Zsani Kajan became the second player in Red Storm women’s soccer history to be chosen in the NWSL draft. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s)

QUEENS, N.Y. – St. John’s University standout Zsani Kajan was selected by OL Reign as the eighth player taken in the National Women’s Soccer League draft on Saturday.

Kajan became the second player in program history to be chosen in the draft, following in the footsteps of Houston Dash star Rachel Daly.

The Budapest, Hungary native wrapped a stellar five-year collegiate career, sparking the Red Storm to arguably its best season in program history. She tallied 17 goals and six assists in 23 games, earning Big East offensive player of the year honors for the second time and becoming the third player in program history to be selected to a United Soccer Coaches All-America team (second team).

She finished fourth nationally in scoring and was one of eight Division I players to log 40 or more points. Thanks in large part to five multi-goal efforts, including two hat-tricks, Kajan tied Cristin Burtis’ 1994 record for third on the Red Storm’s season scoring list and trailed only Daly’s efforts in 2013 (23) and 2015 (19).

St. John’s advanced to the Big East championship game for the first time since 1994 and, after earning its fourth NCAA Division I tournament bid, made the round of 16 for the first time in program history. The Red Storm topped Brown, 1-0, on the road in the first round before moving past Samford in a shootout.

Kajan scored the game-winner in the postseason run’s biggest upset, netting the decisive tally in a 1-0 Big East semifinal win at No. 11 Xavier University.

As a redshirt senior in the spring of 2021, Kajan earned All-Big East second team and first team All-Region honors after recording four goals and two assists in 11 games.

She posted back-to-back 11-goal efforts in 2018 and 2019, earning consecutive spots on the All-Big East first team and her first of two Big East offensive player of the year awards in 2019. The forward is the only player in program history to record 10 or more goals in three seasons.

Kajan finished second on the Red Storm’s career lists in goals (45) and points (101), trailing only Daly’s career totals of 50 and 111, respectively, set between 2013-15.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.