QUEENS, N.Y. - Trailing 9-5 with 14:07 left in the fourth period, the Crusaders scored three straight goals but just fell short as the Holy Cross men's lacrosse team fell to St. John's, 9-8, in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at DaSilva Memorial Field in non-conference action. With the loss, the Crusaders start the year 0-1 overall, while the Red Storm kick off the season 1-0 overall. Freshman James Kennedy (Summit, N.J.) had an outstanding collegiate debut as he recorded three goals and one assist for four points to lead Holy Cross.
"Tough loss, we dug a hole in the first half," said Holy Cross head coach Adam Pascal. "We played confidently and aggressively in the second and it was much better. It was our first game of the season, a 15-game season, we learned a lot about ourselves today and got better."
Senior Edison Parzanese (Edgartown, Mass.) posted three points with one goal and two assists, while seniors Chris Smirti (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) and Kenny Minor (South Hadley, Mass.) each scored two goals. Sophomores Brent Ferraro (Islip, N.Y.) and Colin McGeehin (Newtown Square, Pa.) each recorded one assist. The assist was Ferraro's first collegiate point.
St. John's was led by Shane Foley's three goals and Matt Hurst's two goals. The Red Storm had four other players with one goal each.
After Smirti gave the Crusaders an early 1-0 lead with a man-up goal off an assist by Kennedy, St. John's scored the next four goals to move out to a 4-1 advantage. Holy Cross responded with two consecutive goals to make it a 4-3 contest. The goals were scored by Parzanese off a pass by Ferraro and then Kennedy with an assist by Parzanese. The Red Storm then closed the first half with three goals for a 7-3 lead.
Smirti made it a 7-4 game in the third period with a goal off a pass by Parzanese. After St. John's regained its four-goal lead, Kennedy scored the last goal of the third period to make the score 8-5. Now trailing 9-5 after the Red Storm scored its last goal of the game, Minor netted two straight goals to cut the St. John's lead to 9-7 with 4:03 remaining. With 2:40 left in the fourth period, Kennedy scored a man-up goal off a pass by McGeehin for his third goal of the game. But the Red Storm were able to keep the Crusaders off the scoreboard for the rest of the way including a save by goalie Gavin Buckley with 10 seconds left for the 9-8 final score.
Senior goalie Connor Sweeney (South Salem, N.Y.) made nine saves, while Buckley stopped 12 shots. St. John's outshot Holy Cross, 41-32, while the Red Storm picked up 30 ground balls and the Crusaders picked up 19. St. John's won 12 of 20 faceoffs, while the Crusaders went 2-3 on extra-man opportunities and the Red Storm went 2-4.
The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, Feb. 27, when they travel to New Haven, Conn., to play Yale at 11:30 a.m.