Red Storm Falls 10-9 at Drexel in Back-and-Forth Affair

Philadelphia, Pa. (April 28, 2012) After battling back from down three goals after the first quarter, St. John's (7-6, 3-3) couldn't overcome a late Drexel rally (7-7, 4-2) losing 10-9 at Vidas Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

Harry Kutner tied a career-high with four goals coming on just six shots and Ryan Fitzgerald recorded a season-high three points on two goals and an assist. Jeff Lowman stopped 12 shots on the game and Dillon Ayers scooped up six groundballs and forced one turnover to pace the defense.

The Red Storm outshot the Dragons 35-32, won the groundball battle 28-25 and was 2 of 4 on man-up opportunities. Drexel benefited from a 13 of 22 day at the faceoff X that helped fuel the late-game run. Robert Church had three goals and three assists for the Dragons after he scored five goals last season against the Red Storm.

St. John's got off to a sluggish start as Drexel opened up a 3-0 lead in the first seven minutes of action. Kevin Cernuto broke through for the Red Storm with a run from behind cage that brought the score to 3-1. Drexel would add one more goal with just 14 seconds remaining in the quarter to extend the margin to 4-1. Lowman recorded four saves in the opening period to keep St. John's within striking distance.

The defensive intensity turned up in the second quarter for the Red Storm as it held the Dragons without a goal throughout the fifteen minutes of play. Kutner had two goals during the period with the first coming off an assist from Fitzgerald that the senior midfielder was able to send into the netting from twelve yards out. The second came after Kutner beat his man with a dodge behind net and fought his way in front of the crease to cut the deficit to 4-3 going into intermission.

St. John's started the second half on the man-up and Kieran McArdle scored his only goal of the day by beating Drexel goalie Mike Manos five hole to even the score at four apiece. After Drexel regained the lead, Kutner scored again on a well placed shot into the right side of the net to tie the game once again. Two goals by Church in a 27 second span widened the lead to 7-5 but Fitzgerald quickly responded with a dodge from the side of goal to bring the Red Storm back within one. Another unassisted goal by Cernuto had the game tied 7-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

Fitzgerald scored St. John's second man-up goal of the game off a pass from McArdle to give the Red Storm its first lead. Kutner would add another to put St. John's up 9-7 with 9:58 remaining. Drexel; however, had one last run left in the tank and scored three goals in a one minute and seven second span to retake the lead 10-9. St. John's had a few late chances but was unable to capture the goal that would have tied it.

The Red Storm has a quick turnaround with a match-up against Notre Dame at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Big East Lacrosse Championship semifinal. The tournament will be held at Villanova University with the final at 12:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Both games will be broadcast on ESPNU.


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