St. John's Blanks Seton Hall, 1-0|
Oct. 14, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - On Saturday, the St. John’s women’s soccer team picked up a much-needed victory as the Red Storm defeated Seton Hall, 1-0, at Belson Stadium.
St. John’s (6-8-1, 2-4-0 BIG EAST) dominated the score sheet, outshooting the Pirates (0-9-5, 0-3-3 BIG EAST), 18-5, and controlled the pace of play throughout most of the match.
Junior Christina Bellero added to her team-leading point total with her sixth goal of the season in the 68th minute after a pair of great passes from midfielders Allie Moar and Lucy Whipp. Bellero, who entered her third year of collegiate soccer with seven goals to her name, continues to rank among the BIG EAST’s leaders in both points and goals.
“[Bellero] has always, since I’ve known her, been a great goal scorer,” Head Coach Ian Stone said following the game. “She’s always been great in front of goal and she has the instinct to be in the right place at the right time and the composure to be able to finish, which is rare. She’s very, very consistent at scoring goals and she’s having a great season in that regard.”
In addition to the offensive control, St. John’s put forth a solid defensive effort to pick up the team’s fourth clean sheet of the season. Redshirt freshman keeper Jordan Kamp made one save and managed the back line well throughout the contest. The Red Storm has now held its opponents to one goal or less in 12 of the squad’s 15 matches.
St. John’s was in control early as senior Mariela Jacome had a shot stopped in the fifth minute before Claudia Cagnina had a try blocked. The Johnnies continued to pressure Seton Hall as Samantha Masur, who earned her first career start on Saturday, sent the rebound high over the bar in the sixth minute.
In the 33rd minute, freshman Maia Cabrera ripped a shot from distance that hit the crossbar and bounced back into play, but the Johnnies couldn’t connect on the rebound.
From there, the two sides remained quiet until the Johnnies looked to get on the board just before halftime. In the closing seconds of the opening frame, redshirt freshman Zsani Kajan ripped a shot that hit the crossbar and Madeleine Watson’s try on the rebound was saved. Then, seconds later, Kajan had another shot blocked and the two teams went into the break scoreless.
St. John’s owned a commanding 10-2 lead in shots after 45 minutes of play. Each side earned one corner kick and Laura Dramis made three saves for the Pirates.
In the second half, St. John’s looked to keep up the pressure on Seton Hall, earning a corner kick in the 55th minute. Bellero sent a ball into the box that found the head of Mikhaila Martinov, but her attempt was blocked and the Pirates cleared.
Later, Kamp was tasked with making her lone save of the match when Danielle Camilleri sent a shot on target in the 56th minute. Then, with the score still knotted at zero, Kajan and Whipp sent shots towards goal in the 66th and 67th minutes, but Kajan’s try was rejected by Dramis before Whipp’s attempt was blocked.
In the 68th minute, everything clicked for St. John’s. Moar sent a brilliant through ball from the midfield to the near side of the box that found the foot Whipp. Whipp then sent a low cross into the box that was out of the reach of Dramis but was perfectly placed for Bellero, who made a run to the far post. The Melville native sent a one-touch shot into the back of the net for the game-winning goal.
Seton Hall didn’t go down without a fight, however, as the St. John’s defense held strong in the final minutes. The Pirates sent a shot wide in the 86th minute and another high in the 90th minute as the Red Storm held on for the win.
The Red Storm is back in action on Thursday, Oct. 19 when it travels to Villanova, Pa., to take on the Wildcats. St. John’s and Villanova are scheduled for a 4 p.m. first kick on the BIG EAST Digital Network.