Women’s Soccer Shuts Out Albany in Home Opener

The St. John’s women’s soccer team secured their first home victory on Friday night, defeating Albany 2-0 in the first part of the New York City Classic.

The Red Storm were able to shut out the Great Danes by maintaining possession of the ball throughout the majority of the game. They limited Albany to a total of just four shots..

“When we play at Belson Stadium there’s a lot of space to run around,” said head coach Ian Stone after the game. “We wanted to keep them at bay and keep Albany chasing after us.”

Midfielder Jen Gibbons made an impact on both sides of the ball in the first half. During the 16th minute of play Gibbons ran the ball down the right side of the line and heard senior teammate Jen Leaverton screaming her name by the goal line. Gibbons passed the ball to Leaverton, who slid the ball into the back of the net for the Red Storm’s first goal of the game.

Another opportunity came within the final ten minutes of the first half when freshman Caitlin McLaughlin was able to get past Albany goalkeeper Dani Britt. Despite having an open net in front of her, her shot hit the right goalpost, leaving the score at 1-0 at half-time.

Red Storm goalkeeper Kristin Russell was tested twice in the first ten minutes of the second half but was able to knock both shots out of play.

St. John’s was quickly back on the attack. In the 56th minute, Leaverton crossed the ball past two Albany defenders into the box, setting up Raelynne Lee in the six-yard box. Lee put it away for the second goal of the game and her first of the season.

“I envisioned myself, before the game and in the moment, getting the ball out wide in front of the goal basically one on one with the keeper and sliding it in” Lee said, explaining her pre-game preparations.

St. John’s had a total of 16 shots throughout the game and missed several opportunities to add to the scoreboard.

“In the beginning we had them pinned down and we had a couple of cross-ins but we couldn’t get it in,” said Gibbons. “If we had a few more opportunities we could have finished.”

The New York City Classic continues Sunday afternoon with St. John’s playing local rival Columbia. Coach Stone used eleven subs throughout the game against Albany to preserve his players for Sunday.

“These players don’t drop their level too much,” he said. “They train very hard so I wanted to give our starters a rest to be prepared.”