March 6, 2018
PHILADELPHIA - Led by another balanced offensive attack, the St. John’s lacrosse team defeated Saint Joseph’s, 12-7, on Tuesday afternoon at Sweeney Field in Philadelphia.
With the game tied at seven heading into the fourth quarter, the Red Storm (3-2) dominated the final 15 minutes of action by outscoring the Hawks (0-3), 5-0, in-route to its first road victory of the season.
The Johnnies were led by a trio of players who recorded four points or more: Jason DeBenedictis, Colin Duffy, and Matt Oehl.
After failing to record a point on Saturday, DeBenedicitis was a force on the field today for St. John’s, scoring four goals and adding a pair of assists for a six-point game.
The six points match a career high for the senior as the senior becomes only the 12th player in program history to reach the 100-point plateau in the victory.
Just a day after being named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll, Duffy continued to fill the back of the net on offense. The junior tallied a hat trick on just four shots and dished out an assist for his first four-point outing of the season.
After missing last weekend’s game with an illness, Oehl returned in a big way for the Johnnies with a career-best game. The sophomore recorded a career-high four points, all coming via the assist.
Recording a career-high three points with a trio of assists against High Point, Declan Swartwood matched his three-point effort by tallying his first-collegiate hat trick in the victory. The junior’s third goal of the game proved to be the turning point, breaking the 7-7 tie just 2:22 into the final quarter and put the Johnnies up for good.
TJ Marron and Joe Madsen each tallied a goal for the Red Storm, with Madsen adding an assist and Marron collecting three groundballs.
Luke Roediger led the team with four groundballs as St. John’s finished with a 30-27 advantage for the game.
Matt Hanley turned in another great effort in the crease for the Johnnies, stopping nine shots and turning aside all four attempts the Hawks fired on goal in the final quarter.
Failing to convert on two of its opening three clears of the game, St. John’s finished 17-of-19 in clear opportunities, including a perfect 12-for-12 over the game’s final three frames. Saint Joseph’s, who entered the tilt as one of the top clearing teams in the country, finished 9-for-12.
The Hawks controlled the faceoff circle for much of the contest, posting 15 wins on 23 chances. Justin Corpolongo won five draws to lead the Red Storm.
The opening five minutes of the game was defined by scrappy, defensive play as both sides struggled to get any offensive looks.
St. John’s got on the board first when DeBenedictis was left alone in his favorite spot and Oehl found him with a perfect pass to make it 1-0 Johnnies.
The Hawks answered on the next possession, but the tie was short lived as Duffy restored the lead for the visitors with a sneaky move from the junior to shake free of the defender and score into the bottom corner for a 2-1 advantage.
Hanley, reigning BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, showed why he was deserving of the honor through the first quarter. The senior made a trio of saves during the opening 15 minutes, including a leg save from point blank to deny the Hawks from tying the game.
Saint Joseph’s evened the game on the opening possession of the second quarter with a give-and-go passing play. The Hawks had an opportunity to lead for the first time on the ensuing faceoff, but Haney came up with another great save.
The Red Storm gained some offensive-zone time following the Hanley save, and was able to draw a penalty to give the Johnnies their first man-up opportunity of the game.
On the extra-man chance, DeBenedictis tallied his second goal of the afternoon with a rocket from his office again to quickly put St. John’s back in front.
With the momentum building after the goal, TJ Marron provided the highlight of the first half with a great showing of individual effort to push the lead to 4-2.
The senior wheeled around the net, took on his defender, spun, and fired a no-look shot into the top corner for his second tally of the season.
Moments later, Swartwood pushed the lead to three with a one-time goal off another slick feed from Oehl for his first goal of the season.
The Hawks tallied on a fluky goal when a shot ricocheted off of Hanley, over his head, and into the net, cutting the score to 5-3; however, Swartwood replied quickly with his second goal of the quarter from nearly the exact spot of his first to give the Johnnies a 6-3 lead.
Hanley made his sixth-and-final save of the first half in the closing seconds to send the visitors to the locker room with a three-goal advantage.
St. John’s opened the second half with a pair of great plays on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
John Saunders made a great play on the ball to thwart an offensive attack by the Hawks, leading to the counterattack for the seventh goal of the day for the Johnnies.
Oehl slipped his fourth assist of the day to Joe Madsen who wired a shot off the post and in for his first of the day, and giving the Red Storm a 7-3 lead.
Saint Joseph’s finally broke through in the third quarter with a goal from the slot, and earned a man-up opportunity with a chance to close the gap.
With the man advantage, the Hawks struck again to cut the lead down to 7-5 and then immediately brought the deficit down to one with another goal with 2:25 to play in the third.
The home side won the ensuing faceoff and continued to pressure the Johnnies before eventually tying the game at seven with just under a minute to play in the quarter.
Moving into the fourth quarter with the tilt even at seven, Saint Joseph’s was able to win the opening faceoff looking to take its first lead of the game.
Hanley turned aside his seventh shot of the day, and allowed the Johnnies to finally settle in on the attack.
With a delayed penalty coming to the Hawks, Mike Madsen found Swartwood all alone in the middle of the slot who beat the goalkeeper for the hat trick and give the Red Storm an 8-7 lead just three minutes into the final frame.
St. John’s dialed up the defense following the goal, forcing Saint Joseph’s into a shot-clock violation and heading right back on the attack.
The Red Storm fired the game’s next seven shots before the eighth finally found the twine as Duffy tallied his second of the game with a great drive to the net and finish to make it 9-7 Johnnies with fewer than seven minutes to play.
Hanley made a spectacular toe save to keep the Red Storm up by two before Duffy added his third goal of the afternoon for his second hat trick of the season and put the game out of reach.
The Johnnies closed out the final two minutes of the contest with a pair of goals from DeBenedictis to end the game with a 12-7 score.
St. John’s returns to action on Saturday when the Johnnies battle Siena at 1 p.m. at DaSilva Memorial Field.