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BIG EAST tournament: Philly grads help St. John’s stun No. 2 Notre Dame, 8-7, in semifinals

Thursday, 3rd May 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  

By Michael Sorenson, Posted 5/3/12

Philly grads made huge contributions and upstart St. John’s took an 8-3 lead and then held on to stun second-ranked and top-seeded Notre Dame, 8-7, today in the first round of the inaugural BIG EAST men’s lacrosse tournament at Villanova University.

St. John's goalie Jeff Lowman makes one of 13 saves in Thursday's upset win

St. John’s (8-6) advances to meet the winner of tonight’s Villanova-Syracuse semifinal on Saturday at noon for the championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

St. John’s attackman Kieran McArdle turned in an outstanding performance with three goals and four assists and helped the Red Storm seize the 8-3 lead after three periods.

Sophomore Colin Keegan (Springfield-Delco) had a goal and two assists and senior Charlie Holenstein (Downingtown West) scored once. Freshman Mark DiFrangia (La Salle) and sophomore Joe Addona (Springfield-Delco) helped lead the Red Storm defense and sophomore midfielder Connor Mullen (Downingtown West) made some key defensive plays. Addona had two groundballs and two caused turnovers while DiFrangia made some key hits.

Sophomore Westy Hopkins (La Salle/Lawrenceville School) was a key in helping bring Notre Dame (11-2) back from the huge deficit, scoring three goals, including one with just under three minutes left to play to make it 8-7.

Also for the Irish, sophomore face-off specialist Liam O’Connor (Haverford School) won 14 of 18 face-offs.

The Red Storm – which fell to Notre Dame, 13-6, last month – was aided all day by the strong play of goalie Jeff Lowman. The junior made 13 saves in the contest, including four in the final quarter.

“We played all four quarters, we really came together out there,” said Lowman. “It’s a great feeling…I’m speechless.”

On the offensive side of the ball, McArdle was the catalyst.

“Kieran did what Kieran does, and he’s been doing it all year,” said Red Storm head coach Jason Miller. “He was 2 and 2 in the first half, and (Notre Dame’s) Kevin Randall is no slouch, he’s the defensive player of the year in this conference; for Kieran to do that as a sophomore is unbelievable.”

St. John’s took a large advantage in the second and third quarters with its own streak of four unanswered goals. McArdle made the score 6-2 Red Storm with his 3rd goal of the contest just over 2 minutes into the 3rd quarter.

Notre Dame did not play poorly defensively. The Irish forced 14 turnovers, including seven in the 4th quarter. Big East goaltender of the year, John Kemp, had seven saves.

St. John’s – 2-3-3-0 – 8
Notre Dame – 1-1-1-4 – 7

St. John’s
Kieran McArdle – 3g, 4a
Colin Keegan – 1g, 2a
Terence Leach – 1g, 1a
Harry Kutner – 1g
Ryan Fitzgerald – 1g
Charlie Holenstein – 1g

Jeff Lowman – 13sv

Notre Dame
Westy Hopkins – 3g
Conor Doyle – 2g
Ryan Foley – 1g
Pat Cotter – 1g
Tyler Brenneman – 1a
Tyler Kimball – 1a

John Kemp – 7sv

St. John’s – 27
Notre Dame – 33

Ground Balls
St. John’s – 24
Notre Dame – 32

St. John’s – 4
Notre Dame – 14

St. John’s – 17-19
Notre Dame – 7-9

St. John’s – 1-1
Notre Dame – 1-2

St. John’s – 14
Notre Dame – 13


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