Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/24/13
From Press Release and Staff Report
St. John’s (6-2, 1-1) received another set of standout performances from Kieran McArdle, six goals and seven assists, as well as goalie Jeff Lowman, 15 saves, to hold off Robert Morris (4-4, 0-0) Saturday at Malvern Prep and achieve the best start to a season since program reinstatement in 2005.
The game was played at Malvern Prep when St. John’s had to move its home game. The game was a homecoming for many Philly players that star on each team.
For the Red Storm, Colin Keegan (Springfield-Delco) had two goals and an assist, Connor Mullen (Downingtown West) had a goal and an assist, defenseman Mark DiFrancia (La Salle) had two caused turnovers and defenseman Joe Addona (Springfield-Delco) had two groundballs.
For Robert Morris, Dave Morton (Hill School) had a goal and an assist, Eric Rankel (Downingtown West) had a goal, defenseman Joe Scenna (Perkiomen Valley) had four groundballs and a caused tuirnover and LSM Tyler Rankel (Downingtown West) had three groundballs and a caused turnover.
The Red Storm has now won six of its first eight games, topping the 2009 squad which previously held the record for best start to the season at 5-3. The 1982 St. John’s lacrosse team holds the school record of 8-2, but did not play a Division I schedule at the time. St. John’s has now won three straight games, defeating Rutgers, Hofstra and Robert Morris, marking the Red Storm’s first three-game winning streak since 2011.
McArdle entered the week second in the nation for points per game (6.67) and continued to bolster that number with a 13-point effort against the Colonials. The junior broke his own program record for single-game points, which he set with 12 against Rutgers earlier this season. The Ronkonkoma, N.Y. native has totaled 57 points (23 goals, 34 assists) on the year, just three shy of his 2012 production that earned him Honorable Mention All-American status. The 13 points is the individual game-high for NCAA Division I in 2013 and the highest total by any Division I player since the start of the 2010 season.
A positive sign for St. John’s was the continued contributions of the midfield which accounted for seven goals. Alex Lagodich recorded his first hat trick of the season with three goals on five shots. Colin Keegan tallied two goals and an assist while Kevin Cernuto added a goal and two assists to round out the scoring for the starting attack unit.
Lowman and Dillon Ayers held steady on the defensive end to thwart any Colonial comeback. Lowman entered the week ranked 12th nationally in saves per game and registered another 15 saves against Robert Morris. The senior now has 41 stops in his last three games.
Dillon Ayers totaled nine groundballs for the second-straight game while also forcing four turnovers. Brandon Ayers posted a strong performance in the defensive midfield with six groundballs, four caused turnovers and his third goal of the season. Jordan Rothman excelled at the X winning 18-of-25 faceoffs and picked up a career-high 11 groundballs against Robert Morris.
It was a wild game that featured 20 penalties between the two teams and 10 man-up opportunities for the Red Storm. The Johnnies converted on five and held Robert Morris to just 3-of-7 to gain the advantage in the specialty game. The St. John’s close defense of Addona, DiFrangia and Drew Viscusi battled to kill off both a two and three-minute non-releasable penalty during the course of the game to prevent any huge momentum swings.
St. John’s improves to 3-0 all-time against Robert Morris. The Red Storm was outshot 45-42 but maintained possession with 48 groundballs. The groundball total was the second-highest since program reinstatement trailing just a 50-groundball day against Wagner on March 29, 2006.