Feb. 9, 2018
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QUEENS, N.Y. - For the first time this season, the St. John’s men’s lacrosse team will take the field for regular-season action as the Johnnies open their 2018 slate in a road contest against No. 8/7 Rutgers on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s game, slated for a 1 p.m. start, can be streamed live on BTN Plus with Lou Brogno and Rick Mercurio on the call from High Point Solutions Stadium.
The contest marks the four-consecutive year the Red Storm will open its season against the former BIG EAST rival and the third time the programs will square off in Piscataway.
Rutgers (1-0) leads the series, 8-5, since the 2005 season, and has dominated the series as of late by winning the previous four meetings.
Last season, the Red Storm couldn’t contain the Scarlet Knights, falling 16-8 at DaSilva Memorial Field. Joe and Mike Madsen foreshadowed break-out seasons for the Johnnies in the loss, each collecting their first-career points.
St. John’s claimed four-straight wins of its own from 2010-2013, and won its first-ever ECAC game over Rutgers in 2007.
A year ago, Joe Madsen put together one of the best freshman seasons for the Johnnies, leading the team in both goals (20) and points (25). He became the first freshman to reach the 20-goal plateau for the Red Storm since Kevin Cernuto and Kieran McArdle both reached the mark in 2011.
Senior Jason DeBenedictis looks to rebound from an injury-riddled 2017 as the Holbrook, N.Y., native’s 83-career points now sits tied for 18th in St. John’s history. With 17 more points, DeBenedictis would become the tenth player in program history to reach 100 points in a career.
The Johnnies also bring in ten newcomers into the fold, including nine freshmen and former St. Michael’s College goalkeeper Matt Hanley. Hanley played the previous three seasons with the Purple Knights where he allowed 10 goals or fewer in 7-of-12 starts.
The Scarlet Knights enter Saturday’s showdown with a 1-0 mark. Rutgers defeated Robert Morris, 11-7, last weekend on its home field. Christian Trasolini led the team with three goals, while Jules Heningburg paced the team with six points (one goal and five assists). Christian Mazzone also had two goals and two assists, with Casey Rose scoring twice. Max Edelmann made five saves in goal.
Rutgers was selected to finish third in the Big Ten by the league’s coaches during the preseason. Entering the year, the Scarlet Knights were ranked eighth and seventh in the Inside Lacrosse and USILA Coaches Poll, respectively.
Last season, Rutgers finished with a 10-4 record and 2-3 slate in conference play. The Scarlet Knights just missed out on the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
St. John’s will open up its home schedule on Feb. 17 as the Johnnies host Hartford at 1 p.m.