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Men’s lacrosse: St. John’s closes home season with a win; Hofstra drops tight one to No. 1 UMass

Sunday, 22nd April 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

LIlacrosseNews.com, Posted 4/22/12
From Press Releases

The most successful senior class in St. John’s (7-5, 3-3) lacrosse history since program reinstatement claimed victory in its final home game, 8-4, over BIG EAST foe Providence (1-12, 0-5).

The win locked up the program’s first season with at least a .500 record since it returned in 2005. The Red Storm also secured its first winning home record (3-1) since the team finished 3-2 under head coach Jason Miller at DaSilva Memorial Field in 2007.

Unfortunately St. John’s ticket to the BIG EAST Tournament wasn’t punched as Georgetown won 10-8 at the Carrier Dome to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Red Storm now needs either a Rutgers win over Georgetown or a Syracuse victory over Notre Dame or else the tiebreaker comes down to goal differential.

Kieran McArdle continued to build on his already impressive season with his fifth five-point day of 2012. The sophomore attackman flourished with three goals and two assists including a personal three-score run in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach. McArdle now has sole possession of the team lead in goals with 22 on the season. Classmate Kevin Cernuto finished with two goals and has accounted for 21 goals on the year. Jeff Lowman recorded eight saves on just 12 shots on goal and LSM Dillon Ayers picked up three groundballs and caused two turnovers to pace the defense.

The Red Storm struck first as Cernuto beat Providence goalie Tyler Himes, who was making his first start of the season, on an unassisted shot coming from the left side of the cage. The Friars then took possession and took the life out of the stadium with a five minute stall on offense. The time kept running while the teams remained at a standstill until St. John’s regained the ball and induced a man-up situation with 7:01 remaining in the first quarter. Like they have nine other times this season, the Red Storm looked to senior Terence Leach as he took a pass from McArdle in front of net and deposited it past Himes.

Ryan Fitzgerald scored on a deep attempt early in the second quarter to put St. John’s up 3-0 and the score would stay there as Providence refused to attack the goal. The Friars finished the first half with just three shot attempts, two stopped by Lowman and one high of the net. It was the first time St. John’s recorded a shutout in a half since 2005.

Providence ended its first-half lullaby when Sean Wright connected early in the third quarter to close the gap to 3-1. With the newfound confidence, the Friars offense picked up and Niall Cahill converted off a feed from Andrew Barton and suddenly the Johnnies were only up 3-2 after dominating much of the first half action.

Colin Keegan ended the run when McArdle found him alone in front of cage for a quick score. Cernuto followed up with his second unassisted effort of the game to extend the lead to 5-2 heading into the final period.

When the fourth quarter faceoff broke it immediately became McArdle’s game as he strung together a series of three unassisted goals that put the game ultimately out of reach. With each goal more impressive than the next, McArdle increased his career point total to 85 after he became just the sixth player in St. John’s history to join the 40 goal-40 assist club last weekend against Villanova. A pair of goals by Providence late in the fourth closed the gap to 8-4 but the Red Storm wouldn’t let the deficit shrink any further as the Johnnies closed out the Senior Day victory.

The Red Storm improves to 12-0 all-time and 7-0 at home against Providence. Coach Miller is now 3-0 against the Friars.

UMass 14, Hofstra 13

Pride senior Mike DeNapoli and freshman Mike Malave each scored three goals but three Minutemen players each tallied three goals to lead the top-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen to a Colonial Athletic Association victory over Hofstra in the New England Lacrosse Classic at Gillette Stadium Saturday night. UMass (12-0, 5-0) clinched the CAA regular season title with the win as the Pride slipped to 6-7, 2-3 on the year.

In addition to DeNapoli and Malave, Hofstra received two goals and one assist from sophomore Lance Yapor, two goals from junior Aaron Jones, two assists from freshman Tyler Begley and a goal and an assists by both Steve Serling and Tyler Johnston. Senior goalie Andrew Gvozden made 14 saves in the Pride cage. Hofstra played without its leading scorer, junior Adrian Sorichetti, who suffered from dehydration and was a game-time scratch.

UMass was led by Kyle Smith with three goals and two assists, Colin Fleming with three goals and one assist and Art Kell with three goals. Anthony Biscardi added two goals for UMass. Goalie Tim McCormack made seven saves in the Minutemen cage.

After a sluggish first 20 minutes that saw the Minutemen score the first four goals of the contest and eight of the first 11, the Pride trailed 8-3 at the 9:16 mark of the second quarter as Kell scored his second of the game. But the Pride scored twice in the last 5:21 as Jones scored his fourth of the season and Johnston notched his second of the year with 4:08 to play to close to 8-5 at halftime. UMass scored two of the first three goals in the third quarter as Biscardi scored his 15th of the year just 1:31 in before Malave scored for the Pride at the 10:54 mark. But Fleming tallied his second of the game1:30 later to give UMass a 10-6 advantage.

The Pride rallied at that point scoring the next five goals with DeNapoli tying the game at 10-10 with a man-up goal with 13 seconds to play in the third and junior John Antoniades giving Hofstra its first lead of the game at 11-10, right off the opening face-off (14:52) of the fourth quarter for his second goal of the year. DeNapoli had two goals in the run while Malave and Jones added the other Pride goals during the spurt.

But the Minutemen answered with four straight goals as Kell tied it up with 12:56 to play and Smith scored his third of the game 3:04 later to give UMass a 12-11 lead. Fleming notched his third of the game with 6:02 to play before Biscardi gave the Minutemen a 14-11 lead with his 16th of the year with 5:00 to play.

The Pride didn’t quit as DeNapoli scored off a pass from Yapor 50 seconds later to close to 14-12. Hofstra closed to one goal down with 45 seconds to play on Yapor’s 25th goal of the year. Hofstra won the ensuing face-off, but, after a timeout, turned the ball over with 31 seconds to play as the Minutemen ran out the clock for all but four seconds deep in the Pride zone.

UMass outshot the Pride, 42-31 in the contest and picked up 37 ground balls to Hofstra’s 20. The Pride also turned the ball over 14 times including five in the fourth quarter.

The Minutemen scored the game’s first four goals in 10:49 as Colin Fleming opened the scoring just 1:02 in from the middle of the box. Connor Mooney notched a man-up goal with 8:17 to play in the first and Will Manny posted his 28th of the year 1:23 later for a 3-0 lead. Art Kell closed out the run with his 22nd of the year with 4:11 to play in the first for the 4-0 lead.

But the Pride scored the next two goals as Yapor dented the twine for his 24th of the year with eight seconds to play in the first and Malave notched an unassisted goal on a run through the box 33 seconds into the first quarter to close the gap to 4-2. But UMass came back with goals by Kyle Smith and Steve D’Amario 1:13 apart to boost the lead to 6-2. Hofstra’s Steve Serling scored a man-up goal from Begley just 1:03 later but Smith responded with a man-up goal with 9:38 to before Kell gave the Minutemen their biggest lead of the contest at the 9:16 mark.

The Pride, who saw their chances for a CAA Championship tournament bid diminish greatly with the loss, will close out the 2012 regular season next Saturday, April 28 when they travel to State College, Pennsylvania to face the Nittany Lions of Penn State in a CAA contest at noon.

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