LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 3/20/12
From Press Release
St. John’s (4-2, 1-1) has been playing solid lacrosse over the past few weeks as it enters with two consecutive wins, but will be tested against No. 19 Hofstra (3-3, 1-0) in the difficult atmosphere of James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. on tonight with national title contenders Cornell and Denver squaring off before at 4 p.m.
St. John’s comes into the game receiving votes in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media and the USILA Coaches’ Polls.
The Red Storm enters 2-11 all-time and has dropped contests each of the last two seasons against the Pride. The last St. John’s victory over Hofstra came on April 15, 1992; however, the teams have only met five times since that game.
When the two teams met last season at Hofstra, the Red Storm gave the eighth-ranked Pride everything they could handle during an 8-5 loss. Hofstra opened up a 7-0 lead, but a second half surge by St. John’s kept things interesting through the final minutes. Kieran McArdle led the team with three points (one goal, two assists) and Ryan Fitzgerald converted a team-high two goals.
Hofstra drew a lot of attention for its green St. Patrick’s Day jerseys but it was the team’s play that should put most on notice as the Pride claimed a dominating 13-5 victory over conference rival Delaware. The Pride took a 6-5 advantage into halftime against the Blue Hens but came out hot in the second half finishing the final thirty minutes with a 7-0 advantage. Junior midfielder Adrian Sorichetti led the way with three goals and two assists.
LAST TIME OUT
St. John’s (4-2, 1-1) had trouble finding the net all day long against Rutgers (4-4, 0-1) but was able to convert when it mattered most, as the Red Storm scored two goals in the last 18 seconds 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. McArdle had scored seconds earlier following a St. John’s 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 Alex Lagodich and Fitzgerald 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.
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.
RED STORMING THE RANKINGS (As of March 19)
After a strong early season start, many members of the St. John’s roster are now ranked among the nation’s statistical leaders after the first four weeks of play.
McArdle (eleven goals, ten assists) is tied for 30th in points per game (3.50) and 21st in assists per game (1.67) nationally. McArdle leads the BIG EAST conference in points per game and ranks third in assists per game. The sophomore also recorded highest individual point total of any BIG EAST player this season with his eight-point performance against Holy Cross on Feb. 18.
Cernuto (ten goals, eight assists) ranks among the nation’s best in points per game (3.00) at 50thand assists per game (1.33) at 48th. Among BIG EAST leaders he ranks sixth in points per game and ninth in goals per game.
Jordan Rothman ranks 25th in the NCAA for groundballs per game (5.00). The junior also ranks 23rd in the nation for faceoff win percentage (55.2 percent).
Lowman, a Tewaaraton Award Watch List member, ranks sixth in saves per game (12.17) and 13th in save percentage (57.5 percent) with 73 saves and 54 goals allowed. The junior goalie also leads the BIG EAST in saves per game.
SCOUTING THE PRIDE
Hofstra has battled to a .500 mark in 2012, playing a ranked opponent in all but one week this season. Hofstra has also found itself on the losing side of two overtime decisions already this season.
The Pride have made four straight NCAA tournaments and are coming off a 13-3 season that with a first round loss to Johns Hopkins University.
Head coach Seth Tierney needed to replace all three starting attackmen from last season and he’s turned to Lance Yapor and Adrian Sorichetti to carry the offense thus far. The duo has combined for 30 points and 20 goals in six games.
The goaltender battle between Lowman and Hofstra’s Andrew Gvozden should be an exciting one to watch. Gvozden ranks ninth in save percentage (58.6 percent) and eighth in saves per game (11.33) nationally.
The Red Storm should come in expecting a defensive battle as Hofstra ranks tenth in the NCAA for scoring defense (8.0 goals per game) and first in man-down defense (90 percent). On the flip side, the Pride have struggled to score at times this season ranking 43rd in scoring offense (8.5 goals per game) and 48th on the man-up (26.3 percent).
St. John’s will play under the lights again on Saturday night with a 7 p.m. faceoff in Fairfield, Conn. against non-conference opponent Sacred Heart. Keep up with Red Storm lacrosse all season long at RedStormSports.com and on Twitter by following @STJ_Lacrosse.