March 30, 2013

Cernuto, McArdle Power St. John's Over No. 1 Irish

from staff reports

Kieran McArdle had five points and Kevin Curnuto had seven to lead the Red Storm to its second straight win over Notre Dame.
© Lee Weissman

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame's stay at No. 1 will be short-lived.

Twentieth-ranked St. John's downed the top-ranked Irish 12-10 in Big East action on Saturday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium.

Kevin Cernuto had four goals and three assists for St. John's, while Kieran McArdle added three goals and two assists. Senior attackman Sean Rogers led the Fighting Irish with three goals and freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh posted two goals and two assists.

McArdle entered the game as the nation's leading scorer, averaging 7.13 points per game.

It was the second straight win for St. John's over Notre Dame, and second all-time against the Irish. The first came in last year's Big East tourament semifinal.

"We're making statements," Cernuto said. "We're here to stay, just showing the world that we are that good."

"To take down the No. 1 team, that's been our goal all year," captain Dillon Ayers said. "[We showed] the lacrosse world that this is the caliber of lacrosse we're here to play all year."

Notre Dame (6-2, 1-1) struck first in the contest on a goal from junior midfielder Jim Marlatt. Following a St. John's tally from Connor Mullen, the Irish grabbed a 2-1 advantage, which was their last lead of the game, at the 6:31 mark of the opening quarter on Rogers' first goal of the afternoon.

St. John's (7-2, 2-1) started a 4-0 run on Cernuto's first deposit of the game, which came with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter. The game was tied 2-2 at the end of the opening period. A Keith Switzer goal was followed up by two scores from McArdle and the Red Storm led 5-2 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half.

Goals from midfielders Nick Ossello and Tyler Kimball got the Fighting Irish to within one (5-4) with 2:37 left in the opening half. A man-up tally from McArdle gave St. John's a 6-4 lead at the intermission.

Scores from Cernuto and Mullen increased the St. John's lead to four (8-4) less than three minutes into the second half. Notre Dame climbed back to within two (8-6) by the midway point of the quarter on goals from Steve Murphy and Rogers, but the Red Storm pushed their advantage back to four as Cernuto and Colin Keegan found the back of the net. St. John's led 10-6 at the end of three quarters.

Kimball's second goal sliced the Red Storm lead back to three (10-7) by the 11:37 mark of the fourth quarter. The two goals were a career-best for the senior midfielder, who also had an assist in the game.

Consecutive tallies from Cernuto and Keegan gave St. John's a five-goal advantage, its largest of the day, with 7:46 showing on the clock.

Notre Dame mounted a late rally beginning with Rogers' third goal of the game, which came with 6:26 left. Kavanagh made it 12-9 with 1:29 remaining and the rookie then trimmed the deficit to two (12-10) with just under a minute left in the game. St. John's controlled possession for the remainder of the contest.

The Red Storm held a 38-36 advantage in shots. Senior goalie John Kemp made 11 saves for the Irish, while Jeff Lowman had 13 stops for St. John's. Both teams won 13 faceoff attempts. St. John's was 1-of-3 in man-up opportunities, while Notre Dame was 0-for-3.

"I thought we had great chances today, but I didn't feel like we finished very many of them," Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. "Whenever we didn't settle for the first thing that came down the pike, we got exactly what we wanted. We were in too much of a hurry and we didn't have much discretion. As long as we do that, we're going to have good times and bad."

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