Daly’s hat trick leads St. John’s to win over Creighton

Rachel Daly scored a hat trick to lift St. John's over Creighton Sunday (Photo: Athletic Communications)

Rachel Daly scored a hat trick to lift St. John’s over Creighton Sunday (Photo: Athletic Communications)

Stephen Zitolo, Sports Editor

Rachel Daly never ceases to amaze everyone that comes out to watch her play. Sunday afternoon at Belson Stadium was no different, as Daly secured her third career hat trick to led St. John’s (12-2, 4-1 Big East) to a 4-0 win over Creighton (10-6, 2-3 Big East).

“I go out the same way every game. I just want to score goals and help to win the game. Lucy [Whipp] put a great ball in the first half and I won the header. That got my momentum going. I wanted more. I didn’t just want one, I wanted to get two and three. It’s my first hat trick of the season and I think its been coming.”

Daly’s trick gave her 15 goals on the season and 46 in her stellar three-year career at St. John’s.

From the get go it was obvious the Red Storm were playing with an added sense of purpose after coming off of a tough loss on Thursday In Washington D.C. against Georgetown. In the first two minutes of action the Johnnies tested the Creighton defense as they let off four quick shots. By the time the game was over the Red Storm out shot the Blue Jays 23-4.

“Rachel’s not interested in losing like we did against Georgetown,” head coach Ian Stone said. “Her determination all week has been `if I have to take this team and put it on my shoulders, I’ll do that’ and it’s a bit scary for the rest of the BIG EAST right now because that’s how good she can be.”

Not only did Daly score three goals on the game, she scored them in just a 12-minute span. Daly could’ve actually had six goals if not for a shot off the post, a great save in the first minute by the Creighton keeper, and a shot that just went over the crossbar.There was simply nothing the Blue Jays could do to stop the greatest player in St. John’s history.

Daly’s first score on the day came thanks to her fellow countryman, freshman Lucy Whipp, in the 21st minute. Whipp lined up a stellar cross from the top left corner of the 18-yard box, the cross found a converging Daly at the top of the six-yard box and she headed the ball past the Creighton goalie, Erin Scott.

The second Daly goal came in the 29th minute on a fantastic pass from junior Morgan Tinari as it set up a one-on-one matchup with Scott. Daly simply pulverized the ball past the freshman keeper for her 14th on the season and 45th in her career.

Daly completed the hat trick in the 33rd minute as Tinari and redshirt sophomore Miranda Haraughty combined on two beautiful touch passes to a streaking Daly down the middle of the 18. Daly finished with a shot past the outstretched arms of the Creighton keeper.

“Playing with Moe [Morgan Tinari] is great because you find that balance and she finds me a lot now. I haven’t had that since Amy [Marron]. It’s not just me that teams have to pick up, bit its Moe as well,” Daly said.

Daly’s trick put her in a tie for second in the nation in goals scored with 15. Tinari’s two assists on the day put her at 20th in the nation with seven. Both Tinari and sophomore Shea Connors (five assists) have combined to assist on 12 of Daly’s 15 goals this season.

“We’ve been playing together for three years now,” Tinari said of playing with Daly. “After playing together for so long you kind of get this rhythm and connection that you might not get with someone who you just started playing with. I think we’ve finally figured out what makes us unique and how we can work together.

Daly almost had a fourth goal in the 65th minute, but freshman Christina Bellero was able to cash in on the rebound from a Daly shot off the post. It was the Bellero’s fourth score of the season and it gave the Johnnies a 4-0 lead.

The Red Storm’s shut out of Creighton marked the team’s 10th shutout of the season, tying the program’s all-time single season record.

Prior to the game’s action on Sunday the University honored Daly for her all-time goals record and for her All-American selections. Stone was honored with a commemorative soccer ball for his 200th career victory.

The game also marked the annual St. John’s Score for a Cure game, which raises awareness for Breast Cancer.

The Red Storm will next play in Chicago on Oct. 18 versus defending Big East regular season and tournament champions DePaul.