Lacrosse team goes on the attack against Holy Cross

The St. John’s starting attack trio was just too much to handle Saturday afternoon for the Holy Cross Crusaders.

The trio—led by freshmen Kevin Cernuto and Kieran McArdle and junior Harry Kutner—had a combined 11 goals as the Red Storm topped Holy Cross 16-7 at a windy Hart Turf Field in Worcester, Mass. on Feb. 19. Cernuto had a team-high seven points behind four goals and three assists while Kutner had four goals and McArdle had three goals and an assist. St. John’s also forced 12 turnovers and won 17-of-26 faceoffs.

“It was a good win, great way to start and beat a good team on the road. It is something to build off of,” said head coach Jason Miller after his team improved to 9-1 all-time against Holy Cross. “It is a big difference when you can score.”

Goalie Jeff Lowman was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week after a career performance in the opener on his career-high tying 16 saves, which helped kill five of six Holy Cross extra-man opportunities and notched a career-high .695 save percentage.

Holy Cross jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes, but St. John’s responded with a 4-0 run to take the lead. The Johnnies didn’t trail the rest of the game.

“Holy Cross is a good lacrosse team and we were very fortunate to win on the road,” Miller said. Kutner scored three of his four goals in the second quarter as St. John’s took a 7-3 lead before a penalty led to a Holy Cross goal just before halftime. When the two sides picked up again in the third quarter, two quick Holy Cross goals cut the Johnnies’ lead to 7-6.

Just when the game looked like it would go down to the wire, St. John’s answered on both offense and defense. In the last 2:37 of the third quarter the Red Storm scored four goals to go up 11-6, with McArdle adding two of his goals during this stretch and carrying the momentum into the last quarter. St. John’s scored five goals in the final quarter to put the game away.

Miller touted his roster, saying this year’s team is more talented and looks forward to the team’s competitive 2011 schedule that features games against national powerhouses Hofstra, Notre Dame and Syracuse.

“[Our goal is] To win lacrosse games,” Miller bluntly said.

St. John’s next game is Feb. 26 against Yale at DaSilva Memorial Field, the team’s home opener.