In the first game in 15 years against regional rival No. 6 Hofstra, the St. John’s lacrosse team dropped a13-4 decision last night at DaSilva Memorial Field.
It was the first time the Red Storm have played the Long Island powerhouse since the lacrosse program was reinstated in 2005.
Hofstra came in to the game in between three straight victories over ranked teams and a Saturday afternoon showdown with No. 19 UMass, but didn’t overlook the unranked Johnnies, outshooting them 42-31 and winning 14 of 20 faceoffs.
The first quarter saw little scoring thanks to the goalkeeping of freshman Jeff Lowman. Starting just the second game of his career, he stopped six out of seven shots in the first quarter and held the high-powered Hofstra offense to just one goal.
St. John’s got on the board midway through the first quarter when junior attacker Terence Leach found senior midfielder Tom Manes, who put a shot past Hofstra goalie Robert Bellairs. The lead would last for six minutes until Hofstra attacker Jay Card scored with 1:07 left in the first.
But in the second quarter, the Pride found their stride. They scored seven straight goals in the first 11:44 of the second quarter to take an 8-1 lead and never looked back.
Hofstra attacker Jamie Lincoln led the attack during the 8-0 run. The Pride’s leading scorer tallied a goal and four assists in helping his team build the lead.
“You can’t give anybody as much offensive time as we gave them in the second quarter,” said Head Coach Jason Miller. “I don’t think we won a faceoff, and that proved to be the damage. What was 2-1 was all of a sudden 8-2, and that’s probably too big a hole to climb out of against a good team.”
Lowman fell to earth in the second quarter as well. After his near-flawless first quarter, he stopped only three of the 10 Hofstra shots on goal in the second.
But Miller attributed much of that to his team’s inability to get the ball out of their own zone.
“He made some huge saves early,” said Miller. “The problem when you play that much defense in the second quarter-we probably played 12 minutes out of 15 in the defensive end-is that everything starts to break down.”
Halftime didn’t slow down Lincoln and the Pride. After a goal by St. John’s sophomore attacker Harry Kutner, Lincoln scored two goals in a 25-second span to extend the lead to 10-3. He would add a fourth goal in the fourth quarter to finish the game with eight points on four goals and four assists.
Senior goalie Gavin Buckley, who has missed time with an injury, subbed in for Lowman in the fourth. He saw three shots, stopping one and giving up two goals.
The sixth-ranked Pride was the third ranked opponent in the last five games for the Red Storm. They previously lost 9-6 to No. 14/14 Georgetown and 21-6 to No. 12/15 Stony Brook.
Another opponent, Drexel, who they lost to 11-4, is now ranked No. 12.
The Johnnies (3-4, 0-1 Big East) will get a chance to show Miller how well they play as a favorite when they travel to State College, Pa. on Saturday to take on winless Penn State.