LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 4/6/13
From Press Release
No. 14/10 St. John’s (7-2, 2-1) earned a big victory over top-ranked Notre Dame last weekend, but the BIG EAST grind carries on as the Red Storm turns its attention to a tough Georgetown (4-6, 1-1) squad at the Battle at Bethpage on the campus of Bethpage H.S. at 2 p.m. today.
The Battle at Bethpage will be broadcast in New York and New Jersey by Verizon FIOS1 and will run on tape delay on Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. The game will also be available through Verizon FIOS’s video-on-demand service in the two regions as well. Ralph Bednarczyk will be on the call with former Hofstra and UMass assistant coach Rich Donovan providing the color commentary.
SERIES HISTORY: ST. JOHN’S vs. GEORGETOWN
The Red Storm is 2-10 all-time against the Hoyas, and owns a 2-4 ledger against Georgetown under head coach Jason Miller.
The two teams have never met on a neutral field prior to the Battle of Bethpage.
St. John’s has defeated Georgetown twice when the Hoyas were ranked. The Red Storm beat then-No. 20 Georgetown 13-12 in overtime in Washington D.C. on April 7, 2012 and defeated then-No. 5 Hoyas 10-9 on Feb. 27, 2009.
The Red Storm holds a 1-2 record against the Hoyas all-time in BIG EAST Conference play after going 1-4 against Georgetown when both were members of the ECAC Lacrosse Conference.
The last four games between St. John’s and Georgetown have been decided by an average of just 2.25 goals.
PREVIOUS MEETING: TWO GOALS IN FINAL 21 SECONDS GIVE RED STORM 13-12 OVERTIME VICTORY OVER NO. 20 GEORGETOWN
In a matter of moments the mood on the St. John’s sideline went from heartbreak to euphoria as two Red Storm goals in the game’s final throes set up an overtime 13-12 victory over No. 20 Georgetown.
A team that had suffered through the frustration of numerous close call upsets, the Red Storm flipped the script in dramatic fashion against the Hoyas. Trailing 12-10 with only 42 seconds remaining, St. John’s took a timeout to set up the final push. Things went according to plan from there, as Ryan Fitzgerald promptly connected on a tough shot from the right side with 21 seconds left. Despite struggling throughout the second half, Jordan Rothman was able to grind out a win on the next faceoff which eventually led to senior Harry Kutner fighting through a hold and converting a left-handed shot to tie the score at 12 with only seven seconds remaining. The regulation drama wasn’t quite over as goalie Jeff Lowman turned away two point blank shots by Georgetown after the ensuing faceoff.
Rothman would win the opening faceoff in overtime and Kevin Cernuto almost ended things immediately but his effort went just wide of the netting. After a timeout, Fitzgerald attacked a short pole with a pretty spin move that freed the sophomore up in front of goal for the game winner. Fitzgerald’s two timely goals brought the midfielder to nine tallies in the last five games.
The victory was as monumental as it was exciting for St. John’s as it claimed its first triumph over a ranked opponent since defeating then-No. 5 Georgetown on Feb. 27, 2009. The Red Storm players also left the field carrying the distinction as the only team in program history to win at Georgetown. It was also the first overtime victory for the Red Storm since an 8-7 victory against Vermont on March 20, 2010. The season’s sixth victory also gave coach Miller his highest season total and the most Red Storm wins in one year since the program’s reinstatement.
Kieran McArdle finished the game with a team-high six points on two goals and four assists. It is the fourth time in 2012 McArdle recorded at least five points in a game. Kutner finished with three goals and an assist and Cernuto scored on two unassisted efforts. Lowman had a season-high 17 saves. Defenseman Harrison Freid had arguably his best performance as a Johnnie with four groundballs and two caused turnovers.
LAST TIME OUT: GIANT KILLERS: NO. 20/19 RED STORM TAKES DOWN NO. 1 NOTRE DAME 12-10
No. 20/19 St. John’s played the role of giant killer once again as the Red Storm topped No. 1 Notre Dame (6-2, 1-1), 12-10 at Arlotta Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind., for its third victory over a ranked opponent on the season and first-ever over a top-ranked team.
The triumph over the No. 1 Fighting Irish overtook the 8-7 victory over then-No. 2 Notre Dame at the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on May 3, 2012 at Villanova Stadium for the highest victory over a ranked team in St. John’s history. The Red Storm had been 0-2 all-time against No. 1 opponents heading into the matchup with the Fighting Irish.
St. John’s was able to dictate the tempo as the 12th-ranked Red Storm offense got the better of the fifth-ranked Irish defense with 12 goals. The Johnnies became the first team since Syracuse on May 1, 2010 to score 12 or more goals at Notre Dame.
Cernuto led the Johnnies on the offensive end with four goals and three assists, which tied a career-high in points. Cernuto recorded his fifth hat trick in his last six games and has accumulated 23 goals and 12 assists on the year. The junior became just the seventh player to score seven or more points against Notre Dame since the start of the 1998 season. The last Red Storm player to put up seven points against Notre Dame and the BIG EAST’s Offensive Player of the Week, McArdle, turned in another excellent performance with three goals and two assists. McArdle scored all three goals in the second quarter which allowed St. John’s to take control of the game. Colin Keegan scored another two goals which brought the total to nine for the impressive Red Storm attack. Connor Mullen finished with two goals and an assist of his own.
On the defensive side of the field, Lowman registered 13 saves with nine in the first half, as the senior’s difficult stops deflated the Irish attack. Lowman moved into second on the St. John’s all-time saves list with 582 for his career and is now just four away from breaking the program record. Senior captain Dillon Ayers picked up six groundballs and caused two turnovers as he battled to claim the midfield for St. John’s.
St. John’s now owns the longest winning streak in the BIG EAST as the Red Storm have won four straight, all since Coach Miller shaved his head for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The Red Storm improved to 4-1 in road and neutral site games in 2013 and 5-1 in games decided by two goals or less. The Red Storm moved to 2-4 all-time against the Irish and claimed its first victory at Notre Dame.
The Red Storm outshot the Irish 38-36 and won the groundball battle 34-28. St. John’s was very effective in the riding game holding Notre Dame to just 14-of-19 on clears and forced a number of key turnovers.
Sean Rogers scored three goals for the Irish and goalie John Kemp stopped 11 shots.
STORMING THE RANKINGS
· Entering the week, McArdle ranks second in the NCAA for points per game (6.89), seventh in goals per game (2.89) and second in assists per game (4.0). McArlde also ranks 38th in shot percentage at 40.0 percent. The only NCAA statistical champion in Red Storm history was assistant coach Dom DeNapoli who led the nation in groundballs in 2009.
· Cernuto ranks 18th in points per game (3.89) and 19th in goals (2.56).
· Keegan ranks 58th in the NCAA in goals (2.0) and 72nd in shooting percentage with a 35.3 percent rate on the year.
· The Red Storm ranks in the top-30 nationally in eight major statistical categories. St. John’s ranks 14th in scoring offense (11.89 goals per game), 19th in man-up offense (37.5 percent), 12th in assists per game (7.22), fifth in saves per game (14.00), 14th in points per game (19.11), 11th in turnovers per game (13.89) and eighth in shooting percentage (32.6 percent).
· Long stick midfielder Dillon Ayers is fifth on the active long pole career scoring list with 17 career points (4 goals, 13 assists).
· McArdle is tied for fourth among active NCAA players with 86 career assists. He is the only junior among the top-ten active career assists leaders.
REWRITING THE HISTORY BOOKS
· McArdle is now among St. John’s all-time leaders in points, goals and assists. The junior’s 161 points has him ranked third on the all-time list and is the most since program reinstatement in 2005. McArdle’s 75 career goals is tied for third on the all-time goal scorers list. His 86 assists also places him third all-time and the most since the program was restarted.
· Lowman has now amassed 582 saves over his three seasons which places him second all-time at St. John’s and the leader since reinstatement. Lowman is now just four saves shy of the school record.
In 38 career games, Cernuto has moved into a tie for sixth on the St. John’s all-time goals list at 71 with John Salerno and Tom Michaelsen. His 109 career points are also good for sixth all-time.
· Dillon Ayers is now slotted ninth all-time among St. John’s groundball leaders with 209 for his career.
· Rothman came into the season as the school’s all-time leading faceoff winner and has increased his total to 533.
BROKEN RECORDS: LOWMAN SEEKS ST. JOHN’S ALL-TIME SAVES MARK
Lowman trails St. John’s all-time saves leader Joe Weingart (1983-1986) by just three saves. The senior needs four saves against Georgetown to grab become the all-time saves leader in program history.
GET IT STARTED: ST. JOHN’S GRABS BEST START SINCE REINSTATEMENT
St. John’s captured the best start to a season since program reinstatement in 2005 by defeating Robert Morris. The Red Storm is now 7-2 and topped the 2009 team for the record with a 5-3 mark to open the season.
The best start in program history was 8-2 in 1982, but St. John’s did not play a Division I schedule at that time. The 7-2 start is the best by any St. John’s team against a Division I slate of opponents.
ST. JOHN’S CLIMBS IN NATIONAL POLLS
The St. John’s lacrosse team moved up in the national rankings to No. 14 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll and No. 10 in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.
It’s the highest ranking in either poll throughout the history of the Red Storm lacrosse program.
The Red Storm finished the 2012 season ranked No. 20 in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike Media Poll.
Prior to 2013, the last time St. John’s was ranked in the USILA Coaches’ Poll was on March 2, 2009 at No. 19.
STRONG ISLAND: JOHNNIES FROM LONG ISLAND
Eleven players on the St. John’s roster hail from Long Island and prepare to take on their backyard rival.
Long Island natives include Dillon and Brandon Ayers, McArdle, James Bonanno, Donal Flaherty, James Bonanno, Tim Brown, Nick Sherry, Mario Carrera, Eric Moosbrugger, Chris Hughes and Joseph Della Fera.
CLEAN CUT: ST. JOHN’S 4-0 SINCE HEAD COACH JASON MILLER SHAVED HIS HEAD
Coach Miller has been sporting a brand new haircut, as he shaved his head on Thursday, March 14 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation raising over $8,500 in support of childhood cancer research.
The Red Storm have defeated Rutgers, Hofstra, Robert Morris and Notre Dame since Miller went to the new look.
BIG EAST STREAKS: ST. JOHN’S KEEPS ROLLING
St. John’s defeat of Notre claimed the longest win streak in the BIG EAST as the Red Storm has now won four-straight games.
ON THE ATTACK: ST. JOHN’S ATTACK UNIT PRODUCTIVITY
The St. John’s starting attack unit of Cernuto, Keegan and McArdle is responsible for 67 of the 107 goals (62.6 percent) scored so far this season.
McArdle has recorded 62 points on the Red Storm’s 107 goals in 2013, which has him involved in 58.9 percent of the team’s scoring.
Keegan has totaled 18 goals in nine games, which surpasses his output from all of the 2012 season.
WHEN THE TOUGH GET GOING: THE RED STORM IN CLOSE GAMES
St. John’s boasts a 5-1 record in games decided by two goals or less so far in 2013.
In the past two seasons, the Red Storm is 9-3 in games decided by two goals or less after going 4-2 in 2012.
St. John’s has gone 3-0 in one-goal games this season and 6-2 in the last two seasons.
BIG EAST REPORT: CERNUTO EARNS SECOND OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
A four-goal, three-assist performance in the Red Storm’s victory over then-No. 1 Notre Dame earned Cernuto his second BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honor for the 2013 season.
Cernuto led the Johnnies on the offensive end, as he tied a career-high in points with seven. The junior recorded his fifth hat trick in his last six games and has accumulated 23 goals and 12 assists on the year. Cernuto became just the seventh player to score seven or more points against Notre Dame since the start of the 1998 season.
A Red Storm player has now taken BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week accolades each of the last three weeks after Kieran McArdle was named the conference’s leader the past two weeks. Cernuto was named Offensive Player of the Week after a two-goal, three-assist day against Yale on Feb. 23 in the 10-9 St. John’s victory.
Earlier in the season, McArdle was selected to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List for the most outstanding player in college lacrosse.
McArdle is second in the NCAA in points per game at 6.89 and ranks second in assists and seventh in goals. The junior trails only Lyle Thompson of Albany in points and assists.
McArdle was ranked third on Terry Foy’s April 3 Player of the Year Watch for Inside Lacrosse behind Rob Pannell of Cornell and Thompson.
McARDLE BECOMES ST. JOHN’S LEADING SCORER SINCE REINSTATEMENT
With a strong start to the 2013 season, McArdle has past Tom Michaelsen as the program’s leading scorer since reinstatement with 161 career points. McArdle broke the previous record of 117 points set by Michaelsen from 2005-2008. The junior now has 75 goals, 86 assists and 161 points for his career.
McArdle became just the second player since program reinstatement to reach 100 career points against Holy Cross on Feb. 16, 2013; doing so in his first 30 games.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK: CERNUTO GETS 100 CAREER POINTS
Cernuto reached the century mark in points for his career against Hofstra and has accumulated 111 for his career. The junior became the third Red Storm player to accomplish the feat since reinstatement.
Cernuto ranks sixth on the all-time list at St. John’s for points and is tied for sixth in career goals with 71.
AWARD SEASON: BIG EAST POLL AND PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM ANNOUNCED
McArdle was honored as the Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in points and assists the season before.
Dillon Ayers joined McArdle on the Preseason All-BIG EAST team as both were unanimous selections.
It was the second-consecutive year that Dillon Ayers received postseason honors after becoming the first player awarded in Red Storm history in 2012.
Georgetown enters with a 4-6 record and a 1-1 mark in BIG EAST play under first-year coach Kevin Warne.
After topping Providence 16-8 in their conference opener, the Hoyas fell Wednesday evening to Villanova, 8-6, in Washington D.C. Reilly O’Connor and Travis Comeau both led with two goals apiece but the Wildcats defense was mostly able to control the attack allowing only 26 Georgetown shots.
Georgetown is 1-3 in away games this season with a neutral site 10-9 victory over Dartmouth at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
The Hoyas own the 31st ranked scoring offense at 9.89 goals per game and the 49th ranked scoring defense at 11.33 goals per game. Georgetown finds its strength in the faceoff game as specialist Tyler Knarr holds the fourth-best percentage in the nation with a 65.7 percent success rate.
The Georgetown offense also connects at a solid rate as a 31.0 percent clip for shot percentage ranks 13th in the nation.
O’Connor is the team’s leading scorer with 3.44 points per game and recorded nine points, five goals and four assists, in the Hoyas first BIG EAST game of the season.