LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 1/13/14
From Press Release
Seniors Kieran McArdle and Kevin Cernuto became the latest members of the Red Storm lacrosse program drafted to the nation’s premier professional lacrosse league on Friday evening as the attacking duo was selected in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft held in the Philadelphia Marriott’s Liberty Ballroom in downtown Philadelphia, Pa.
McArdle became St. John’s highest-ever Major League Lacrosse (MLL) draft pick after the record-breaking attackman was selected fifth overall by the Florida Launch, the MLL’s newest franchise. McArdle is the Florida Launch’s first MLL draft pick in team history and the first-ever Red Storm player selected in the draft’s first round.
Cernuto was picked 48th overall by the Chesapeake Bayhawks to mark the first time two Red Storm players have been picked in the same MLL Draft.
“It’s been an exciting night for us,” said Red Storm head coach Jason Miller. “We are unbelievably proud of not only Kieran and Kevin, but of their teammates past and present as well. Watching guys have individual success really is the ultimate team accomplishment. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Dan Paccione and the work he’s invested in these two great players. I’m sure seeing their names get called tonight means a lot to him.”
McArdle and Cernuto, both attackmen, are the fourth and fifth St. John’s lacrosse players to be selected in the Major League Lacrosse Draft, all in the last six years.
In 2008, former Red Storm attackman Thomas Michaelsen became the program’s first player to be drafted by the MLL, as he was taken in the fifth round of the collegiate draft by the San Francisco Dragons. Two years later, current Red Storm assistant coach and former Red Storm defenseman Dom DeNapoli was selected by the Long Island Lizards in the ninth round of the 2010 Supplemental Draft. Last year, St. John’s alumnus and former teammate of McArdle and Cernuto, LSM Dillon Ayers, became the third St. John’s selection in program history as he was drafted by the Denver Outlaws as the 63rd overall pick in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft.
Together and working under the tutelage of Paccione, the Red Storm’s offensive coordinator, McArdle and Cernuto combined to form one of the BIG EAST Conference’s deadliest attacking partnerships in 2013, with both being named unanimous first-team all-conference selections.
As a junior, McArdle became the first St. John’s player ever to be named BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year and was named a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Second Team All-American, the highest individual distinction ever bestowed on a lacrosse player in school history. The Ronkonkoma, N.Y., native tallied 36 goals and 49 assists to set new school records in both assists and points. McArdle also finished as the national leader in assists per game (3.77) and ranked second in Division I in points per game (6.54).
With 3.69 points per game in 2013, Cernuto trailed only teammate McArdle in the BIG EAST to give St. John’s the league’s top two scorers. The Neshanic Station, N.J., native tallied 32 goals and 16 assists on the year and excelled in the heart of the season with seven hat tricks in an eight-game stretch between the beginning of March and the middle of April. Cernuto garnered a pair of BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week awards during the season, including one after a four goal-three assist performance in the Red Storm’s upset of then-No. 1 Notre Dame.
Friday’s MLL Collegiate Draft was part of the 2014 US Lacrosse National Convention that is estimated to bring approximately 7,000 lacrosse coaches, officials, administrators, players, industry representatives and fans to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Friday through Sunday.
Following a pair of exhibitions against the University of Massachusetts and Hartford, the Red Storm opens its 2014 season on Feb. 15 with a 1 p.m. home contest against Holy Cross at DaSilva Memorial Field.