Leading the Storm

Krystle Jalalian spent most of her years at St. John’s under the radar, but this year the senior is already beginning to break out, becoming the player to watch on the field.

Jalalian, a forward for the Red Storm women’s soccer team, has shown stellar offensive execution early on in the season. The St. John’s community first got a glimpse of her developed athleticism during the season-opening weekend against Fairleigh Dickinson and Cornell University, when she posted three goals and one assist in the two games. In the Fairleigh Dickinson game, Jalalian scored one goal after getting her own rebound and putting it in the back of the net in the 84th minute. When the Red Storm faced off against Cornell, she had netted two goals and posted one assist.

This was only the beginning for Jalalian.
On the road at Sacred Heart, Jalalian assisted on the game-winning goal to her teammate, sophomore midfielder Nicole Pasciolla, a second before the 100th minute in an overtime win. Against Miami (Ohio), Jalalian did not score, but was still active on the field, posting six shots.

“I just want a successful year for my team,” said Jalalian of her last season with the team. “I hope we make it to the Big East semifinals or finals and make an NCAA appearance this year.”

Jalalian has already earned Big East Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors for her action on the field against Cornell and her overall major contributions to a team that is off to its best start since 2004. The St. John’s women’s team is currently touting an impressive 4-0 record and is already out-shooting its opponents 60-20 since the season started on August 31. Jalalian leads the team in shot attempts with 12.

Jalalian has such a creative ability to find the open shot or open teammate, helping the Red Storm offensively dominate over its opponent. Her proficiency at finding a hole in the defense for a shot attempt would intimidate any challenging team, and her passion for the game can be seen through the fire in her playing style. Jalalian plays smart in the clutch, even when the pressure is high.

Having a player like Jalalian starting for the Red Storm or coming off the bench is instrumental to the team’s offense and gives the Red Storm an advantage over opponents when pulling her out of the arsenal.

Come conference time, Jalalian does not see her role on the team shifting or changing in any way. She is going to stay steadfast at what she has been doing on the field.

“I’m going to produce and score goals for us and be a leader when things are not going the way they should,” she said. “I’ll be producing what I need to.”

Jalalian is focused and exhibits the perfect balance between love of the game and having fun with the sport – an aspect lacking in many collegiate athletes.

“I love the feeling after winning and playing hard,” she said cheerfully. “When you give your all you can achieve a lot and have fun doing it.”

This time last season, Jalalian was named to the NYC Nike Classic all-tournament team for scoring the lone game-winning goal against Columbia University in the 75th minute of the Classic on September 8, 2006. She also assisted in many key goals against Big East powerhouses Syracuse, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, and assisted on the team’s lone goal in a loss to Louisville.
Jalalian has set her own personal objective of 15 goals this season. And, with 14 games left in the schedule and Jalalian already notching three goals on the season, it seems that she is well on her way.

Looking ahead, Jalalian noted that she will miss the St. John’s community when she graduates this year.

She intends on pursuing dreams of playing professionally or getting her masters in education.

“The best thing about playing for St. John’s soccer team is that we are so close and there is great chemistry between us,” she said. “I love the team.”

Overall, Jalalian is very pleased with the team’s accomplishments thus far. And, according to Jalalian, the team is off to its best start in three years because of the addition of new talent that has come to the St. John’s family.

“We are going to be the team to look out for this season and we are going to show who we are,” she said. “I think we should be a Top 25 this year.”

Jalalian’s words already proved true when a St. John’s press release Monday revealed that the women’s soccer team is “currently receiving votes in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/ADIDAS Top 25 poll.”

Although, we do not know how the women’s soccer team will fare for the remainder of the season, we can expect that no matter who is on the field, Jalalian is going to be giving her all, doing what she has to do for her team to succeed.