Christina Bellero continues to be on fire for St. John’s. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – A 50th-minute goal from junior Christina Bellero was all the offense the St. John’s University women needed as they recorded a second consecutive shutout, defeating UConn, 1-0, in the opening game of the CCSU Tournament Friday night.
“I thought we showed tremendous character as a group,” St. John’s head coach Ian Stone said. “We were forced to dig deep at times and battled hard for each other. I think it showed our team that we can compete with some of the best programs in the country.”
UConn entered the season as the 14th-ranked team in the nation after advancing to the second round of the 2016 NCAA women’s Soccer championship. The Huskies have struggled this season, falling to 0-3-1 and registering just one goal in four games.
The 50th-minute tally was Bellero’s team-leading fourth of the season. The Melville, N.Y. native has needed only four matches to top last season’s goal total, as she scored three times in 20 games as a sophomore. Bellero has found the back of the net in each of the Red Storm’s first four games to open this season.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jordan Kamp made six saves to pick up her second win and first shutout of the season.
The Huskies outshot St. John’s (3-0-1), 13-6, and earned six corners to the Red Storm’s one.
It didn’t take long for the Johnnies to strike early in the second half. Off a set piece, Lucy Whipp sent a long ball into the left side of the box from the far sideline. The ball bounced and found the head of Bellero, who connected for the tally in the 50th minute.
St. John’s returns to the pitch on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. when it takes on Harvard. The match will be the Johnnies final contest of the CCSU Tournament and will be streamed live on NECFrontRow.com.