An offensive explosion led the St. John’s lacrosse team to its first win since the season-opener in a 15 -7 rout of Sacred Heart on March 26.
The Red Storm were on point offensively as they got three hat tricks from Kevin Cernuto, Kieran McArdle and Brandon Ayers. Cernuto had four goals and an assist to register five points for the afternoon, tying his career-high.
Cernuto remains in the top 20 in the country in scoring, averaging 2.38 goals per game.
“I’m very happy for our guys,” head coach Jason Miller said. “Their commitment hasn’t wavered over this stretch. We played good and were able to crack through.”
The win snaps the Red Storm’s six game losing streak. After a win over Holy Cross on Feb. 19, the Red Storm fell to Stony Brook and Hofstra, two perennial nationally-ranked powerhouses.
The scoring started when freshman Keith Switzer registered St. John’s first goal off an assist from attacker Charlie Holenstein. McArdle followed that strike with a goal of his own to give St. John’s the lead. Holenstein capped the run with a score at the 4:21 mark off an assist from Cernuto.
Goalie Jeff Lowman made eight saves in 52 minutes of action before being pulled for backup Tommy Cox. The Red Storm only allowed three shots in the second quarter.
St. John’s forced 24 turnovers and had a 33-23 edge in ground balls. The Red Storm outshot the Pioneers 42-31, with 27 shots on goal. Sacred Heart was led Mike Mawdsley, who registered a hat trick, while Bryan Badolato scored two goals.
McArdle was named to the Big East Honor Roll after his games against Hofstra and Sacred Heart. The freshman led the team with seven points McArdle had four goals, three assists, and picked up three ground balls during the two game stretch. McArdle is the fourth member of the Red Storm to be honored joining Kevin Cernuto, Jeff Lowman and Dillion Ayers.
St. John’s (2-6, 0-1) heads to the New Meadowlands Stadium on April 3 to take on Rutgers as part of the Big City Classic. “It’s a big game for different reasons,” said Miller. “We have to take care of business in league games if you want to think about NCAA tournaments.”
North Carolina will take on Johns Hopkins following the Red Storm’s game, and Syracuse and Duke will square off after that.