Zsani Kajan is off to an incredible start with five goals in two games. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s)
PHILADELPHIA – For the third time in her St. John’s University career, Zsani Kajan recorded a hat-trick Sunday, leading the Red Storm to a 5-0 victory over Saint Joseph’s at Sweeney Field.
St. John’s did all its scoring in the second half.
The Budapest, Hungary native scored three goals in a game for the first time since Oct. 24, 2019, when she accomplished the feat against Big East foe Villanova University. She also recorded the first hat-trick of her collegiate career against Stony Brook Dec. 2, 2018.
Sunday’s three goals were the quickest of Kajan’s career, as the 5-7 forward did her goal-scoring in 12 minutes.
Kajan already has found the back of the net five times in two games this season. The Red Storm’s active leading scorer increased her career total up to 33 goals and is five shy of moving into third place on the Red Storm’s all-time scoring list.
Entering the game with just under 15 minutes remaining, Samantha Gordon found the back of the net twice over an 11-minute span. Those goals marked the first two of Gordon’s Red Storm career.
Redshirt junior Kayla Mesaros and freshmen Jadyn Rupnow and Maya Alberts registered assists.
Goalkeepers Naya Lipkens and Meghan Groah earned minutes between the pipes, helping the Red Storm secure its second successive clean sheet. They each recorded a save.
The Red Storm broke through in the 55th minute as Mesaros played a through ball into the box for Kajan, who finished on the ground.
Seven minutes later, Katherine Turner sent a long pass up to Kajan, who corralled the ball and dribbled toward the net before sending it into the top of the cage for her second goal.
Less than six minutes later, Kajan put the Red Storm up 3-0, converting on a penalty kick.
The Johnnies continued to control the pace of play in the second half, as Gordon converted on her first career goal in the 77th minute. The sequence began as Rupnow send a long pass up from the center of the field to Gordon just outside the 18-yard box. The Amityville, N.Y. native buried it into the back of the net for a 4-0 advantage.
With under a minute to play, Gordon struck again, adding on another insurance tally for St. John’s. The senior forward converted on a deflection off the foot of a Hawks’ defender to put the game to bed.
St. John’s dominated Saint Joseph’s, claiming a 14-5 shot advantage, including an 8-2 edge on target.
The Red Storm welcomes Columbia University to Queens Friday at 6 p.m.