Daly Show: Senior striker’s five-point night powers Red Storm

By Patrick McCormack

This is what coach Ian Stone expected from his seniors during St. John’s non-conference portion of its schedule.

Behind a five-point performance from senior Rachel Daly, the No. 19-ranked Red Storm women’s soccer team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 3-1 at Belson Stadium Sunday night to improve to 8-1-0 on the year.

“It’s been very satisfying. I kind of expected it to go this way, because we have some great senior leadership and that makes a big difference in the early season,” said Stone, whose team’s record is tied with the 1992 and 2009 teams for best over a nine-game stretch.

The Red Storm offense didn’t waste time showing their skill. Daly found freshman Lucy Whipp, who made a move past FDU’s charging keeper to make it 1-0 in the 6th minute.

Stone saw his senior leader do what she has been doing all season on the first goal.

“Not only is she a great scorer, but she is also a great leader,” she said “She is kind of making everyone else around her better. Not only scoring goals but getting a few more assists this year, which is nice to see too,”

St. John’s scored again seven minutes later. Sophomore Shea Connors made a move in the box and was fouled by a Knight’s defender, causing a penalty kick. Daly converted the chance to make it 2-0.

It was just the start of a night that showed how much Daly’s game has grown since she arrived in Queens three years ago. She has a team-leading seven goals and four assists already this season, after having eight and two, respectively, a year ago.

“I think over the last three years I have become more of a creative player rather than just a goal scorer,” she said. “I think getting the assist and starting off on the right foot makes me want to score my goals,”

FDU (4-5-0) cut into the St. John’s lead in the 74th minute. Carly Tice found a lost ball in traffic and beat keeper Diana Poulin, who made five saves. But the Red Storm came right back. Daly was able to finish a passing play between Emily Cubbage and Whippy to secure the victory.

St. John’s continues to show that it is one of the best teams in the nation and is determined to keep on winning and not let their ranking distract them.

“It’s just a number at the end of the day and we have to earn that number and if we don’t keep winning, we’re not going to earn the number,” Daly said. “So we need to keep on winning and getting higher and higher.”

The Red Storm begins Big East play next Sunday when they host Seton Hall. This season the Johnnies look to improve on last year’s disappointing loss in the Big East semifinals to Georgetown in penalty kicks and win a conference title.

“I think throughout my years here we’ve been close more or less every time and last year was the closest, so it’s like can we push one step more and win,” red-shirt senior Georgia Kearney-Perry said. “Last Shot.”

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