Jan. 30, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - Three St. John's women's soccer players have earned Soccer Buzz All-Northeast honors, as announced by the organization. Tara Mendoza and Vaila Barsley were named to the All-Northeast second team, while Kristin Russell was named to the All-Northeast freshman team.
Mendoza garners her second-straight Soccer Buzz honor. The midfielder/defender saw action in all 19 games, and helped lead the team to a program record 10 shutouts. She was key in the team's victory over then-No. 15 Rutgers, playing all 90 minutes in the 1-0 shutout victory. The junior came up big for the Red Storm in a must-win game against Providence on Oct. 24, scoring the game-winning goal off a header. The score was the second of Mendoza's career.
Barsley earned her second honor from Soccer Buzz, but her first all-Northeast accolade. The defender started and played in 16 games and anchored the STJ backline that set the program record in shutouts. She played 90 minutes in the 1-0 shutout win over league rival Rutgers, and played 110 minutes against UConn as the team recorded its first tie in history with the Huskies. She scored her only goal of the season against Marquette on Oct. 10 and assisted on the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over USF on Oct. 12.
Russell earned her first-career Soccer Buzz honor after having a break-out season for St. John's in net. The freshman recorded 10 shutouts on the year, setting a new individual mark at St. John's in that category. One of her biggest games of the year came against then-No. 11 West Virginia, as she held the Mountaineers scoreless in 110 minutes of play. She enjoyed her first top-25 victory of the year when she notched her ninth shutout of the season against then-No. 15 Rutgers. She concluded the year with a 0.44 goals against average that ranked fifth nationally and a .907 save percentage that was the third-highest in the country.
All three players contributed in the Red Storm setting the program record in shutouts and goals against average (0.593). STJ's shutout percentage of 0.526 concludes the year as the 26th best in the nation, while its goals against average is the 11th best. The highest ranking for the Red Storm is its save percentage of 0.883, which is the fourth-best among all Division I schools.
On the year, St. John's advanced to its third-straight BIG EAST Tournament, finished with an 8-6-5, 4-4-3 BIG EAST slate, defeated a top 25 team with a 1-0 win over then-No. 15 Rutgers on Oct. 17, came away with a key tie over then-No. 11 West Virginia, 0-0, on Sept. 25 and head coach Ian Stone recorded his 10th winning season at the helm of the program.