November 12, 2012
LOCAL NCAA DERBY
St. John's men to host FDU on Thursday
St. John’s will host Northeast Conference tournament champion Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round at Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y. on Thursday at 7 p.m.
|Jack Bennett leads St. John's with five goals and four assists.
Photo courtesy of St. John's
The winner will play at St. Louis University at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The Knights (9-5-6) will take on a Red Storm (10-4-4) team who received an at-large selection out of the Big East Conference. St. John's fell in the Big East quarterfinals to Georgetown, 2-1, on Nov. 3.
Not surprisingly, both coaches had a mutual admiration society when discussing their foes.
"We can't wait for Thursday night and are really looking forward to playing St. John's," FDU coach Seth Roland said. "Coach Dave Masur does an unbelievable job with that program, and we know it will be an extremely challenging test for us. However, our guys have shown that they can rise to the occasion as evidenced by our championship performance this past weekend in the NEC Tournament."
Then it was St. John's coach Dr. Dave Masur's turn.
“FDU has a great program and has developed into a real powerhouse in the Northeast Conference with coach Roland at the helm. We had quite a battle against them in the 2002 [NCAA] Tournament and were fortunate to win in double overtime,” he said. “We prepare ourselves throughout the course of the year to play against the best of the best in the NCAA Tournament, so we are excited for this opportunity to extend our season and hope to make the most of it.”
St. John’s is 3-4-0 all-time against the Knights, but is 3-0-0 since the 2002 season. The Knights won the first four meetings, all of which were played between 1979-82.
The Red Storm has outscored opponents 27-14, including a 16-7 advantage in the second half.
All-Big East first team selection Jack Bennett leads the team with 14 points on team highs of five goals and four assists.
The Red Storm, which captured the 1996 Division I crown, has appeared in three other College Cups (2008, 2003, 2001, 1996) and has a 25-17-1 (.593) record in NCAA tournament action.
St. John's is among a record eight Big East teams in the tournament, along with Notre Dame, Georgetown, Connecticut, Marquette, Louisville, University of South Florida and Syracuse.