May 21, 2012
Ex-Storm GK Russell plays overseas
QUEENS, N.Y. – After re-writing the women’s soccer record books over her four-year career, former St. John's goalkeeper Kristin Russell will look to make a name for herself overseas as she travels to Iceland to play professionally for the Afturelding futball club.
In mid-May, Russell traveled across the Atlantic to Iceland to begin training for Afturelding, which competes as part of women’s soccer’s premier divisions. Russell signed her contract with Afturelding in March 2011.
With Afturelding, Russell will play in the top stadia in Iceland. Afturelding’s league is also one of the few in Europe that plays during the summer months. With Women's Professional Soccer having folded last week, the European leagues have found in influx of professional women’s soccer players from the United States.
“Everyone in the St. John’s women’s soccer program is so proud that Kristin has been able to take this next step in her soccer career,” St. John's coach Ian Stone said. “She has always been a high level goalkeeper and it’s nice to see that her accomplishments were recognized outside our community with a professional contract.”
Russell was lated.
“Playing overseas is a dream come true,” she said. “I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to prolong my soccer career and play with and against such fantastic players. Playing in Iceland has opened doors for other coaches to take interest and give me the opportunity to travel in play In other countries.”
Former teammate Runa Stefansottir, an native of Iceland, will join Russell in the same division, playing for Fylkir FC.
Russell, a St. Petersburg, Fla., native rewrote the Storm's record books as she finished her career the career-record holder in career victories (32), shutouts (32) and goals-against average (0.76). She was also No. 4 in career saves with 295. Russell’s name is also listed many times in the single-season record charts.
She was named to the All-Big East third team in 2010 and was honorable mention All-Big East as a freshman in 2008. A three-time Big East Academic All-Star (2008-11), Russell was named Big East goalkeeper of the week five times over the course of her career. Russell was also the ECAC defensive player of the Week in 2009.
Russell helped lead St. John’s to its first NCAA Division I Tournament berth in 2009, posting seven saves in the Big East semifinal against Notre Dame (Nov. 6) and 10 in NCAA Tournament action against Virginia (Nov. 13), holding on to a double-overtime tie.
As a freshman, Russell was an integral part of the St. John’s defense being ranked 11th in the country. Individually, Russell was No. 1 in Big East in GAA and save percentage.
She finished her career with a 32-24-10 record. Her senior season was cut short as she played in only 11 games before injuring her foot. Of those 11 games, five were shutouts.
“Kristin was an integral part of many very effective defenses in her time here,” Stone said. “Coming in and earning valuable time as a freshman gave her the benefit of gaining experience from many of our great players that have gone through our program in the last few years. The experience helped set Kristin off on the right foot towards a phenomenal college career. We look forward to seeing what she can do over in Iceland.”
Russell and Afturelding began play earlier this month. The season will continue throughout the summer.