Late Leaverton Winner Sinks Pirates

Senior forward Jen Leaverton scored two goals, including a 90th minute game-winner, in the St. John’s women’s soccer team’s 2-1 victory over Seton Hall on Oct. 2 to wrap up an undefeated weekend in New Jersey.


It was Leaverton’s fifth game-winner of the season and her second in as many games. She scored the lone goal in the Red Storm’s 1-0 win over Rutgers on Sept. 30. She was named to the Big East’s weekly honor roll and received’s Player of the Week.


“The team is starting to get used to playing at a high level from Friday to Sunday,” said head coach Ian Stone. “We played well, we got out and scored first and kept up the intensity the entire game.”


Starting in just her second game while filling in for injured senior Kristin Russell, sophomore keeper Lauren Ferris netted a career-high 11 saves in the win for the Red Storm (8-4-1, 3-2). Her efforts earned her Big East goalkeeper of the week.


“Lauren is playing great,” said Stone. “She has so much confidence, and to have kind of just been thrown into the mix when Kristin got hurt, she’s doing really well.”


St. John’s got going early. Leaverton scored her sixth goal in the fourth minute when she received a breakout pass from sophomore midfielder Amy Marron and took a shot from twelve yards out that went past Seton Hall keeper Elizabeth Bond in the upper right corner.


Ferris had four first half saves, as Seton Hall took eight shots to St. Johns’ five.


The second half began with Seton Hall on the attack, scoring early on a close-range goal by Stephanie Soma.


After a lot of back and forth play by both teams, the final 15 minutes of the game provided a lot of action.


Ferris made four of her seven second half saves in a span of three minutes, and St. John’s subsequently went into attack mode.


Leaverton put the game away in the 90th minute when she received a pass from junior midfielder Runa Stefansdottir and chipped over the onrushing Bond as she tried to challenge.


It was Leaverton’s first two-goal game since the last time she played at Seton Hall on Oct. 15, 2009.


After the game, Stone revealed that Russell, who left the game injured on Oct. 25 against Georgetown, has a fracture in her foot and is out indefinitely.


The Red Storm play at No. 22 West Virginia on the road this Friday. They wrap up the road trip Sunday at Pittsburgh.


“If we’re going to be a team that’s talking about doing well in the Big East Tournament and then hopefully the NCAA Tourney, these are teams that we need to be able to play well and compete against,” said Stone.