From start to finish against Quinnipiac, one thing was certain about the St. John’s men’s lacrosse team: they were playing with a purpose.
It was obvious in watching the game that the team has improved since last year’s 2-11 season. They were fit, more focused and, at times, played flawlessly.
Head coach Jason Miller’s squad jumped out to an early lead against the Bobcats on Saturday at DaSilva Memorial Field and went on to rout them 15-8.
With the win, the Red Storm improves to 2-0, matching last year’s win total and marking their best start since 1985.
“Our defense was really solid,” Miller said. “I think it was a total team effort, all the way around. I thought the best part of the game was the way we hustled.”
The Red Storm were led by a balanced attack, which included ten different players who contributed points.
In the first half, the Red Storm controlled the tempo of the game, keeping the ball in Bobcats’ half of the field. They finished the first half, out-shooting the Bobcats, 29-6.
Senior attacker Drew Schanen continued to excel as a starter. Schanen had a game-high four goals and also chipped in one assist.
“I’ve been waiting for three years for this,” Schanen said. “So every time I go out there, I like to leave it all on the field.”
Seniors Tom Manes, Malcolm Miles, Jamal Jones and sophomore Terence Leach added two goals apiece. While junior Garrett Mitchell and rookies Carl Iacona and Matt Hurst chipped in a goal each. Another rookie, Harry Kutner played a big role for the offensive success of the Red Storm.
He finished the game with a career-high four assists, which included beautiful feeds to Schanen and Leach.
While the offense had its moments during the game, the depth of the Red Storm midfield really shined.
Senior captain Dom DeNapoli started the game off slow but ended up finishing the game 17 for 24 in face-offs.
He also led the team in ground ball wins with 13.
Besides DeNapoli, seniors Trevor Michaelson, Manes, Jones, and Miles each had a significant impact on the game.
While Michaelson might have not had a strong game statistically, Miller thought that his impact ran deeper than the stat book.
“Statistically, it’s not going to look like he had a good day, but I think he did,” the third-year head coach said.
The defense of juniors Gavin Buckley, Jerry Nevin, sophomores Dan Cremens, Mike Sherry, and Carlin Cornetta had a solid game.
They started the game off strong, holding the Bobcats to only three first half goals.
Buckley finished the game with six saves.
The Red Storm host the Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday at DaSilva Memorial Field.