The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Turri’s Turnaround Season: What Didn’t Happen & Why He Shouldn’t Be Written Off Yet

Head coach Justin Turri was supposed to bring a new level of competition to St. John’s but has not lived up to the expectation yet.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

A 13-game losing streak. Three wins across the last three seasons. When head coach Justin Turri took over this past offseason, it served as a glimmer of hope. Finally, the St. John’s lacrosse program would start to head in the right direction. 

Turri previously proved his success at a collegiate level.  He’s contributed to college lacrosse at the highest level. During his playing career at Duke, he was a two-time All-American, as well as a National Champion. As the offensive coordinator at Michigan in the 2022 season, Turri guided the team to a 7-0 start. 

Early in the season, this team showed promise. While they were still not getting the results they wanted, they were competing much more than they did last season. Twenty-one goal losses were turning into eight goal losses. Turri had his players playing well in the first half, but falling apart in the second. It has now been over two months since the Red Storm fell to Delaware, and their 0-5 record has turned into an even-uglier 0-13. One of the team’s recent contests offered them their best chance to win, but they ultimately fell to No. 12 ranked Denver 10-12. 

What has gone wrong?

The team won’t magically receive an invite to the Big East Tournament just based on the Turri hire. That being said, come April, the team was expected to at least have recorded a victory. 

Turri needs time to build his culture. He should not be written off through 13 games. At this point, personnel needs to come into question. This is not saying that the current players on the roster lack talent, but instead suggesting that the current roster may not fit Turri’s view for the program. 

Turri inherited a roster that was largely built by former head coach Jason Miller. He was able to land graduate student midfielder Sean Duffy in the transfer portal, who has been a difference maker on the offensive end this season. Duffy is third on the team in goals this season with 16.  

Turri has also been essential in the development of sophomore midfielder Caiden Vlasimsky, who has taken a major step in his second season with the Red Storm. After a freshman season that only saw Vlasimsky score one point with no goals, he has been able to produce 19 points with 13 goals in his sophomore season. These are positive signs of what the young head coach can do with his roster. 

The key to success for the future of St. John’s lacrosse is roster development. With the transfer portal beginning to dominate college athletics, it is entirely possible to change the landscape of a program in one season. If Turri hopes to change the fortunes of this team, he will have to be a major player in the portal come the offseason.

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About the Contributor
Kyler Fox, Asst. Sports Editor
Kyler is a junior journalism student serving as an Assistant Sports Editor. Outside of The Torch, Kyler is a contributor for both A Daly Dose of Hoops and Last Word on Sports. When he isn’t writing, you can either find him keeping up with his favorite sports teams or checking out the latest sneaker drops.

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