance (three goals, four assists) had one game-winning goal and appeared in all 23 games, including 22 starts, and is the second-highest returning scorer. Jimmy Mulligan (one goal, four assists) also appeared in 23 games (22 starts), and ranked second on the team in shots and shots on goal.
Junior Jamie Thomas (one goal), who also started 23 games, ranked third on the team with 2,037 minutes played and provides a consistent presence in the defensive midfield. Sophomore Daniel Herrera (one goal, two assists) made his collegiate-debut a season ago and provided quality minutes in his 19 appearances off the bench. Senior Juan Aguiar (two assists) appeared in 10 games, one start, in his first season with the Red Storm.
A National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region selection and first team all-state, first team all-county and first team all-conference honoree as a senior, freshman Brandon Savino helped Seton Hall Prep win three-straight county titles, three consecutive conference crowns and one state championship and should have an immediate impact. Another NSCAA All-Region honoree, freshman Sean Sepe also earned both all-state and all-county honors as a senior at West Islip, N.Y.. Freshmen Josh Godec and Fernando Colella round out the midfield depth.
A speedy forward from Venezuela and one of the first players off the bench last season, senior Andres Vargas (three goals) appeared in 18 games as part of a breakout junior campaign. Junior Nick Matthews (one goal) provides a burst of energy off the bench and also appeared in 18 games a season ago, while adding his first career goal.
Freshman Cody Albrecht, who holds the Maryland state-record with 31 assists in a season, returns to the fold after a pre-season injury in 2011 forced him to miss the entire year. An NSCAA All-Region selection, freshman Jelani Williams was also the Essex County player of the year and earned first team all-state, first team all-county and first team all-conference honors as a senior.
Freshman Daniel Bedoya was the Queens player of the year as a senior after recording 16 goals and 14 assists to lead Francis Lewis to the PSAL Class A Finals. A 6-1 freshman from Israel, Ron Zuri adds a physical presence at the position, while freshman Khaliq McKenzie, who did not see game action last year, adds to the list of options up top after spending a year in the system.