Lax survives weather, tops Air Force

As a winter storm in New York affected travel plans, and snow fell during their game against Air Force on Sunday, it is safe to say that Mother Nature did the St. John’s lacrosse team no favors.

But the Red Storm were able to fight through the conditions and earned a 10-7 victory over the Falcons in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The game was moved to Sunday night from Saturday afternoon because of the difficulties St. John’s had getting out of New York. When the two teams finally did take the field, they did so in subfreezing weather under a mix of snow and hail.

The cold didn’t affect the Johnnies in the first half, however. Junior attacker Terrence Leach scored 35 seconds into the game and sophomore attacker Harry
Kutner followed with a goal of his own just 2:24 later.

With all the craziness in the days
before the game, the strong start was just what head coach Jason Miller wanted
to see.

“This isn’t an easy place to get to and play and with all the weather back east and the changing the flights, we were
very worried about getting out of the
gates,” he said. “I thought we did a good
job of that. We thought they’re a little
light on numbers and we thought they
might play a lot of zone. We wanted to get
off to a good start and make it hard on
them to do that.”

The quick start helped them to a 2-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, they rattled off five unanswered goals and extended their lead to 7-1.

“We got into a groove,” said Miller. “We were clearing the ball well. We were
doing a really good job defensively. We
did a good job offensively.We were
working to get good shots and we just
had it going for awhile.”

But for the second straight game the Johnnies struggled to hold onto the lead.

In their first game against Holy Cross, they saw a 9-5 lead shrink to 9-8 before the game ended.

On Sunday, Air Force scored four
straight goals to trim the lead to 7-5.
St. John’s was able to recover, however
and scored three of the game’s next
four goals to give themselves some
breathing room.

Miller chalked up the second half
struggles to a combination of the
natural flow of the game compounded by his team’s mistakes.

“There’s going to be times when the game ebbs against you,” he said. “There’s no
question about it but we also made a lot of mistakes during that time. We fouled them probably three or
four times. We missed a couple
clearing opportunities. We forced
an offensive possession when we really
needed to sit on the ball for a
couple minutes.”

Three St. John’s players tallied three points each in the win. Kutner, Leach and senior midfielder Garrett Mitchell
each scored two goals and dished out
an assist.

With the win, St. John’s improves
to 2-0. They play their first game in the newly formed Big East
conference on Saturday when they
travel to Washington, D.C. to take
on Georgetown.