April 27, 2013
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QUEENS, N.Y. - The most successful senior class of the Red Storm lacrosse era guided St. John's (9-4, 3-3) to its ninth win, a record since program reinstatement in 2005, by topping Marquette 15-10 in the regular season finale at DaSilva Memorial Field.
Before the game St. John's honored its seven seniors, Brandon Ayers, Dillon Ayers, Lamar Howard, Alex Lagodich, Jeff Lowman, Jordan Rothman and Andrew Zbikowski, and recognized them for their contributions to the lacrosse program.
The victory secured the most successful season of the Red Storm lacrosse era surpassing the 2012 win total of eight. The 1992 St. John's lacrosse team went 10-5 and holds the program record for wins in a season. No other team has won more than eight games in the 24 seasons of St. John's lacrosse.
A day after earning a Tewaaraton Award nomination, Kieran McArdleshowed he deserves to be a factor in the Player of the Year conversation with a four-goal and two-assist performance. The junior upped his season totals to 36 goals and 49 assists and recorded his tenth game of five points or more in 2013. McArdle now owns the St. John's record for assists and points in a season, and needs just two goals for the Red Storm Triple Crown.
Keith Switzertied a career-high with four goals against the Golden Eagles; a mark he previously set his freshman year against Villanova. Switzer became the seventh member of the Red Storm to reach double figures in goals on the season. St. John's finished with nine different goal scorers against Marquette.
Lowman turned in another steady performance in a career full of them with 15 saves. The senior finishes the season with a 9-2 record and with the all-time saves record at St. John's. Dillon Ayerscontrolled possession for the Red Storm all game with six groundballs. Rothman had a team-high groundballs that was spurred on by a 7-10 faceoff ledger in the second quarter.
John Bello was force on the defensive end in his first career start, as he dished out a number of big hits and caused four turnovers. Joe Addonadrew the matchup with Marquette's leading scorer Tyler Melnyk and held him to just one goal late in the contest.
Connor Bernal and Conor Gately both finished with hat tricks for Marquette and JJ Sagl recorded 13 saves.
The Red Storm outshot the Golden Eagles 41-to-38 and finished a perfect 16-of-16 on clears. The teams were an even 14-of-28 on faceoffs and Marquette narrowly won the groundball battle 35-to-33.
Bernal opened the scoring and put Marquette up 1-0, but Switzer answered on the next possession off a feed from Alex Lagodich. McArdle scored the first of three man-up goals for St. John's less than two minutes later after Sagl turned it over in front of his own net and McArdle faked his way to a score. Bernal completed a natural hat trick with the final two goals of the quarter and gave the Golden Eagles a 3-2 lead after one.
Switzer started a six-goal run for the Johnnies with a pair of tallies to open the second quarter off assists from Ryan Fitzgerald and Kevin Cernuto. James Bonanno and Brandon Ayers followed with unassisted efforts from the midfield to cap a three-goal string in just 58 seconds for the Johnnies. The attack then matched the production as Stefan Diachenkoburied a pass from McArdle on the man-up and Cernuto scored off an inside roll to stretch the St. John's lead to 8-3. The Golden Eagles responded with a streak of their own to end the half as Gately bookended scores around a Nelson goal in the final two minutes to pull within two. Marquette had redirected the momentum of the game, despite the 8-6 lead for St. John's at the intermission.
In a relatively quiet third quarter with only three total goals, McArdle struck first after Connor Mullen set him up for a transition finish after a quick clear. Gately scored his third goal for Marquette to reduce the lead to 9-7. Colin Keeganput in a man-up goal from his knees as the clock on the EMO ran down to give St. John's its third man-up tally and a 10-7 advantage heading into the fourth.
Early in the fourth quarter, Fitzgerald found McArdle on the right side of cage and St. John's leading scorer had all the time he needed to fire one into the net. The duo would reverse roles a few possessions later as McArdle fed a cutting Fitzgerald in front of goal for an easy finish. At 6:59, Switzer emerged from a scrum with a well-deserved groundball and beat Sagl for his fourth score. Tyler Melnyk scored his first with 4:07 left to make it 13-8, but McArdle quickly fired back with his fourth goal of the game. Tyler Gilligan scored on a deep effort in transition at 2:45 for Marquette. Lagodich scored the final St. John's goal left-handed with 1:32 to make it 15-9. Thomas Place tallied the last goal of the game to slot the final at 15-10 and close out the final game of the regular season.
St. John's needs a Rutgers victory over Georgetown to earn the final spot in the BIG EAST Lacrosse Championship.
Stay up to date with all St. John's lacrosse news at Redstormsports.com and following the team on Twitter, @STJ_Lacrosse.