The St. John’s Red Storm took an early lead against the 19th-ranked Denver Pioneers on Saturday, but couldn’t hold on as they lost 2-1 in overtime at Belson Stadium.
The Red Storm wasted no time getting on the board as Filippo Ricupati put a header just inside the near post for his first career goal to give St. John’s a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute of the game.
Denver tried to quickly rebound, but Red Storm goaltender Jordan Stagmiller stood tall as the Pioneers had chances in the 11th and 15th minutes.
“I thought our guys put forth a gutsy effort against a very technical Denver squad that likes to play a high-tempo game,” said Dr. Dave Masur, Red Storm head coach. “This is a very young team we have here and they’ve played five games against tough competition. We had some great chances early, but we still need to be sharper and more consistent on both ends of the field.”
The Red Storm had several more chances in the first half but could not increase their lead.
In the 21st minute, Mike Prosuk fired a shot right at Denver’s goalkeeper Dan Jackson. In the 23rd minute, St. John’s earned a free kick that saw Ricupati escape his coverage and drill a header that was stopped by Jackson. The Red Storm added two more chances as Adrian Welch missed high in the 33rd minute and Prosuk missed wide in the 35th.
After halftime the Pioneers came out looking for an equalizer and found it when Cole Stevenson put one past Stagmiller in the 61st minute to tie the score 1-1.
St. John’s had a few late chances to notch the go-ahead goal. The Red Storm had a free kick chance in the 88th minute. Marcus Lindqvist’s shot was blocked by Denver’s defensive wall. In the 90th minute, St. John’s had one final look as Devin Morgan sent a header wide and the game went to overtime.
The Pioneers would net the game-winner in the 97th minute when Chandler Crosswait launched a shot and got a deflection past Stagmiller to give Denver the win.
St. John’s returns to action Tuesday, Sept. 15, with a 7:30 p.m. game against Siena at Belson Stadium.