Second Half Run Spurs St. John's to Victory at Providence

Providence, R.I. (April 20, 2013) A 10-5 goal advantage in the second half and a career day from Colin Keegan helped St. John's (8-4, 3-3) surge past Providence (8-7, 1-4) with a 16-13 victory at Lennon Family Field in Providence, R.I.

Keegan's six goals and seven total points against the Friars were both career-highs. There was no stopping Keegan early on, as he scored on his first five shots and needed just seven total attempts for his six goals. The six goals tied a season-best for St. John's, as Kieran McArdle posted a six-spot against Robert Morris on March 23.

"I found myself open a lot in the first half," said Keegan. "Kevin, Kieran and the middies were doing a good job finding me; it was a real team effort. I was just the open guy finishing the shots."

McArdle left Providence with a few accolades of his own as his two-goal, five-assist day moved him into second-place on the St. John's all-time points list. The junior has amassed 178 points in his 41 career games. McArdle overtook Brian Brugge's 175 point total set between 1989-1992 for second-place in program history.

Connor Mullen set a career-high with three assists while also adding a goal on the afternoon. The scoring was spread evenly as Kevin Cernuto, Keith Switzer and James Bonanno all found the net twice, as seven different players scored for the Red Storm.

After missing last week's game against Villanova, Jeff Lowman returned to cage for St. John's and finished with 11 saves. The senior stood strong in the fourth quarter with seven stops against the Friars. Jordan Rothman led the team with five groundballs.

"It felt good to make some stops down the stretch," said Lowman. "In the first half there were a few I thought I should have had, so it was big to come back and make some stops in the fourth quarter."

St. John's eighth victory of the season ties last year's squad for the highest total during the Red Storm lacrosse era. The Johnnies also equaled last year's high of three Big East wins. The Red Storm improved to a perfect 4-0 on the road this season with the triumph. It marks the only time in school history that St. John's has gone undefeated in road games.

The Johnnies shot an even 50 percent for the game with 16 goals on 32 total shots. Providence finished with 39 shots, after the Red Storm was able to slow down their attack after 20 Friar shots in the first quarter.

Providence opened a back-and-forth first quarter that featured 30 total shots and nine goals between the two sides as Greg Fitzmaurice found the back of the net. On his first shot of the day, Keegan buried a feed from Ryan Fitzgerald on a man-up opportunity to even the score at one.

Keegan then converted on his second shot, as he attacked the crease and benefited off a good find from McArdle. Andrew Barton found himself in the right place and took a rebound off the post and beat Lowman for Providence's second goal. When St. John's regained possession, McArdle swung a pass over the top of the defense and set up Keegan's natural hat trick at the 6:28 mark.

Mullen sparked the clear after a groundball off the post and found Keegan for his fourth goal on just four shots to put St. John's up 4-2 with 5:50 left in the first. The Friars scored three unanswered to close the period and take a 5-4 lead with the first from JT Weber, followed by Brendon McGuire and bookended by another from Weber.

Sean Wright kept the Providence run going with a goal on the Friars' first possession of the second quarter. Keegan's fifth-straight shot and goal off another feed from McArdle with a flag down cut the Providence lead to 6-5. McArdle hit on an underhanded, lefty snipe to tie the game 6-6. The Friars closed a much less frantic second quarter with goals from Wright and Daniel Textor to bring an 8-6 lead into the locker room.

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