Bears Advance to Sweet 16 with 1-0 Victory over St. John’s in Second Round NCAA Tournament Game
"Our mentality was excellent coming into the game and we really felt we had a chance if we played at our best," said second-year Head Coach Patrick Laughlin.
"It's definitely a really good win," said junior co-captain Ryan McDuff. "I think back to the first time we were here this year when we got a 0-0 tie that was really the defining moment of our season. To come back here and get the win, I think really means a lot to the guys. To be able to shut them out two times in a year is something the defense can take a lot of pride in."
The Bears, who had just a 1-4-2 record against the Red Storm heading into tonight, including an 0-2 record in NCAA Tournament action, put on a spectacular performance in front of a thunderous Red Storm crowd. Despite St. John's out-shooting Brown 17-9, and leading 5-3 in corner kicks, Brown's defense was able to hold off a very dangerous offense that averages 1.45 goals per game.
Junior goalkeeper Sam Kernan-Schloss (Arlington, VA) recorded his ninth shutout and improved his record to 9-2-3 on the year. The shutout ties Kernan-Schloss with Matt Cross '98, to rank second in Brown's record books for shutouts in a season. This was the team's 11th shutout of the season, but easily its most impressive because of the depth of the NCAA tournament and the offensive strength of St. John's.
St. John's began its attack early, and fired off its first shot just 1:18 into the game as Kernan-Schloss made his first of four saves for the game. However, it didn't take the Bears long to get used to playing on the Belson Stadium field turf, as Kevin Gavey (Fairfield, CT) blasted a shot 12 minutes into the game that was saved by Alex Naples, and just a few minutes later Rob Medairos (Stafford, VA) fired one off that was blocked by the Red Storm defenders.
Both the Bears and Red Storm continued to scrap throughout the first half and fired off shots toward the net, but the defenses were impenetrable as the score was 0-0 at the half.
Coach Laughlin got his squad fired up during the intermission in much the same way he did against Fairfield a few nights before. That night the Bears were able to score three goals in 11 minutes in an incredible comeback victory in their first round NCAA tournament game. Tonight, they were able to tally a goal less than three minutes into the half. Freshman Ben Maurey (Downingtown, PA) dribbled up the left side of the field and slipped by the defense and sent a cross to Remick in the middle of the field. Remick fired one off from 15-yards out and it found its way into the lower right corner of the net to give the Bears a 1-0 edge over St. John's.
The Bears will now match-up against St. Mary's (CA) on Sunday, November 27. The Gaels are 10-6-5 overall on the year and defeated UC Irvine, 2-1, in overtime in the 103rd minute. The time and location of the SMC and Brown game will be released soon. Check brownbears.com for updates.