The St. John’s men’s soccer team is now four-for-four on the season following its 3-2 win over Iona Tuesday night at Belson Stadium.
Sophomore Einar Lye had two goals and an assist and Niko Petridis had a goal and an assist to lead the No. 19 Red Storm.
Playing in just his fourth game for St. John’s, Lye scored the Red Storm’s final two goals of the game less than a minute apart. He is the first St. John’s player to record five points in a game in 14 years. Sebastian Alvarado-Ralph last accomplished the feat with a one-goal, three-assist effort in a 4-0 win at No. 2 Duke in 2005.
“He’s starting to come alive,” Dr. Dave Masur, the Red Storm’s head coach said of his first-year Norwegian midfielder. “He told me it’s taken a little bit of getting used to college soccer, but he’s doing really well and the last two games he’s been very, very good.”
St. John’s opened the scoring as Petridis scored his first goal as a member of the Johnnies in the 12th minute. After Josiah Crawford forced an Iona turnover in the Gaels defensive zone, Atila Ashrafi played a ball in traffic to Lye, who then threaded a pass to Petridis on the right side. With just one defender to beat, Petridis buried the ball in the top right corner of the goal, putting the Red Storm ahead 1-0.
Iona tied the match in the 41st minute as Tomas Jamett and Lenworth Lopez connected to put the Gaels on the board. The goal was the first conceded by St. John’s this season and snapped a scoreless streak of 326:47.
With the match tied at one early in the second half, St. John’s would regain the lead from a set-piece in the 53rd minute. Tani Oluwaseyi drew a foul near the top of the box to earn a freekick. Lye’s set-piece shot deflected off an Iona defender and past Iona keeper Giuliano Santucci for a 2-1 lead.
Less than a minute later, Lye got his second of the game finishing off a St. John’s passing sequence to give the home side a 3-1 lead.
Iona pulled a goal back converting on an 81st-minute penalty kick to make it 3-2 but would get no closer.
“I was really proud of our guys at halftime and into the second half to come out and play with a kind of smarts, maturity and quality that was needed to get those next two goals,” said Masur.
The Red Storm will look to improve to 5-0-0 for the first time since 1995 when the team hosts Penn on Friday night at Belson Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.