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Rutgers men's soccer ties with St. John's in home opener

Junior midfielder Curt Calov stepped up to take the penalty kick and scored his first goal for the Rutgers men's soccer team in the 10th minute of its match against St. John's. – Photo by @RUAthletics /

The Rutgers men's soccer team drew with a score of 2-2 against St. John's in its home opener on Monday. The Scarlet Knights (0-1-1, 0-0-0) played strong defense but were unable to create consistent scoring opportunities.

Rutgers got on the board in the 10th minute, as junior midfielder Curt Calov successfully converted his penalty kick past Alec McLachlan in the top right corner. Freshman forward Luciano Sanchez went down in the box to win the penalty. The Red Storm (1-0-1, 0-0-0) responded in the 31st minute with a goal of its own, as Nicolas Fleuriau Chateau shot the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Going into halftime, the Knights and St. John's were level at 1-1. Both sides played a defensive first half. Rutgers only took one shot, while the Red Storm attempted two shots. 

The Knights would reclaim the lead in the 51st minute. Graduate student midfielder Jackson Temple took advantage of a St. John's dispossession and found himself one-on-one with McLachlan, calmly slotting the ball in the back of the net.

From there, Rutgers attempted to sit back to maintain its lead and hit St. John’s on the counter-attack. The Knights' defense, though, could not hold out as the Red Storm broke through Rutgers' backline in the 83rd minute and leveled the game once again through Chateau. In the final 7 minutes of the game, both sides would push to find the winner, but it would ultimately end in a draw.

In a game of few chances, being clinical in front of the goal was the key for both sides. Sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton made one save, while McLachlan did not make any saves.

Both sides played a physical game, as St. John's committed nine fouls, and the Knights committed 13 and received three yellow cards.

Rutgers attempted six shots, while the Red Storm took a total of four shots. The Knights had three corners, whereas St. John's had two corner kicks.

After the game, Calov spoke about how he felt after scoring his first goal for his new team in his home debut.

"It’s a great home debut for me," Calov said. "Fortunate to celebrate with my teammates on the sideline and all the fans there."

The Knights will look to earn their first win of the season when they face in-state rival Princeton on Friday. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

"It's always disappointing to not win a game when you're winning late in the game," said head coach Jim McElderry. "I thought our guys really competed hard tonight."

For more updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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