Christina Bellero produced some magic during a seven-minute span for the Red Storm. (Photo courtesy of the St. John’s SID)
QUEENS, N.Y. – Christina Bellero scored one goal and set up another during a seven-minute span in the second half to lead the St. John’s University women to a 2-1 victory over Marist College at Belson Stadium Tuesday night.
The Red Storm improved to 1-0-1 while the Red Foxes fell to 1-1-0.
Bellero, who seemed unstoppable on the left side at times, took a game-high six shots, five of which were on target.
Stone said the Melville, N.Y. resident was “fantastic.”
“That was the best game I have ever seen her play and I told her that,” he added. “She’s almost impossible to defend when she’s in that mood because it’s not just speed. It’s skill, agility and cutting passed defenders. We just had to keep giving the ball to her because she was on fire tonight.”
After a goal kick, the Johnnies forced a turnover and Lucy Whipp found Bellero on the left side. Bellero sent a shot inside the far post, giving the Red Storm a 1-0 advantage. The goal was Bellero’s team-leading second.
Less than two minutes later, Bellero had a chance to put the Red Storm up 2-0, but her shot sailed just wide. Later, Whipp sent one high as the Johnnies continued to pressure the Red Foxes.
In the 68th minute, Bellero sent a looping shot to the far post that was saved by goalkeeper Makala Foley, but Mariella Jacome was there to follow up, scoring her first of the season.
With just over 20 minutes remaining in the second half, the Red Foxes went on the offensive. After being held to one shot in the first 25 minutes of the second stanza, Marist earned a free kick in the 86th minute that was within striking range. Alexa Svesson sent a ball into the box that found the head of Nicole Sasso for the goal in the 86th minute.
In the closing minutes, the St. John’s defense turned up the pressure, holding off a strong Marist attack. The Red Storm blocked a shot in the 87th minute before goalkeeper Jordan Kamp made a save in the 88th minute. With time winding down, Marist’s Camille Bowen sent a shot off the crossbar.
The Red Storm visits Fairfield at 1 p.m. Sunday.