Jack McClellan scored his first two career goals on Saturday afternoon.
Feb. 11, 2017
• Box Score
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QUEENS, N.Y. – The St. John’s lacrosse team (0-1) dropped its season-opener to No. 16/19 Rutgers (1-0) on a brisk Saturday afternoon in Queens, N.Y. Playing on the brand new state-of-the-art turf at DaSilva Memorial Field, the Red Storm was unable to contain the Scarlet Knights high-powered attack, falling in the contest 16-8.
Nick Heller played a major factor in the majority of the Red Storm’s scoring opportunities as the senior midfielder ended the day with three points on two goals and one assist. The Beverly Hills, Calif., native shot a perfect 4-of-4 on goal and picked up one groundball.
Long stick defender Jack McClellan picked up his first-career goal in the second quarter of the contest before adding another goal in the final frame. The senior ended the day with two goals on a perfect 2-of-2 shooting.
Eight other Johnnies tallied points in the contest including a pair of career-firsts for the freshman class. Twins Mike Madsen (1G) and Joe Madsen (1A), who started at attack, each tallied their first career points.
Daniel Costa, a transfer from Fairfield, minded the goal for the Red Storm the entire contest, and saved 15-of-31 shots on goal.
Justin Corpolongo and freshman Erik Suh split duties at the faceoff, as St. John’s topped Rutgers at the “X,” 17-for-26. Corpolongo, a junior, won 12 of his 19 faceoffs while Suh grabbed 5-of-7, against a pair of Rutgers’ faceoff men.
In what was a well-paced and clean game that only saw three penalties amongst the two teams, Rutgers outshot the Johnnies, 47-32, and won the groundballs battle, 36-28. The Scarlet Knights kept St. John’s attack off balance during the contest, forcing the Johnnies into 16 turnovers, nine of which were caused.
Both teams played to a tight and defensive minded first quarter, which only saw four goals between the teams. Rutgers struck first in the contest on a run from behind the net score by Connor Murphy. The Scarlet Knights scored another unassisted goal before Heller got the Red Storm attack going at the 8:27 mark. The Red Storm senior fired a buzzing shot that beat Rutgers’ goalie, Max Edelmann, upper-90.
After trailing 3-1 at the start of the second quarter, St. John’s used a pair of back-to-back goals from Corey Haynes and McClellan to knot things up at three a piece. These goals game within 10 seconds of one another.
Heller assisted a Haynes’ upper-90 rip at the 13:02 mark. Immediately on the following faceoff, Brian Gaffney picked up the groundball in a scramble and found McClellan who short sticked the goalie on a bounce shot in front of the crease, tying the game 3-3 with 12:52 left.
Rutgers used the remaining 13 minutes of the half to go on a 7-0 run, which was highlighted by a pair of goals each by Casey Rose and Christian Mazzone.
Needing a momentum push at the end of the half, freshman Mike Madsen delivered with his first-career goal. TJ Marron ripped a last second shot that was blocked in front of the goal before M. Madsen found the groundball rolling outside of the crease and easily beat the goalie low. This goal pulled St. John’s within 10-4 at the half.
St. John’s and Rutgers traded goals much of the rest of the contest, however the Red Storm was unable to make up any ground on the six goal halftime deficit.
Heller scored his second goal of the afternoon falling down on a bounce shot, as the Scarlet Knights’ defender was called with unnecessary roughness on the play. The Red Storm, who led the BIG EAST in man-up goals last year, took advantage of the man-up opportunity. At the 10:36 mark in the third quarter, Jackson O’Leary scored his first goal in 2017 going low-high on an assist by Jason DeBenedictis.
St. John’s trailed 14-7 at the end of three quarters before both teams combined for just three goals in the final frame.
McClellan scored his second-career goal in this period, as he found himself in the right place at the right time. Off a faceoff win, Corpolongo ripped a shot from about 20 yards out before the ball fell in front of the crease. McClellan was there to pick it up, and finish off the goal on a one-on-one opportunity.
Rutgers’ Jules Heningburg, a Preseason All-American selection, scored his fourth goal of the game with 3:51 left in the final quarter, giving the game its final score, 16-8.
St. John’s welcomes another local foe, Stony Brook, to Queens next Sunday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m.
Keep up with Red Storm lacrosse all season long at RedStormSports.com and on Twitter by following @StJohnsLax and using the hashtag “#SJULAX.”