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Men’s lacrosse: St. John’s opens with impressive 17-7 win over Holy Cross

Saturday, 18th February 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 2/18/12
From Press Release

The deep attacking unit of St. John’s put on an efficient goal-scoring display in an impressive 17-7 victory over Holy Cross at DaSilva Memorial Field in Queens.

The 17 goals were the most in any game during Jason Miller’s tenure as head coach of the St. John’s lacrosse program. The previous high was the 16 goals scored during last year’s 16-7 season opening victory over Holy Cross. It was also the most goals in a season-opener for St. John’s lacrosse since the Red Storm defeated Marist 21-1 on March 10, 1990.

The sophomore trio of Kevin Cernuto, Colin Keegan and Kieran McArdle all netted a game-high three goals apiece for the contest. McArdle finished with a career-high eight points (three goals, five assists). Cernuto tied a career-high with his three-goal and four-assist performance.

It was the first time since a 15-7 victory over Sacred Heart on March 26, 2011 that three Red Storm players all finished with a hat trick. In that game, Cernuto, McArdle and Brandon Ayers each found the net three times for St. John’s.

On the defensive end, the Red Storm got some solid performances from a lot of the usual suspects. Goalie Jeff Lowman stopped 15 shots in three-plus quarters of work, as he turned away almost all of the Crusaders outside looks. Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Dillon Ayers picked up five ground balls and set the tone throughout.

St. John’s (1-0, 0-0) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Cernuto scored unassisted in the opening moments of the game. Shortly thereafter, Keith Switzer would make it 2-0 after finishing off a pretty feed into the middle from McArdle. After missing almost the entire 2011 season, senior Harry Kutner showed the type of impact he could make offensively by depositing a Cernuto pass directly into the top corner of the net. The Crusaders got on the board when Matt Boylan beat Lowman to make it 3-1; however, the two goal deficit was as close as Holy Cross would come.

Keegan started an eight goal run for St. John’s, as he was followed to net by B. Ayers and then senior Terence Leach. Leach missed all of last season with a foot injury, and it was his first goal since May 1, 2010 at Sacred Heart. McArdle would score his first goal of the afternoon after Drew Viscusi intercepted a pass on the other end, cleared into the offensive end and set up his teammate for an easy goal. Viscusi looked comfortable making the transition to close defense after playing midfield last season, finishing the game with four groundballs.

St. John’s would then score back-to-back goals on the man advantage as Kutner scored off an assist McArdle, and then the senior reciprocated by setting up McArdle for the next score. McArdle would then complete his hat trick with a quick shot off an assist from Cernuto. Junior Alex Lagodich would make it 11-1 with a snipe into the top corner off the net thanks to the first career assist from heralded freshman Joseph Leonard.

Andrew Morici would score on the man-up with an assist from James Kennedy to break up the St. John’s run, but Keegan would add his second goal of the game off a pass from McArdle to send the Red Storm into the half with a 12-2 lead.

St. John’s came out a little sluggish in the third quarter as the two teams battled to an even 1-1 draw for the quarter. Lowman made sure there would be no semblance of a Crusader comeback as he stopped eight shots during the period. James Kennedy had the lone goal for Holy Cross while Cernuto added his second off of Kutner’s third assist of the game.

Holy Cross would open the fourth quarter with two goals by John Hannan and Terry McKenna to make the score 13-5. Consecutive goals by Keegan and Cernuto would give them both their hat tricks and put STJ up 15-5. Matt Boylan got his second goal of the game for Holy Cross, which was followed by a goal from Leach courtesy of another Cernuto assist. Senior Charlie Holenstein got his name onto the scoring sheet with a late goal off the first career assist from freshman Stefan Diachenko. Ricky DeCicco would find the net as time expired, beating freshman goalie Ryan Quinn to make the score final at 17-7.

It was the fourth-straight season opening victory for St. John’s over Holy Cross. The Red Storm is now 4-2 in season openers under Coach Miller.

St. John’s lacrosse travels to Yale where the Red Storm will take on the No. 17/18 Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Keep up with Red Storm lacrosse all season long at and on Twitter by following @STJ_Lacrosse.



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