St. John’s Women’s Soccer: Seniors Say Good-bye

Culture changing senior class honored before final Belson clash


(Photo: Gina Palermo, Design Editor)

Stephen Zitolo, Sports Editor

Thursday night’s matchup versus Xavier marked Senior Night for the St. John’s women’s soccer team, as it would be the last time that the nine members of the senior class would step on the pitch at Belson Stadium. 

Prior to the game, the nine student-athletes, Rachel Daly, Georgia Kearney-Perry, Emily Cubbage, Shelby Halasz, Alexis Urbanski, Diamond Thomas, Alana Mitchem, Katie DeVault and Kelly Crevani, were honored on the field by members of the administration and head coach Ian Stone.

“They’ve really changed the whole culture of the program,” Stone said of his senior class.  “When they came in, we were a team that was kind of middle of the table in the Big East and now we’re at a point where we are competing for a Big East Championship every year and we’re a top 25 team in that country.  A lot of that goes to the attitude and the confidence that those girls like Rachel Daly, Georgia Kearney-Perry, Emily Cubbage and Shelby Halasz have brought to us because they demand so much out of the girls every single day in practice and it’s paying off obviously.”

“I think the program itself, not just the soccer team, but the athletic community here is phenomenal and everyone around the school has supported us,” Daly said. “But, as a team it’s a our togetherness, closeness,and our how united we are as  29 girls.”

As for the game, it was an affair that played out like many others this season for St. John’s (13-2-1, 5-1-1 Big East). The Red Storm played shutdown defense for 90 minutes and Rachel Daly scored the games lone goal in the 83rd minute to give the Johnnies a 1-0 win over Xavier (7-8-1, 2-5-0 Big East). 

Daly’s tally in the games final minutes marked the 48th goal of her career, put her at second in the nation with 17 goals on the season and was her eighth game-winner on the season, which puts her at first in the nation.  Both Cubbage and junior Morgan Tinari assisted the senior forward on the goal as the assist marked Tinari’s eighth on the season, tying her for first in the Big East.

“It’s always amazing to score the winning goal and beat any team,” Daly said. “But, it’s a huge added bonus to have my dad in the stands because he’s not here very often. So, to have him there is a bit more of a special moment for me.”

Prior to the Daly score, it was evident that they were going to find the back of the net as they had multiple chances to score and out-shot Xavier (16-5) on the night. However, they couldn’t find a way to get the ball past Musketeers’ keeper Rachel Piccus. The Red Storm’s best chance prior to the Daly score was on a ball off the foot of Cubbage that found the back of the net in the 25th minute, but was waived off on an offside’s call.

The defensive prowess shown by St. John’s versus Xavier was one for the record books. The Red Storm’s shutout of the Musketeers marked the 11th time this season that the opposition has been shut out, breaking the previous school record of 10 shutouts in a season set in 2008, 2009 and 2013. 

The win over Xavier was the most important to date for this years St. John’s team as it solidified a spot for the Red Storm in the Big East Tournament. The team’s seed in the tournament is yet to be decided. But if they win the rest of their games in the regular season, they will clinch a bye and spot in the semifinals.