Women’s Soccer Wins ECAC Title

The women’s soccer team capped a successful season by capturing their first-ever ECAC Championship with a 2-1 victory over Cornell at Belson Stadium on Nov. 17.

The game was decided on penalty kicks, where the Red Storm won the shootout, 3-1.

“We were pretty bad at penalty kicks when we were practicing for the Miami of Ohio Tournament,” St. John’s Head Coach Ian Stone said. “We worked pretty hard in the couple of weeks preceding the ECAC Tournament because there was a chance it would go to penalty kicks.”

Playing in a driving rain, both teams had trouble getting chances throughout most of the first half and into the second.

Cornell (9-6-0) finally broke the scoreless tie and took a 1-0 lead in the 84th minute when Emily Knight scored off a corner kick by Ali Gombar.

The Johnnies (11-6-4), who were coming off a disappointing showing in a 4-0 loss to West Virginia in the Big East Tournament, tied the game with just 55 seconds left in regulation when Erin Henderson knocked home Dominica Reina’s deflected shot past two defenders.

After two scoreless overtimes, the game went to a shootout, where Cornell’s Sarah Olsen and SJU’s Andrea Coukoulis both converted their attempts.

Gombar’s shot was saved by Red Storm keeper Tina Fogg, and Henderson scored to give the Johnnies a 2-1 advantage.

After Fogg stopped a blast from Caitlin Rice and SJU’s Jen Pugsley missed high, Fogg again came up with a huge save, setting up Kati Schantz, who scored the clinching goal that gave St. John’s its first postseason tournament championship since the 1994 Big East Tourney title.

“Kati’s a really good penalty kick taker,” Stone said. “Based on my experience over the years, you go with the players who feel confident in that situation and want to be in that situation.”

Fogg, who blanked Niagara in the first round, 2-0, earned Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament.

The win was the first ECAC Championship in three tries for the Storm, who lost in the championship game in both 1999 and 2000.