The first time St. John’s forward Rachel Daly was dropped in the game against Villanova on Saturday came in the 36th minute after a defender shoved her to the ground.
Then in the final minute of the first half another defender kicked Daly in her back sending her to the ground again. Both times no yellow card was given, time was stopped and trainer Ryan Cook ran through the field to check on the Johnnies’ star player. Both times Daly got up on her own and continued to play.
As the leading scorer in the Big East Conference (15) and second in the country in goals per game, she’s a problem for teams and has become a target of physical play. Daly would exit the game with a leg injury after she was dropped a third time in the match, which resulted in a 1-1 double overtime tie.
“I thought the referees let too much go today,” St. John’s head coach Ian Stone said. “She took so much punishment that was eventually going to happen.”
Daly answered the attacks in the 48th minute, when she headed in St. John’s (7-3-3, 1-2-2 in conference) only goal following a corner kick from senior Sarah Ashmore.
But the Johnnies struggled to score after that and allowed the Wildcats (5-6-3, 2-2-0 in conference) to tie the game up.
The problem for the Red Storm is Daly, who has scored 15 of the Red Storm’s 26 goals this season, and is a double-edged sword. While she is an offensive weapon, because she is the main goal scorer, teams focus their attacks on her. Besides Daly, senior Amy Marron, who has scored four goals this season, and freshman Morgan Tinari, who has three, are essentially the only other players the Johnnies could count on for goals.
“We need other people to step up,” Stone said.“You build your offense and there’s no other way around it. I’m not going to stop passing to Rachel.”
The final attack on Daly, which seemed less intentional, came with about two minutes remaining in regulation. Daly was left alone in the box with goalkeeper Jami Kranich. The goalie charged and dove to snag the ball before Daly could fire, but in the process slammed into her left leg. Daly went down clutching her leg for a few minutes and had to be helped off the field.
She suffered a left leg injury, not severe, according to Cook.
But after Daly’s exit, the Johnnies just couldn’t find ways to score, despite having various opportunities. The Red Storm dominated possession throughout the game and led in shots, 19-9, including 5-3 in both 10-minute overtimes.
“I thought we did enough to win the game today,” Stone said.
Stone said Daly should be available for the Johnnies’ next match against Georgetown on October 17.
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