It was a strong performance away from home for the Red Storm, which outshot the Mountaineers 17-8, with 12 of those shots coming in the second half.
“Tonight was a really good team effort with huge efforts from a lot of different guys,” said Dr. Dave Masur, St. John’s head coach. “We’re a fairly young team that played against a strong physical side and had a solid performance.”
The Red Storm struck first in the 20th minute. Einar Lye was fouled just beyond the top of the box, which set up a free-kick. Matt Forster then delivered a left-footed strike that bent into the top right corner of the goal beyond the reach of Mountaineers goalkeeper Jacob Madden.
St. John’s would maintain its one-goal lead into the midway portion of the second half when the Johnnies would strike again. In the 71st minute, Skage Simonsen dribbled down the left side and found Josiah Crawford with space in the middle of the pitch. The sophomore moved toward the top of the box and took a shot that rang off the crossbar.
After the hitting off the woodwork, the ball came to rest near the goal line, where it was cleared by Tani Oluwaseyi back to a waiting Crawford, who buried his second chance to give St. John’s a two-goal lead.
“I thought Tani and Josiah came on in the second half and made a really huge difference for our team,” said Masur. “Matt [Forster] also had a terrific free-kick goal for us.”
Goalkeepers Jan Hoffelner and Luka Gavran, both making their St. John’s debuts, combined to register the clean sheet. Hoffelner played the first half while Gavran played the second half. Each was credited with a save apiece.
The Red Storm will stay in the Tar Heel State and meet North Carolina State on Sunday. Game time is 7 p.m. and will be aired on ACC Network Extra that is available on the ESPN app and WatchESPN.