A dramatic second half comeback lifted the St. John’s women’s soccer team over Yale University, 2-1, on Sept. 11 at Belson Stadium.
Senior forward Jen Leaverton scored off of a pass from redshirt senior midfielder Anna Torregiano in the 78th minute to cap the comeback.
They had tied it in the 65th minute on sophomore midfielder Jen Gibbons’ first goal of the season.
The Red Storm came into Sunday’s game with a record of 3-2-1 and looking for their third consecutive win having beaten fellow New York opponents Albany and Columbia last week.
Before the game started, there was a moment of silence for all of those who lost their lives as everyone around America commemorated the tenth anniversary of September 11. After a rendition of God Bless America, there was a soccer game to be played.
Yale played a physical game up front and at midfield and didn’t allow St. John’s to get into a rhythm in the first half.
“We struggled in the beginning,” said head coach Ian Stone. “Our movement off of the ball wasn’t good enough, but we are beginning to learn our lessons now.”
The St. John’s defense struggled early as Yale put two shots on goal in the first six minutes.
Yale’s first big opportunity came in the 28th minute when St. John’s goalkeeper Kristin Russell came out of the net and collided with junior defender Patrice Casimir. As Russell fell to the ground, Yale forward Meredith Speck had a wide open net. The freshman missed a golden opportunity and pushed her kick wide right.
Moments later, however, Yale did get on the board. In the 29th minute, freshman Melissa Gavin dispossessed senior defender Megan Klement and quickly fired a shot that hit off of the left post and went into the net
Yale started the second half fast again, keeping their tempo high and putting a lot of pressure on St. John’s. But the Red Storm picked up their physical play and started working more in Yale’s end of the field.
“We are dangerous in the box,” said sophomore forward Morgan Ritter, who set up most of the team’s six corner kicks in the second half.
“[Stone] told us to keep it simple,” said Ritter. “We started slow but we came together as a team in the second half.”
They finally took advantage of an opportunity in the 65th minute when Leaverton set up Gibbons at the top of the box. Gibbons ripped her shot into the top corner to tie the game.
St. John’s continued to press in search of a winner, and got it in the 78th minute. Ritter’s cross was headed by freshman forward Caitlyn McLaughlin. The header was saved, but the rebound bounced to Torregiano, who squared for Leaverton to slot home.
This gives St. John’s three wins in a row going into conference play, which starts
on Thursday against Providence. “We are young but we are having a lot of people step
up,” said Stone. “We just need to start faster.”