Colin Duffy scored four points on the afternoon to lead the Red Storm attack.
March 18, 2017
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QUEENS, N.Y. – The St. John’s men’s lacrosse (1-6, 0-0 BIG EAST) comeback efforts fell short against Drexel (3-4, 0-0 CAA) on Saturday afternoon as the Red Storm fell 9-7 to the visiting Dragon at DaSilva Memorial Field.
Despite outshooting the Dragons 42-19, St. John’s came up with only seven goals on the afternoon after an impressive day by Drexel’s goalie, Jimmy Joe Granito. Granito saved a season-high 16-of-23 for a near .700 save percentage.
Colin Duffy paced the Red Storm attack throughout the contest as he came up with a team season-high four point effort on two goals and two assists. The sophomore attackman also grabbed five groundballs on the afternoon.
In his first start since returning from an injury in the second game of the season, captain Jason DeBenedictis assisted on two goals and picked up a groundball.
Paul Tornatore took the majority of the faceoffs, winning an impressive 11-of-16 and added two groundballs.
Jack McClellan and Kyle Skramko played quality minutes as long-stick midfielders as the pair combined for 10 groundballs and four caused turnovers. McClellan scooped up six groundballs and Skramko caused three turnovers.
Freshman attackman Matt Oehl scored his first-career goal in the contest and fellow freshman Mike Madsen added two scores himself.
The two sides combined for 29 turnovers on the afternoon. St. John’s won the groundballs game, 33-17, and both cashed in on 50 percent of their man-up chances (2-of-4 respectively). Drexel made 16 saves to the Red Storm’s three.
In a disjointed first half, both teams failed to score for the opening five minutes of action before Drexel’s Joseph Rainoldi got the Dragons on the board at the 9:55 mark with an unassisted goal. The two sides combined for five penalties and 5:00 of penalty minutes in the first half.
Following the game’s first goal, the Red Storm answered with its lone goal of the first half at the 5:28 mark, cashing in on a man-up opportunity. Despite not getting the starting nod today, M. Madsen found the back of the net on an assist from DeBenedictis. The Red Storm used some quick passing around the net before M. Madsen scored on a short stick move near the corner of the crease.
Drexel responded with two more goals in the first quarter and added three more in the second quarter to open up a 6-1 lead at halftime.
The Dragons’ goalkeeper, Jimmy Joe Granito, kept the Red Storm attack at bay in the first half despite a number of opportunities. Granito saved 8-of-9 shots on net for a .889 save percentage in the first 30 minutes of action. The Red Storm took 17 shots in the opening half and won 5-of-8 faceoffs.
Head Coach Jason Miller and his squad responded in the second half, cutting the lead down to just two goals at several points, however were unable to get over the hump.
After a 30-second push violation by Drexel’s Cam Harris, DeBenedicitis once again found M. Madsen in a near-identical goal from the first half. The duo cashed in the man-up opportunity at the 11:45 mark in the third quarter, cutting the Dragons’ lead to 6-2.
Drexel scored once more at the 9:27 mark before the Red Storm found the back of the net twice prior the end of the third quarter. Duffy scored his first of the afternoon on a wide-open doorstep goal, shot faking the goalie and scoring high on an assist from Scott Scannell.
At the 1:04 mark of the third, Duffy assisted Oehl, with his first-career goal, on a transition opportunity. This goal cut the Drexel lead to 7-4 entering the final frame.
In the final 15 minutes of action, St. John’s outscored Drexel 3-2, as the Red Storm came up short in the contest, 9-7, despite a few opportunities to close the gap at the end of regulation.
At the 10:10 mark, Duffy scored one of the more impressive goals in 2017 off a Jackson O’Leary shot. Drexel’s goalie Granito saved the O’Leary shot as the ball dribbled in front of the crease. With two defenders coming down, Duffy picked up the groundball, went into a roll as he shot behind his back and found the back of the net. This goal, Duffy’s second of the afternoon, cut the lead to 8-6 at the time.
Later in the quarter, at the 3:15 mark, Granito made another impressive save with the Johnnies trailing 9-7. This save would all but wrap up the hopes for the Red Storm. Granito made one final save with 31 seconds left in the game, thwarting the comeback efforts for St. John’s.
Coach Miller and his squad hit the road next weekend for a local rivalry matchup with Hofstra, under the lights, at 7 p.m., on March 25.
Keep up with Red Storm lacrosse all season long at RedStormSports.com and on Twitter by following @StJohnsLax and using the hashtag “#SJULAX.”