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Men’s lacrosse: St. John’s stuns Rutgers, 7-6, with two goals in final 18 seconds

Saturday, 17th March 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 3/17/12
From Press Release

St. John’s had trouble finding the net all day long against Rutgers but was able to convert when it mattered most, as the Red Storm scored two goals in the last 18 seconds today to capture a 7-6 BIG EAST victory in Piscataway, N.J.

Charlie Holenstein notched the game-winner with two seconds left on the clock off a nice find from Kevin Cernuto. Kieran McArdle had scored seconds earlier following a St. John’s (4-2, 1-1) timeout that set up the game tying opportunity.

Will Mangan was the high scorer with three goals for the Scarlet Knights. St. John’s outshot Rutgers 34-to-24 and won 10-of-16 faceoffs.

The Scarlet Knights defense did an excellent job containing the Red Storm attack throughout the day as midfielders Ryan Fitzgerald and Alex Lagodich carried the offensive load early on with two goals apiece. In the low scoring game, there were a couple instances where Rutgers had chances to extend leads but was turned away on the doorstep by Tewaaraton Award Watch List member Jeff Lowman. Lowman finished the day with 12 saves.

Rutgers opened by scoring on the game’s very first possession to gain the early advantage. Fitzgerald evened things up not long after when a dodge down the middle of the defense set up his first goal of the season. The Scarlet Knights responded with a couple of goals to end the first quarter up 3-1.

Lagodich would connect on a quick shot heading towards the goal to shrink the Rutgers lead to 3-2 in the second quarter but opportunities were hard to come by for the rest of the half. Michael Diehl of Rutgers snuck one in with less than a second remaining on the clock to grab a 4-2 lead at halftime.

After a turnover, a quick Dillon Ayers clear caught the Scarlet Knights off balance and allowed him to find an open Colin Keegan in front of net to cut the deficit to 4-3. Rutgers would answer back shortly after as Nicholas Zerillo connected to push the score to 5-3. Another Rutgers goal made the lead 6-3 and appeared to put the Scarlet Knights in the driver seat in the low scoring affair. Lagodich recorded his second goal of the day on a left-handed effort that made the game 6-4 heading into the final period.

Fitzgerald scored another goal with a swooping lefty shot as the Rutgers defense had been forcing him to his off-hand all game long. Although the Red Storm trailed 6-5, St. John’s was still just one shot away from the tie in the final minute thanks to solid pressure defense from Joe Addona, Harrison Freid and Drew Viscusi.

As Rutgers attempted to run out the clock, St. John’s trapping defensive scheme forced a turnover and head coach Jason Miller took a timeout to set up one final attempt at the tie with 27 seconds remaining. After being stifled much of the day, McArdle was able to create space and find the back of the net to even the game with 18 seconds left.

Faceoff man Jordan Rothman won the ensuing draw quickly and dumped one off to Cernuto to orchestrate the final push. The dangerous attackman drew a double team and smartly found a waiting Holenstein open just outside the crease area. The senior finished off the Scarlet Knights just as he had at last season’s Big City Classic victory where scored four goals in that contest. The final faceoff was just a formality as the last two seconds ticked off and the St. John’s poured onto the field to swarm around Lowman.

St. John’s is now 4-16 against Rutgers all-time but 4-2 under Coach Miller. Miller is also 4-0 this season against coaches that are in the midst of the first year with their programs.

St. John’s lacrosse returns to action this Tuesday, March 20 against Long Island foe Hofstra at 7 p.m. The game will be preceded by a matchup between national championship contenders Denver and Cornell. Keep up with Red Storm lacrosse all season long at and on Twitter by following @STJ_Lacrosse.



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