QUEENS, N.Y. – The St. John’s University women are returning home to play two this weekend.
After splitting games in the CCSU Tournament last weekend, the Red Storm will welcome Loyola and Lehigh Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m., respectively.
Both matches can be seen live on ESPN3, the first of three Red Storm home non-conference games that will be carried by the cable network.
Junior Christina Bellero continued her hot start to the season with another goal in the Red Storm’s 1-0 win over UConn last Friday. The Melville, N.Y. native extended her goal streak to four games. She was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for the second consecutive week. Through five games, Bellero leads the conference in points (9, 4 goals, 1 assist), points per game (1.80) and goals per game (0.80).
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jordan Kamp continued her solid play, recording six saves to earn her first career clean sheet against the Huskies. Kamp’s six stops were the second most in a game for the Allentown, Pa., native during her rookie campaign. Kamp began the season with seven saves in a 3-3 draw at La Salle University.
Loyola enters Friday night’s match at 2-4-0, following a 3-0 loss to St. Francis (Pa.) in its last outing. The Greyhounds were predicted to finish sixth out of 10 teams in the Patriot League women’s preseason poll, as voted on by the conference’s coaches.
Loyola features a young squad with 18 players suiting up for either their first or second year of collegiate soccer. The Greyhounds return last season’s leading scorer in Jourdan Ziff and second team All-Patriot League performer Nicole Wahlig. Sumer Rahe has been Loyola’s primary keeper through six games. The junior from Orange, Calif., has posted a 1.92 goals-against average and a .633 save percentage in just over 515 minutes.
Friday’s match between the Red Storm and Greyhounds will be the second meeting between the two schools. Last season, St. John’s traveled to Baltimore to visit Loyola. Bellero scored in the 39th minute to respond to the Greyhounds’ goal in the eighth minute in a 1-1 draw.
Lehigh, which enters the weekend at 2-2-1, will face Villanova University Friday before heading to the Big Apple. Lehigh was picked to finish fifth in the Patriot League after a third-place finish in 2016. Seniors Alyssa Riporti and Adrain Vitello and sophomore Sam Miller were named to the preseason All-Patriot League team. The Mountain Hawks have used a balanced scoring attack this season with four players finding the back of the net. Maggie Wadsworth, Amanda Stratton, Lisa Kestleboym and Annika Jansa have recorded a goal apiece.
Sunday’s match between St. John’s and Lehigh will be the first meeting between the two programs.
Following the weekend, the Red Storm hits the road again for a game at Boston College Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.