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St. John’s Men’s and Women’s Soccer look ahead to weekend tilts

The women have had a strong start; the men look to overcome a key injury.

Wendell Cruz

A busy weekend for Red Storm soccer kicks off tonight, as the women host Loyola Maryland at 6:00 p.m. at Belson Stadium.

The women have enjoyed a strong 3-1-1 start to the season, with the only loss a neutral site 1-0 double overtime loss to Harvard. The team’s biggest win so far was a 1-0 win against 14th-ranked UCONN.

The team’s offense has been led by Christina Bellero, who has found the back of the net in four of the Johnnies first five games. Alongside the four goals, Bellero picked up an assist and leads the conference with nine points through the five games.

Last year when the two teams met, Bellero notched a goal early on, but the Greyhounds later tied it, and the two teams drew 1-1 in double overtime.

Another highlight for the Red Storm so far has been the play of redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jordan Kamp. In that win over nationally-ranked UCONN, Kamp recorded her first career clean sheet after making six saves over the course of that game. In the team’s 3-3 draw with La Salle earlier in the season, Kamp made her career high of seven saves.

Loyola comes into Queens stumbling. A team with 18 underclassmen, the Greyhounds come in with a 2-4-0 record, including a disappointing 3-0 loss to St. Francis (Pa.) in their last game.

The team will then get a day off on Saturday before returning to action Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. against Lehigh at Belson. Lehigh is currently 2-2-1, and with three All-Patriot League Preseason selections, the Mountain Hawks could be a dangerous team.

In between the two women’s games, the St. John’s men’s soccer team will be in action Saturday night against Temple. Through the early stages of the season, it’s been all about the defense for the Red Storm.

Andrew Withers has already kept two clean sheets (against Hofstra and Drexel), but losses at Loyola and at home to Fordham see the Johnnies struggling at 1-2-1. The team has scored three goals in four games, but all of those goals came in one game against Drexel, a 3-0 win.

With the offense already struggling, dangerous forward Harry Cooksley was injured late in the game against Hofstra. Cooksley has been walking around campus in a boot all week. Cooksley had a goal and two assists in that win over Drexel, meaning he’s been involved in every St. John’s goal this season.

Temple comes into Queens with an identical record of 1-2-1, with their latest game resulting in a 1-0 overtime loss to New Jersey school Rider. However, their lone win came against Big East school Villanova, who the Johnnies were unable to beat last season. Despite their record, Temple’s scored in all but one of their games so far.