QUEENS, N.Y. – The St. John’s University women will take on Samford in the second Round of the NCAA Division I tournament at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Friday at 4 p.m.
The first meeting between the Johnnies and the Bulldogs will be streamed on ESPN+. The winner of the match will face the winner of Duke or Memphis on Sunday in the third round.
The Johnnies enter the contest on the heels of an overtime victory at Brown University on Sunday. The Red Storm squad picked up the program’s second NCAA tournament win and the first since 2013 thanks to the extratime heroics from sophomore midfielder Ava Collins. The Auckland, New Zealand native delivered the game-winning goal in the 99th minute for her fourth of the season and the sixth of her career.
Redshirt junior Naya Lipkens earned her 10th solo shutout of the season. The Bloomfield, Conn. native is two clean sheets shy of tying Diana Poulin’s season record of 12. Lipkens enters the game boasting a 0.84 goals-against average and a 0.816 save percentage.
The Red Storm’s defense was a force to be reckoned with in Sunday’s win. The trio of Katherine Turner, Nicole Multer and Shannon Aviza played all 99 minutes on the backline, coming up with crucial stops.
Big East offensive player of the Year Zsani Kajan continues to be the engine behind the Red Storm’s offense. The Budapest, Hungary native has found the back of the net 17 times to sit second overall in the nation. With five assists, Kajan is has 39 points, good enough to rank fifth in all of Division I.
Samford advanced to the second round on Sunday after defeating Auburn University, 2-0, avenging its season-opening defeat at the hands of the Tigers. The Southern Conference champions (16-3-2) are riding a 13-game winning streak.
In his 20th season at Samford, head coach Todd Yelton was named SoCon coach of the year. The Bulldogs also had seven players earn conference recognition. Junior Kylie Gazza was named SoCon defensive player of the year while also earning a spot on the All-SoCon First Team. Additionally, classmate Alyssa Frazier and junior Taylor Yount were selected to the league’s first team. Juniors Mary Raymond and Lindsay Origliasson, as well as senior goalkeeper Morgan McAslan were named to the All-SoCon Second Team. Rookie Anna Major was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team.
Frazier paces the team with 24 points, recording seven goals and 10 assists while Raymond has scored a team-leading nine goals and added four assists. Goalkeeper McAslan has played every minute. She has secured 10 shutouts and has a 0.74 GAA and a 0.820 save percentage.