Red Storm splits weekend matches in New England

Christina Bellero secured the victory on Sunday for St. Johns as she scored the game-winning goal 25 seconds into overtime, the second game-winner for the freshman this season. (Photo: Athletic Communications

Christina Bellero secured the victory on Sunday for St. John’s as she scored the game-winning goal 25 seconds into overtime, the second game-winner for the freshman this season. (Photo: Athletic Communications

Reza Moreno, Staff Writer

This past weekend, during a visit to New England, the St. John’s women’s soccer team (5-1) split two games, the win coming against Boston College (2-1).  Their first loss of the season went to Brown (1-2) on Friday.

“I feel that this may be the best freshman class our women’s soccer program has ever recruited. Anna Maria Baldursdottir has already established herself as a great asset to us defensively, Lucy Whipp has been starting as a wide forward, and Christina Bellero has scored 3 goals in the last 3 games (including the winning goal in overtime at BC),” head coach Ian Stone said.

On Friday night, in Providence against Brown, the Bears’ Mikela Waldman scored their first goal in the fourth minute. Brown would jump out to a 2-0 lead as they scored their second goal during the 62nd  minute as senior defender Georgia Kearney-Perry was taken down and Brown’s Amanda Lane got the ball past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Diana Poulin.

After a rough patch on offense with Brown’s defense causing very few shots for St. John’s during the second half, the Red Storm changed up their offense in order to outshoot the Bears 4-0. The changes led to St. John’s freshman, Christina Bellero, scoring her second goal of the season just 20 seconds after Lane’s goal in the 62’ minute,  thanks to senior Rachel Daly’s assist.  It would  be the only goal of the whole game for the Red Storm, however.

The Red Storm did come back around on Sunday as they beat Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. in overtime 2-1.  

“Our team had to dig really deep in order to get this win,”   Stone said.  “Once again our squad depth was what helped us out in the latter stages of the game. “We knew that Boston College would be an important game for our NCAA Tournament resume. To beat a perennial NCAA Tournament team (I think they have made the last 11) on the road is a phenomenal accomplishment for our Program.”

The Red Storm didn’t waste any time in getting on the scoreboard Sunday evening. In the game’s first two minutes, Rachel Daly burst into the box, setting her up nicely for a goal before she was yanked down by a Boston College defender. Daly was given a penalty kick as a result and she sent a strike to the back of the net to give the Red Storm a 1-0 lead.

For the next 68 minutes, both teams were locked into a hard back-and-forth affair as the score stayed at 1-0 St. John’s. Then, in the 70’ minute, Boston College’s Hayley Dowd found some daylight and was able to tie things up at 1-1.

Neither team would be able to find the back of the net for the remainder of regulation. In St. John’s case, it was outstanding play by Poulin in net that kept the Eagles from scoring. The game would have to be decided in overtime.

In the first 25 seconds of overtime, the freshman Bellero would decide the game for the Johnnies and score the game winner off an assist from fellow freshman Samie Scaffidi. In Bellero’s young collegiate career, she has already registered two game-winning goals.

On Tuesday, Bellero was named both the Big East Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week.

Coach  Stone is well prepared for what this season will bring the team.

I am excited that our Athletic Trainer, Ryan Ross, and our Sports Performance Coach, Rob Basile, are working hard to keep our players healthy and strong. The depth that we have in this year’s squad should allow Red Storm Women’s Soccer fans to become excited about how far this team can go into Post-Season play. For that to take place, our student-athletes have to stay focused and work hard every single day,” Stone said.