SJU women battle back to earn tie with Boston College

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There are a few certainties early in the season for the St. John’s women’s soccer team: A Red Storm game will go into overtime and Kaitlin Schmidt will score a goal.

That scenario played itself out again Sunday at Rutgers University as Schmidt netted her seventh goal in six games in the 76th minute as St. John’s came back to tie Boston University 1-1 in the Rutgers DoubleTree Classic.

The Red Storm (3-0-3) remains undefeated with the tie — the team’s fourth foray into overtime — and has now tied three teams (Miami of Ohio, Evansville and Boston University) that made the NCAA tournament last year.

“Last year I don’t think we ever came back from a goal down all season,” said St. John’s coach Ian Stone. “Now it seems as though there’s so much belief, so much confidence in the team that regardless of the score we think we can come back and create things.”

After a rather uneventful first half, which was played at times under heavy rain, both teams lined up on the field for the start of the second half. One second ticked off the clock before the teams were pulled off the field because of a lightning warning.

The Red Storm and the Terriers sat in their locker rooms for 90 minutes before the game resumed.

“I’m proud of their maturity because that’s not easy, in any sport, to go through that time period and they still kept that focus and came out and did the job in the second half,” Stone said.

The game opened up in the second half and both teams created quality scoring chances. Boston University took the lead in the 68th minute when Red Storm midfielder Lauren McGrory took down a Terrier inside the box, as referee BJ Marth called for a penalty kick.

Allison Merkle converted the penalty kick, beating Red Storm keeper Tina Fogg low to her right.

Ten minutes later the Red Storm caused a turnover in the Boston University box and Schmidt pounced on the ball. The freshman from Centereach found space and beat fellow Long Islander Jessica Clinton with a low shot from 16 yards out to tie the game at 1.

With her seventh goal, Schmidt, who was named Big East Rookie of the Week for a second straight week, has scored as many goals in six games as the Red Storm’s leading scorer, Erin Zambelli, did all of last year.

“She’s fantastic. In situations when you need the goal, she just keeps coming up with it,” Stone said. “She’s a talented player. I always knew she was going to be a great player for us; I didn’t know it was going to be that early.”

And the scary thing is Schmidt doesn’t think she’s playing her best soccer yet.

“My knee is almost 100 percent and now I just have to get back into shape,” she said. “I’m trying to do that stuff and get better with my tactical stuff.”

St. John’s 4, Old Dominion 3. Schmidt set up Dominica Reina for the game-winning goal 3:06 into overtime for the Red Storm in the opener of the Rutgers DoubleTree Classic Friday night. Reina and Schmidt, who have accounted for 14 of the Red Storm’s 15 goals this year, each scored two goals for St. John’s, which opens its Big East schedule at Providence and Syracuse this weekend.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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