Syracuse Runs Past St. John's to Win Big East, NCAA Berth

Freshman goalie Bobby Wardwell made seven saves for the Orange while junior Jeff Lowman made 13 saves for St. John's. SU outshot the Red Storm 40-30, but the two were almost evenly matched in ground balls, with Syracuse holding a 30-29 edge.

"I thought we came out and really understood in such a short period of time of who they were and what they liked to do, especially defensively," said Syracuse head coach John Desko. "Guys really rose to the occasion. Our goal was to play 60 minutes of lacrosse again today and I thought we did that. It's great to win the Big East championship and it's great to be in the NCAA's again."

Palasek, Eilers, Wardwell and Brian Megill from Syracuse were named to the all-tournament team, along with Lowman, Dillon Ayers and McArdle from St. John's. They were joined on the all-tournament team by John LoCascio (Villanova), Westy Hopkins (Notre Dame) and Liam O'Connor (Notre Dame).

2012 BIG EAST All-Tournament Team
Westy Hopkins, Notre Dame
Liam O'Connor, Notre Dame
Dillon Ayers, St. John's
Jeff Lowman, St. John's
Kieran McArdle, St. John's
Bobby Eilers, Syracuse
Brian Megill, Syracuse
Tommy Palasek, Syracuse (Most Outstanding Player)
Bobby Wardwell, Syracuse
John LoCascio, Villanova

* * * *

Villanova, Pa. (May 5, 2012) – St. John's (8-7, 3-3) has been rebuilding its lacrosse program since reinstatement in 2005 and a 12-4 loss to perennial power Syracuse (9-7, 3-3) in the Big East Championship at Villanova Stadium on May 5 is another step in that process.

“When we came here six years ago, it was a pretty clear objective to become competitive on the national scene again, and I think by our presence here today you could make a case we were able to accomplish that this year,” said head coach Jason Miller.

“It's certainly a nice step forward for us. The hard part is nobody feels really good about the way this ends but at this time of year it only ends well for one team, so to be in that discussion is progress for us. The silver lining out of today is that we have a higher bar that we need to try and hit next year.”

St. John's totaled the most wins in a season since lacrosse returned to Queens and advanced to the first-ever Big East Championship game. Dillon Ayers, Jeff Lowman and Kieran McArdle were all named to the inaugural Big East Lacrosse Championship All-Tournament Team. D. Ayers and McArdle were also the first two Red Storm players to ever earn first team All-Big East recognition.

McArdle capped off an impressive Big East Tournament with two goals and two assists in the championship game. The first team All-Big East selection recorded points on 11 of the team's 12 goals in the two games at Villanova. The sophomore ended the year with a team-high 60 points (28 goals, 32 assists), the largest total since reinstatement.

Lowman was outstanding all day in net stopping 13 shots against a relentless Syracuse attack. In his two games against the Orange this season, the second team All-Big East goalie recorded 28 saves. The junior finishes the year with 175 saves and ranks fourth all-time at St. John's with 460 in his career. D. Ayers picked up four groundballs and tied a season-high with three caused turnovers.

St. John's struggled early against the Orange attack falling behind 7-0 in the first half. Bobby Eilers recorded two goals and Tommy Palasek totaled two goals and two assists to pace Syracuse. The Red Storm had 13 first half shots but struggled to find good looks against the Orange defense. Penalties also plagued St. John's as Syracuse scored two man-up goals on four attempts in the opening thirty minutes.

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