No. 12 Syracuse Gets by St. John's at Independence Classic

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Philadelphia, Pa. (March 9, 2013) – In a game of runs, it was No. 12/10 Syracuse (3-1, 1-0) that made the final push scoring the game's final two goals to thwart St. John's (3-2, 0-1) from completing the comeback, as the Red Storm fell 13-11 in the first-ever Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

“That was a great lacrosse game today, and pretty entertaining if you were sitting in the stands,” said head coach Jason Miller. “Syracuse played us real tough and deserve congratulations for the victory. Thank you PPL Park, Whitman's Sampler and Inside Lacrosse for putting on a great event today, and we were honored to be able to be a part of it.”

The Red Storm had battled back from an 8-4 deficit early in the third quarter to tie the game with four straight goals in just 2:23. St. John's would even the score three times over the final two quarters but failed to find the breakthrough between a landmark victory and another close finish.

Kieran McArdle put together another big-time performance on one of lacrosse's biggest stages, as the senior finished with four goals and two assists. In a match-up of the Big East's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year, McArdle went toe-to-toe with Brian Megill and recorded his fourth game of five points or more this season. McArdle now has 28 points in his first five games of the season and is tied for fourth on St. John's all-time points list with Andrew Bolger.

Kevin Cernuto scored three goals to achieve his second-straight hat trick and Colin Keegan finished with two goals and an assist in front of his hometown crowd.

Goalie Jeff Lowman made big save after big save once again for St. John's, as he totaled 12 on the afternoon. Lowman has stopped more than 10 shots in three games for 2013, and eclipsed the 500-career saves mark against the Orange.

JoJo Marasco of Syracuse was awarded Player of the Game honors for his five-point day (one goal, four assists) and Derek Maltz registered a hat trick with three goals.

St. John's was unable to grab its first victory over Syracuse in seven chances during the final Big East regular season meeting between the two schools.

Luke Cometti scored the first goal of the game for the Orange on the game's opening possession off a feed from Marasco. Less than two minutes later, St. John's found success in the riding game to gain possession and benefited with a goal from Keegan set up by McArdle from behind cage.

Syracuse would respond with its first run of the game, as the Orange scored three-straight goals from the end of the first to the beginning of the second quarter. Maltz struck first for Syracuse, followed by Matt Pratt and Marasco in the second period to put the Orange up 4-1.

Alex Lagodich started the first St. John's charge with a roll towards cage and a tough unassisted effort for his sixth goal of the year. After a hit to the head put the Red Storm on the man-up, McArdle cashed in from an impossible angle off a pass from Connor Mullen on the left side. Keegan pulled things even for the second time after McArdle found him unmarked in front of the net off an unsettled situation.

Maltz ended the St. John's run as Marasco fed him coming across the cage for his second goal of the afternoon. Goals from Henry Schoonmaker and Scott Loy brought the tally to 7-4 headed into halftime.

Another Syracuse goal early in the third quarter had the Orange up 8-4 and the Red Storm searching for its second four-goal comeback in as many games. Like any good prize fight; however, St. John's continued to return the punches with its impressive four-goal run to even things up.

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