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Georgetown eliminates SJU from Big East tournament

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St. John’s’ defense of its Big East tournament title ended quickly in a 2-1 defeat by a high-powered Georgetown team in men’s soccer quarterfinals Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C.

“It’s certainly disappoint­ing,” St. John’s Coach Dave Masur said.

The No. 13/24 Red Storm trailed 1-0 at the half after No. 4/6 Georgetown’s Steve Neumann tucked a 25-yard free kick just under the crossbar in the 25th minute. St. John’s put forth a better effort after the break and appeared to find its footing in the opening minutes. Top defender Tim Parker, a sophomore, converted a penalty kick on the 48th minute after a St. John’s player was taken down in the box. It was Parker’s first goal of the season and second of his career.

“We were able to get the game even, make the game 0-0 and even caught a little momentum and had a couple chances off of it,” Masur said.

Getting the better of play wouldn’t turn into an advantage on the scoreboard for the Red Storm (10-4-4). Georgetown (16-2-1) took the lead for good in the 66th minute. St. John’s keeper Rafael Diaz saved the initial free kick, but the Hoyas Jimmy Nealis controlled the rebound in both and fed Brandon Allen for the winning score.

“We knew it was going to take a lot of effort to keep them off the board,” Masur said. “I’m a little disappointed that we gave set piece goals.”

St. John’s had one final chance and one of its best of the game in the 89th minute. Freshman Sean Sepe streaked into the box and had a shot save by Hoyas keeper Tomas Gomez. The Red Storm regained possession, but could not get another shot off. The loss keeps St. John’s from earning a chance to play in the semifinals close to home at Red Bulls Park in Harrison, N.J.

Masur and his team will look to regroup and await their fate in the NCAA tournament, which they expected to make. The selection show is Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. on ncaa.com. The coach believes his team needs to tighten things up on both sides of the ball moving forward.

“We have to be able to deal with whatever the [other] team is able to throw at us,” Masur said. “Deal with it and make our plays count.”

Posted 8:10 pm, November 7, 2012
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