Christina Bellero led St. John’s with four shots. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s Communications Dept.)
CHICAGO – Playing for the final spot in the Big East Women’s Soccer Championship, St. John’s dropped a 1-0 decision to DePaul University Thursday afternoon.
The Red Storm wrapped up the season with an 8-9-1 record and a 4-5-0 mark in the Big East.
The Blue Demons (7-7-4, 3-2-4) got on the board with just under two minutes remaining in the first half.
DePaul goalkeeper Lauren Frasca sent a long ball down the field that eventually found the feet of Franny Cerny, who sent a shot just under the crossbar and over the out-stretched hand of Jordan Kamp.
DePaul outshot St. John’s, 16-13, but the Red Storm owned a 7-5 advantage in shots in the second half. Kamp made five saves, while Frasca turned aside four shots.
The Blue Demons wasted no time as Alexa Benn connected on a header in the second minute that Kamp turned away. DePaul sent a shot high in the ninth minute before the Johnnies could get going. In the 11th minute, junior Christina Bellero had her first of a team-high four shots go wide.
Later in the first half, St. John’s used counter attacks to catch the Blue Demons out of position. On two occasions, Bellero found space along the far side of the field and sent two strong shots towards the target. Both tries sailed wide.
With time winding down in the first half, Frasca found Cerny with a long ball and Cerny found the back of the net, giving DePaul a 1-0 advantage with just over 90 seconds left.
Freshman Maia Cabrera looked to get to Red Storm even early in the second half as the Rego Park, N.Y., native sent two shots towards goal in the 50th and 52nd minutes, respectively, but both shots went wide.
St. John’s controlled the pace at the beginning of the second half as Bellero fired in the 54th minute that Frasca stopped. In the 64th minute, Kamp made diving save off a set piece. DePaul earned a free kick just outside the box and Frick sent a strong shot towards the top right corner, but Kamp dove to her left to deny the goal.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, St. John’s turned up the pressure. Zsani Kajan had a shot rejected in the 81st minute before Mikhaila Martinov sent a shot high two minutes later.
DePaul tried to run out the clock but keeping the ball in the corner, but the Johnnies got one last try on goal in the 90th minute. After a throw-in, the ball was sent into the box where Mariela Jacome got a foot on it, but her flick missed wide and time expired.