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Behind a goal from BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year?Zsani Kajan, the fourth-seeded St. John's women's soccer team upset No.11 Xavier to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 1994.
The goal marked Kajan's 17th of the season and the 45th of her Red Storm career. With the game-winning tally against the Musketeers, Kajan increased her overall point total to 100. The Budapest, Hungary, native is just the second player in program history to record 100 points for her career, joining the Johnnies' all-time leading scorer Rachel Daly who turned in 111.?
Sophomore forward?Ava Collins?picked up an assist on Kajan's tally for her third helper of the season.Naya Lipkens?added to her shutout total, notching her ninth clean sheet of the campaign.? The redshirt junior turned aside five of Xavier's attempts on goal for a combined 76 stops on the season. The Bloomfield, Conn., native lowered her goals against average to 0.88.
With the victory over Xavier, the Johnnies improved to 12-5-2 on the season. This marks the most wins for the Red Storm since the 2015 campaign when the Johnnies finished with a program-record 15 victories.
The Musketeers controlled the momentum throughout the early going of the game, holding the Johnnies without a shot for nearly 25 minutes of action.?Michelle Money?recorded the Red Storm's lone attempt of the opening stanza with 20 minutes to play in the half, as the Crofton, Md., native saw her shot sail wide.
Xavier registered a number of chances in the first 45 minutes, but Lipkens was locked in turning aside a trio of attempts to keep both teams scoreless at the half.
At the intermission, Xavier held a 6-1 edge in shots and had earned six corners to the Johnnies' one.
The Musketeers continued to attack in the second half, earning six shots in the span of just seven minutes. The Red Storm's defense, however, held strong to keep the BIG EAST regular season champions off the board.
In the 61st minute the momentum shifted in favor of the Red Storm. Kajan, a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team selection, converted on her lone shot of the match to give St. John's a 1-0 lead. The sequence began as Collins played a pass up to Kajan, who send her shot to the left corner of the cage to ultimately lock in the win. The goal marked Kajan's fifth game-winner of the season.
With the victory over Xavier, the Johnnies will return to action on Sunday for the BIG EAST Finals. The Johnnies will player the winner of the semifinal match between Georgetown or Butler.