QUEENS, N.Y. -
The St. John's women's soccer team put on an impressive offensive display against visiting Creighton in BIG EAST Conference action on Sunday afternoon from Belson Stadium, peppering the Bluejays' goal to the tune of a season-high 30 shots and 10 corner kicks.
In the end, all that was missing was the winning goal.
The Red Storm forced Creighton freshman goalie Danielle Rice into a career-high 12 saves - a handful from point-blank range - but after 110 minutes of play had to settle for a 0-0 overtime draw in its second conference game of the season.
St. John's has not lost a game at Belson Stadium in its last nine appearances, starting back on Sept. 28, 2012 when it defeated Rutgers, 1-0.
Sophomore goalie Ellen Conway made two saves in earning the shutout in her first start of the season for the Red Storm.
"I wanted us to be aggressive in terms of our offense," said St. John's head coach Ian Stone. "I thought Creighton worked their socks off. They came in and were able to grind out a result, which says a lot of their program. I think there's a lesson that we can learn as well, which is that these Sunday games in the BIG EAST are going to be difficult. We were a little bit unlucky and I thought their keeper made some good saves. I thought we probably should have finished a couple of the chances we had, but if we can maybe just work a little bit harder and want it a little bit more on occasion, combined with all the other great attributes that we have, I think we'll be good to go."
The Red Storm (7-1-2, 1-0-1 BIG EAST) was coming off a 2-0 home victory over Xavier in its BIG EAST opener on Thursday evening thanks to a brace from sophomore forward Rachel Daly
, the nation's top Division I scorer with 13 goals entering Sunday's action.
By herself, Daly outshot Creighton, 13-8, and the sophomore very nearly had a hand in the opening goal in the first five minutes of the second half. As St. John's recovered the ball near midfield, Daly exchanged a pair of quick passes with freshman Morgan Tinari, who after finding some space on the right crossed the ball into the Creighton box. Waiting at the other end was junior Caitlyn McLaughlin, who did well to lose her marker but flashed a strong header wide of the post from seven yards out.
A few minutes later it was Daly's turn to try her luck, as the forward outran the Creighton defense to track down a lofted through ball by freshman Lara Kristin Pedersen before shooting into the side netting with only the goalie to beat.
McLaughlin again came close to scoring just moments later, forcing an excellent low save from Rice after redirecting classmate Deanna Murino's corner kick toward goal.
With the Red Storm well on top and constantly threatening midway through the second half, the game's best scoring chance was again denied by a fine reaction save from Rice after excellent work by Emily Cubbage. The sophomore midfielder bought herself some time on the left wing before delivering a pinpoint cross to the feet of senior Amy Marron, whose first time, point-blank effort was somehow kept out by Rice.
St. John's also enjoyed the clearer goal-scoring opportunities in golden-goal overtime, including a left-footed volley by sophomore Shelby Halasz that sliced just wide and a toe-poke effort from Daly that an onrushing Rice was able to smother.
The Red Storm outshot Creighton, 24-7, in regulation and 6-1 in overtime. The Bluejays (7-3-1, 0-1-1 BIG EAST), who had won seven of their last eight games after starting the season 0-2-0, earned their first point in the BIG EAST with Sunday's draw.
Defensively, St. John's was its usual compact self, extending its current shutout streak to 310 minutes. Led by the back line of Sarah Ashmore, Hailey Hemmer, Rachel Hoffman and Georgia Kearney-Perry, the Red Storm have allowed just two goals in 940 minutes of action this season.
The Red Storm continues conference play next Thursday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. when it travels to Milkwaukee, Wis. to take on Marquette.