A Brace From Bellero Drives St. John’s WSOC Comeback

Christina Bellero. Photo: St. John's University

Needing a win and trailing Big East rivals Villanova by two goals at home Thursday night, Melville’s Christina Bellero led the comeback charge for the St. John’s women’s soccer team.

Two goals from Bellero in the 60th and 99th minutes and the game-tying tally by Lucy Whipp in the 88th minute (assisted by Bellero) gave the St. John’s women’s soccer team a come-from-behind 3-2 win over their rivals from Philadelphia at Belson Stadium.

With the win, St. John’s (8-7-1) improved to 4-2-1 in Big East play and took a step closer to securing a spot in the conference tournament. Villanova fell to 9-7 with a 3-4 mark in the Big East.

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Villanova goals in the 17th minute and 58th minute gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. The road team was dominant in the first half taking the first 10 shots of the match.

The St. John’s comeback would begin when Mecara Bruce was able to secure a loose ball that followed scrum after a corner kick from Zsani Kajan. Bruce would manage to find Bellero would found the back of the net.

Bellero, Whipp
Lucy Whipp

With the clocked ticking off the game’s final minutes, Bellero would play the role of helper on Whipp’s game-tying goal. Then, in overtime, Kajan would run down a long pass from Emily Purtell in the near corner and send a cross to the top of the six-yard box that would allude a diving Wildcats keeper Rebecca Gartner and roll to Bellero, who would tap home the game-winner.

Gartner was in the game as a replacement for Villanova’s starting goalkeeper, Hensley Hancuff, who was involved in an altercation with St. John’s Samantha Masur as the end of regulation. Both players were sent off with red cards.

St. John’s keeper Meredith Reinhardt would get the win and improve to 7-5-1 on the year for St. John’s, which won its third-straight match. The Arizona transfer recorded three saves on the evening.

St. John’s have only two regular season games remaining in 2018. The Red Storm hit the road traveling to Cincinnati to face Xavier on Sunday at 1 p.m. before closing out its schedule with a contest against DePaul on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Belson Stadium.