Cristin Burtis happy to have company
Former women's soccer player speaks about Rachel Daly breaking her record
On Saturday Oct. 26, a frigidly windy night at Belson Stadium, a record that had stood since 1994 was broken. Rachel Daly headed in her 18th goal on what has been a spectacular season for the sophomore forward, this header broke the season goal scoring record of St. John’s hall of famer, Cristin Burtis.
“I would like to congratulate Rachel on her tremendous accomplishment,” Burtis told the Torch by phone. “I would also like to wish the whole team luck in their final regular season game on Saturday.”
Burtis made a choice that she would never regret as she became one of the greatest soccer players in St. John’s history. She is currently ranked second all-time in most points and goals scored in the St. John’s women’s soccer record books.
Burtis said she came to St. John’s because of “the family atmosphere that St. John’s offered and continues to offer to this day.”
Burtis had her best season during her senior year in 1994. She compiled 17 goals, seven assists, and 41 points during that season. The women’s soccer team would reach the Big East tournament for the first time in school history and win the schools only conference title in 1994.
“That was a memorable season,” Burtis said. “From winning the Big East title to breaking the single season goals record. It is definitely something none of us will ever forget. That was a season built on teamwork and supporting one another, and that’s was a big part of why we played so well.”
In 1994, the team was lead by a fresh-faced coach from England, Ian Stone. Stone is now in his 20th season as head coach of the women’s soccer team and Burtis discussed what it was like playing for Stone during his first season.
“As a team we were coming off a poor season,” Burtis said. ”Coach Stone brought motivation to the team, support for us as his players and knowledge of the game to the team. His love for the game and his attitude that he brought, that we could win any game at any cost, gave us the confidence that we could win and we did.”
Looking back at her athletic career and experiences at St. John’s, Burtis shared her fondest memories of her time at St. John’s.
“I miss the camaraderie, friendships and family atmosphere that St. John’s offered,” Burtis said. “As a team we were a close knit group. There are many of my teammates that I am still friends with today and we were also very friendly with the guys from the men’s soccer team.”
After Burtis graduated from St. John’s, she went on to continue her playing career overseas for a short period, before returning back to New York to play for the Long Island Lady Riders. She then got involved with coaching at Nassau Community College and then went back to the Lady Riders and coached them from 2003-2005.
Cristin said she then realized that she wanted to make a career change and left the game. Burtis had been working in the New York City mayor’s office since she had interned there in 1994. She rose up the ranks gradually and in 2010, she was appointed as Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management. In the current position, Burtis said she is in charge of the planning of events like the Thanksgiving Day Parade and this year she is in charge of planning the events surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.
Cristin is now a mother and has a daughter who is also involved in the game her mother once starred in. Burtis’ daughter is now coached by some of the players from the women’s and men’s soccer teams from the time she was a student-athlete at St. John’s.
This past summer, Burtis was inducted into the St. John’s Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013.
“It was a great honor to receive that call from Athletic Director Chris Monasch,” Burtis said. “I’m truly honored to be amongst this elite and prestigious group of athletes.”
While Burtis is among that group of athletes now, she might have some company within the next 20 years. Her name, Rachel Daly.