On Saturday afternoon the St. John’s men’s lacrosse team lost their first ever meeting with new Big East rival Denver (10-2, 3-0 Big East) at the Pioneer’s Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Saturday’s defeat went down as the third straight loss for the Red Storm in conference play.
St. John’s (6-6, 2-3 Big East) did not lead at any point in the game, despite holding itself to the second fewest amount of turnovers it has committed all season, as well as scoring during both of its extra-man opportunities. The Red Storm were unable to overcome the shots disparity, which saw Denver end the match with a 46-34 edge.
“I think this game got away from us at the end,” St. John’s head coach Jason Miller said. “We did a good job overall and played well for a good chunk of the game. They finished some opportunities early on that we didn’t, and subsequently we were in a little bit of a hole in the second half that we were never able to climb out of. I don’t think you can look at the score and say we didn’t play well. They scored three goals in the final minute and a half when we were trying to scramble around. At 11-8 we were right there but probably didn’t get enough touches to get any closer. It really goes back to not being able to get ourselves out of that early deficit which was probably just a byproduct of them finishing a few couple more opportunities than we did.”
The Red Storm went into the half trailing Denver 7-3, as the Pioneers were able to capitalize on three penalties that were committed in the second quarter by the Johnnies.
Early in the fourth stanza it seemed that St. John’s might be poised to make a comeback as the Red Storm were able to reduce the Pioneers to lead to just 11-8 following a turnover by Denver’s Sean Cannizzaro that ultimately resulted in a goal by senior midfielder Ryan Fitzgerlad with 9:28 remaining. Denver quickly ended any hopes of a St. John’s victory and regained control of the match, responding with two scores in a two minute span. Despite a final push which saw senior attackman Kieran McArdle register his 35th assist of the season on a goal by senior attackman Colin Keegan, the Pioneers were able to ensure their victory by scoring three unanswered goals in the matches’ final two minutes.
Following the loss in Denver, St. John’s will be back in action against Villanova (5-6, 3-1 Big East) on April 19 at DaSilva Memorial Field for their final home game of the 2014 season.