Things to know as the St. John's women's soccer squad kicks off (PUN INTENDED!) the 2016 season against Central Connecticut this afternoon at 5:00 PM at Belson Stadium on St. John’s Queens campus:
- The Red Storm return 15 players who saw time last year, and almost 70% of their minutes. Protecting the net is the most important returnee, Diana Poulin, the senior goalkeeper who will likely end this season as the leader in games won and shutouts.
- Also coming back are sophomores Anna Maria Baldursdottir (a defender from Iceland, if you couldn't guess) and Lucy Whipp (a forward from England), who were both Big East All-Rookie squad members. Nine goals were scored by players returning this year; Lucy Whipp had two of those. The leading returning goal scorer is Christina Bellero, who had four last season. Senior midfielder Morgan Tinari had nine assists, leading the team last year.
- But those minutes represent 27% of the teams goals last year and 41% of the team's shots, after the departure of star Rachel Daly, who moved on to the Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League. Replacing her production will be a theme this season. In preseason, the team looked to junior forward Shea Connors and sophomore forward Bellero for scoring chances, along with Lucy Whipp and freshman Christine McBeath.
- Last season, St. John's won the Big East regular season title, though they lost to Butler in the Big East semifinals. The Johnnies, then ranked in the top-25, still made the NCAA Tournament, where they fell at home to Boston University.
- Defender Georgia Kerney-Perry comes back to the program this season after her graduation last season as a graduate coaching assistant. She is a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
- St. John's is 4-0 against Central Connecticut in their series history.