Lacrosse Falls To Denver On Senior Day

Sean Okula, Staff Writer

In their DaSilva sendoff, the seniors of the St. John’s Men’s Lacrosse team almost had their signature moment.

On Saturday, the team’s Senior Day, the Red Storm narrowly missed their first conference victory since the final game of the 2016 season. No. 15/13 Denver ultimately held off the Johnnies, 15-12.

The 10  soon-to-be departed have managed just the one Big East victory in their four years with the lacrosse program. Senior midfielder Declan Swartwood was among those determined to add an upset to the ledger, leading the way with three goals and two assists in the losing effort.

Denver maintained control throughout most of the game. The Pioneers fired off 54 shots to the Johnnies’ 34, including a 30-14 advantage in the first half. But St. John’s battled in their defensive zone. Junior defenseman Pat Smyth led the way with two caused turnovers and scooped ground balls. Freshman goalkeeper Brody Agres added 15 saves.

St. John’s opened the scoring with a goal apiece from the Madsen twins in the game’s first eight minutes. Mike tallied three and Joe scored twice, pushing his team-leading goal total to 24.

Attacker Ethan Walker sparked the Pioneers. He scored two of his game-high six goals in the middle of the first period to propel Denver to a short-lived 5-4 lead at the end of one.

Swartwood came out firing in the second, twice finding the back of the net before the 10 -minute mark. Denver coach Bill Tierney was less than inspired by goalkeeper Alex Ready’s one save to six early goals surrendered, so he pulled the plug on the senior in favor of freshman Cole French. The Pioneers rallied for four goals in the half’s final ten minutes while French held the Red Storm to just one score.

Denver took a 10-7 lead into halftime and didn’t give an inch. Joe Madsen scored with a man advantage at the end of the third period to cut the deficit to two, but Walker answered in the first minute of the fourth with his fifth score. When Swartwood netted one just a minute later, the Red Storm stalled on the offensive end, not scoring again until the final ninety seconds. Denver had already added two more by then, including Walker’s final blow in the final minutes.

The Red Storm will have two more cracks at that ever-elusive conference victory, starting Saturday at Villanova.