QUEENS, N.Y. – Three second half goals in less than a 10 minute span allowed the Red Storm to defeat Butler in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship Tournament on Tuesday night. Katie Griswold scored a goal for Butler in the first half and Sophia Maccagnone added her 10th goal of the season late in the match to pull within one, but it wasn't enough as St. John's moves on to face Marquette on Friday night in the semifinals.
"There was so much fight in us tonight," Co-Head Coach Tari St. John explained. "We never gave up and I love this team for that. We invested so much of ourselves into this season, but in the end it just wasn't our day. I feel for the players, they are absolutely gutted. It will take some time, but these players and this team have so much to be proud of."
Butler took a 1-0 lead in the first half after a penalty kick goal from senior Katie Griswold. St. John's goalkeeper, Diana Poulin, was hit with a yellow card which led to Griswold getting the penalty kick. The senior forward took advantage of her opportunity by giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute of the contest.
Griswold ends her career with 23 goals moving her into a tie for sixth place all-time at Butler. She scored five goals as a freshman, nine as a sophomore, six as a junior and three as a senior in 2013.
The intensity of the match picked up quickly in the second half as Julie Burton was forced to make back-to-back saves early in the action. Standout sophomore Rachel Daly single handedly got the Red Storm back into the game as her 21st goal of the season was scored from eight yards out to knot the score at 1-1. Daly was assisted on the goal by Emily Cubbage who brought the ball into play from the left side.
The St. John's scoring run was just getting started as Daly tacked on another goal just six minutes later to give the Red Strom a 2-1 advantage. Daly was assisted by Lara Pedersen this time as the ball hit the left post, but bounced in to give Daly 22 goals on the year.
The third St. John's goal of the night came in the 65th minute of play as Miranda Haraughty scored an unassisted goal in the top left corner of the net from 25 yards out. The goal was crucial for St. John's as Maccagnone found the back of the net for Butler late in the game (83:28) to get the Bulldogs within one goal.
Maccagnone moved past several Red Storm defenders before blasting a shot from the middle of the field from eight yards out. Maccagnone put together a great sophomore season as her goal on Tuesday night gave her 10 on the season. She also led the team with eight assists, giving her a 2013 point total of 28 which places her in a tie for sixth for most points in a single-season at Butler.
Butler out shot St. John's 17-9 in the quarterfinal match, but the 10 minute second half scoring run made the difference on Tuesday night. The match signaled the end of the road for seniors Katie Griswold, Julie Burton, Anna Ventimiglia, Olivia Colosimo, Mary Allen, and Ali Backscheider.
"These seniors have taken this program to heights never even imagined before from four years ago," St. John stated. "By coming to Butler they took on the challenge of making the program better and they have succeeded in so many ways. Next season, it will be our job to pick up where they have brought us and continue to test the limits of our program."