“I think La Salle is a very tough team and they’re going to be right at the top of their conference this season,” said head coach Ian Stone. “I think it was exactly the challenge that we needed going into Big East play.”
Connors’ decisive marker was her second of the season and her seventh point overall, good enough for the team lead in both of those categories.
The play began at the top center of the box, as Lucy Whipp took possession and worked her way past a few defenders before sending it out to the left side for Connors.
The junior from New Haven one-timed a shot to the far post and the ball snuck past a diving Larisa Zambelli and into the bottom right corner of the net.
“[Assistant Coach] Jen Leaverton has done a lot of work with Shea over the course of the last week in terms of her finishing, so when Shea came off I said ‘great goal’ and she said ‘Jen taught me how to do that this week,’” said Stone.
Diana Poulin played terrifically once again between the pipes for St. John’s, stopping five La Salle shots en route to her league-leading sixth shutout of the season.
On the campaign, Poulin’s goals against average now sits at just .31, while her save percentage climbed to .893 in the victory.
St. John’s kicks off conference play on Saturday, heading to South Orange for a showdown with local rival Seton Hall at 2 p.m.
Men play to draw
For the second-straight season, St. John’s kicked off Big East play with a 0-0 draw against Marquette, as the two sides played 110 scoreless minutes at Valley Fields on Saturday night.
With the draw, the Red Storm moved to 3-1-2 on the season and remained undefeated against unranked opponents. Marquette (3-1-3) registered its third-consecutive tie on Saturday night.
Andrew Withers recorded his second-consecutive shutout for St. John’s, registering three saves against the Golden Eagles.
Harry Cooksley, who ranked in the top 10 nationally in shots per game heading into the contest, paced the Red Storm with six chances in 79 minutes of action.
The Red Storm was set to return home to Belson Stadium on Tuesday night, playing host to Quinnipiac at 7 p.m.