April 3, 2010
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Senior Tom Manes had a career day for St. John’s, leading the Red Storm to its first BIG EAST win of the season by scoring the game-winning goal with just under two minutes remaining in the game.
St. John’s 11-10 victory marked the Red Storm’s (4-5, 1-1) first win over Rutgers (5-3, 1-1) since 2007 and the team’s second road win of the season.
Manes’ career-record four goals led the team’s season-best offensive output. St. John’s outscored the Scarlet Knights 6-3 in the second half and 4-1 in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 9-7 after the end of the third, long stick midfielder Dillon Ayers collected a pass on a clear attempt and zipped a pass to starting attacker Charlie Holenstein who netted a goal from the right side of the box. Manes continued the Red Storm momentum by tying the game at nine after a nifty juke on the left side and then set up freshman Tyler Novotny for the go-ahead goal with 9:11 left in the game.
Rutgers’ Justin Pennington tied the score with just over three minutes remaining, setting up Manes’ end-of-game heroics.
Red Storm goalkeeper Jeff Lowman made several clutch stops in the final minutes to preserve the win. Lowman stopped a career-high 16 shots and picked up three ground balls. Lowman is now 2-1 when starting in goal.
“We go over these end-of-game situations every week in practice,” said head coach Jason Miller. “I just kept reminding our guys to stay focused and do what we worked on. I thought Tom had a monster day offensively. He was our unquestioned leader out there today. Jeff played so tough in goal, fighting back after that second quarter. Those two guys paced our team in terms of toughness.”
After Rutgers’ Michael Diehl opened the game’s scoring in the first period, Manes tied the contest by launching a shot set up by senior Garrett Mitchell. Freshman Alex Lagodich gave St. John’s the lead several minutes later by driving through his defender and muscling in a shot from the center of the box with 5:05 left in the first quarter.
The Scarlet Knights opened the second quarter on a tear, scoring five straight goals including three from Gerhard Buehning, to build a 6-2 lead.
St. John’s responded out of a timeout as Harry Kutner scored a goal to break the Rutgers run. After a successful faceoff, Dan Kalata threaded the needle to a wide-open Holenstein who netted a goal from point-blank range. Manes concluded the 3-0 Red Storm run by going top shelf for a goal from the left side, exciting the sideline and bringing the score to 6-5.
Rutgers’ Justin Pennington scored right before half to give the Scarlet Knights a 7-5 advantage at the intermission.
After a Rutgers goal opened the third quarter, St. John’s Kalata found Holenstein in front of the goal once again. A Red Storm faceoff win and Kutner brought the score to 8-7 after circling from behind the net and firing a low shot.
Buehning’s fourth goal extended the Rutgers advantage to 9-7 just minutes later. Strong defensive efforts from both teams kept that margin through the rest of the quarter.
St. John’s did not commit a penalty throughout the entire game, while Rutgers committed three, including a crucial slashing penalty with 1:21 left in the fourth quarter.
Kalata’s two assists marked a career high for the junior, while Holenstein’s five-point output also marked a career best.
Junior Mike Sherry led the defensive effort in front of Lowman, as he collected a team-high six ground balls and caused one turnover.
St. John’s continues BIG EAST play when the team hosts Providence next Saturday at DaSilva Memorial Field at 1 p.m.