Princeton men’s soccer lose hard-fought game to St. John’s

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A late scramble on a loose ball from St. John’s forward Micaah Garnette gave St. John’s (7–2–0) the only goal of the game in the 79th minute, taking the Red Storm to a 1–0 victory. on the Princeton Tigers (3–4–0) Tuesday evenings.

The game was physical throughout, with the referees letting the teams play most of the time. Each team was able to get a certain number of points around the 18th, but once in the box struggled to stay on target. The Tigers attempted 11 shots, four of which hit the goalkeeper, while the Red Storm only attempted seven with three on target. Princeton senior defender Alex Charles landed the only card of the game, a yellow for a slide tackle trying to stop a counter with the keeper shot in the 88th minute.

The game started off slowly for the most part, with neither team seeing a really dangerous chance. Princeton got the first scare in the 31st minute when St. John’s midfielder Einar Lye found defenseman Johan Aquilon scurrying off the right wing for a shot that slid to the ground on the left. Princeton created his own luck two minutes later, when senior midfielder Kevin O’Toole beat his man, placed a cross into the box and had him hit on goal by a Red Storm defender, forcing a hard stop. Each team had a few more chances, but none succeeded.

Princeton controlled most of the half and tried seven shots against three in St. John’s. They also attempted five turns, while St. John’s only had one.

The second half was more balanced. St. John’s got off to a quick start, securing two chances in the box four minutes into the half, but both were blocked. The Tigers’ best half-time chance came in the 65th minute when junior forward Daniel Diaz-Bonilla passed second-year forward Walker Gillespie, who gained space and hit a curling shot that forced St. John’s goaltender Luka Gavran to take a dive. stop to keep it scoreless.

However, St. John’s finally broke 14 minutes later. Red Storm midfielder Atila Ashrafi attempted to pass a ball that missed his intended man, and the Tigers attempted to box and allow senior goalkeeper Jack Roberts to grab it. But St. John’s defenseman Lucas Bartlett had a different plan and gave the ball to Garnette, who put it through an open net for his first career goal.

Princeton pressed the attack in the final 10 minutes, but came back empty. Second-year midfielder Malik Pinto almost equalized when he found the ball on his foot within seconds of a deflection, but Bartlett stepped in again, deflecting the shot to let time expire. The fiery Red Storm will face the UConn Huskies this weekend, while the Tigers look to bounce back on Saturday at Dartmouth.

Ben Burns is a sports writer associated with the “Prince”. He can be contacted at bwburns@princeton.edu.

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