By Zach Gewelb
After a 6-2 start, the St. John’s men’s lacrosse team has dropped three consecutive games, including a closely contested 11-10 overtime loss at home to Marquette last Friday.
The Johhnies (6-5, 0-2 Big East) battled hard in overtime, but John Wagner found the back of the net with 32.9 seconds left in the extra session to clinch the victory for the Golden Eagles (5-4, 2-1 Big East) and hand the Red Storm their first home loss of the season. The goal was Wagner’s third of the game and also his third overtime goal this season.
The match marked the first overtime game at DaSilva Memorial Field since March 3, 2015, which St. John’s also lost, 11-10, to Yale.
Despite the defeat, the Red Storm received a balanced performance on both ends of the field.
Senior Jason DeBenedictis scored three goals — all in the second half — which marks the sixth time this season he has scored at least three in a game.
Senior Corey Haynes also found the net multiple times, scoring a pair of goals for his second multi-goal game of the season. He also tallied two assists in the loss.
Colin Duffy, whose nine-game point streak had just come to an end, responded with two goals and an assist. He scored the Johnnies’ first and last goal of the game, which marks the ninth time this season he has recorded at least two points.
Sophomore Joe Madsen found the back of the net twice on six shots on goal. Dating back to last season, he has now scored in 16 consecutive games.
Fellow sophomore Mike Madsen added one goal on a game-high nine shots. He also tallied an assist.
Despite turning the ball over three times as much as the Johnnies did (15 to 5), the Golden Eagles were able to outshoot St. John’s 40-35, only the second time this season the Red Storm conceeded 40 shots.
While the Johnnies put the ball on net more than Marquette with 26 shots on goal to 22, Marquette goalie Cole Blazer bested his St. John’s counterpart Matt Hanley in net with 16 saves on 26 shots. Hanley was still sharp between the pipes for St. John’s, recording 11 saves on 22 shots on goal. He has posted at least 10 saves in seven of 11 games this season. Blazer shined in overtime, however, making a key save down the stretch that led to Wagner’s game-winning score.
The Golden Eagles’ offense was led by Jack Zerrillo, who matched Wagner with three goals on the day.
Marquette opened the scoring when Connor McClelland tallied his 10th goal of the season at the 13:41 mark of the first period to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Johnnies’ evened the score at the 10:09 mark and the teams traded goals later in the period, making the score 2-2 heading into the second.
The teams again traded goals early in the second stanza, but Marquette tallied three consecutive scores to take a 6-3 lead into the third period.
St. John’s rallied for five scores in the third, while limiting the Golden Eagles to just two goals in the period, which left the score tied heading into the fourth.
Each team scored twice in the final regulation period. St. John’s scored the first two goals of the stanza, but two clutch goals — one from Zerrillo and one from McClelland — allowed the Golden Eagles to tie the score. Both teams had opportunities to take the lead late in the period, but stellar goaltending from both sides sent the game into overtime, setting up Wagner’s heroics.
St. John’s will hit the road for the final time in the regular season Saturday with a visit to the Mile High City against Denver. The game is set to begin at 3 p.m. at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe