Zsani Kajan set up the second goal on Friday night. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s)
DURHAM, N.C. – The St. John’s women University’s run in the NCAA Division I tournament continues as the Red Storm will look to upend top-seeded Duke University in the Round of 16 at Koskinen Stadium on Sunday at 6 p.m.
The first meeting between the Johnnies and the Blue Devils will be streamed on ESPN+.
The Red Storm women’s soccer team made history on Friday evening, advancing past Samford, 3-0, in penalty kicks to reach the Round of 16 for the first time in program history. The teams played to a 2-2 draw before the shootout.
Having made just one collegiate appearance heading into Friday night, St. John’s freshman goalkeeper Meghan Groah was called upon in the decisive penalty shootout. The Winchester, Va. native, who had not seen game action since logging 16 minutes and 49 seconds against Saint Joseph’s on Aug. 21, held Samford off the board completely, making two saves and forcing another miss to propel the Red Storm’s NCAA Tournament run into the third round. Three of the Red Storm’s four shooters converted on their penalty attempts: Jessica Garziano, Shannon Aviza and Michelle Money.
The Red Storm improved to 13-6-3 and snapped Samford’s 13-game winning streak that dated back to Sept. 24.
Nicole Gordon and Aviza scored the Johnnies’ two goals in regulation. Gordon converted on the game’s first goal in the 15th minute off a pass from Garziano. Aviza found the back of the net in the 52nd minute off a pass for the league’s leading scorer Zsani Kajan. The strike marked Aviza’s first for the Red Storm and the third of her collegiate career.
Duke has a 15-3-1 record. Behind a goal from senior Delaney Graham, the Blue Devils defeated Memphis, 1-0, on Friday night. The Blue Devils advanced to the Round of 16 for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons.
Rookie forward Michelle Cooper, who was named the Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year, leads Duke’s offense this season with 10 goals. For her efforts on the campaign, Cooper also earned a spot on the All-ACC first team alongside graduate student Tess Boade and junior goalkeeper Ruthie Jones, while junior Sophie Jones was added to the Second Team.
The winner of Sunday’s match will face the winner of the Santa Clara-Wisconsin game. A date and time for that contest has yet to be determined.