St. John’s Women Open Season With Shutout

Christina Bellero, St. John's University, Long Island Rough Riders
Long Island Rough Riders Christina Bellero.
Long Island Rough Riders Christina Bellero.
Christina Bellero, seen here playing for the Long Island Rough Riders, got her first goal of the season for St. John’s.

St. John’s jumped out to an early lead on Sunday night and never looked back, eventually adding a pair of insurance tallies to cruise past Albany, 3-0, at Belson Stadium in Queens.

Two Johnnies scored their first collegiate goals on Sunday, as sophomores Anna Maria Baldursdottir and Samie Scaffidi found the back of the net for the first time in red and white. Classmate Christina Bellero of Melville (Half Hollow Hills East High School), the team’s second-leading scorer last season, added another goal for the Red Storm (2-0-0).

Diana Poulin, the Red Storm’s all-time wins leader, notched the 34th victory of her St. John’s career and her second-consecutive shutout, needing only one save to register the clean sheet.  The senior from Hauppauge, N.Y., proved especially apt at neutralizing corners against the Great Danes (1-1-0), registering several punch-outs to nullify the threat.

“Albany is a very good team and I give them a lot of credit,” said Ian Stone, the team’s head coach. “They played hard and you can see why they were conference champions last year. I think tonight was the night where some things clicked for us offensively. We created a lot of chances in the first few games, but didn’t always capitalize on them, whereas tonight we finished really well and created even more chances.”

The Red Storm started the scoring in the 24th minute off an Alexis Urbanski corner kick.  The graduate student from Aberdeen, N.J., who registered the game winner on Friday in overtime, sent a ball into the box toward Baldursdottir who, standing on the six-yard line, made a nifty play to deflect the ball with the back of her foot and send it past the keeper.

After heading into the locker room with a 1-0 lead at the intermission, the Red Storm wasted no time getting on the score sheet in the second half, as Scaffidi found the back of the net in the 47th minute. The play started with a goal kick from the Albany keeper, who played it short to one of her defenders beyond the 18-yard box. The defender attempted to corral the kick, but the ball shot free and found its way to Scaffidi, who subsequently beat the keeper one on one to the top left of the cage.

Just over 30 minutes later, Bellero sealed the contest with her first goal of the season. Stealing the ball from a defender in the offensive zone, she beat the keeper to the bottom left corner of the net.

For the game, the Red Storm outshot Albany, 17-3, and earned six corners to the Great Danes’ four.

St. John’s will next be in action on Friday, Aug. 26, traveling to Towson to take on the Tigers at 4 p.m. ET.