WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore John Hannan (Manhasset, N.Y.) recorded a hat trick and junior Matt Boylan (Kings Park, N.Y.) recorded five points with two goals and three assists, but Kevin Cernuto led the Red Storm with seven points as the Holy Cross men's lacrosse team fell to non-conference opponent St. John's, 16-7, in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday at the Hart Turf Field. With the loss, the Crusaders start the season 0-1 overall, while the Red Storm begin the season 1-0 overall.
"We ran into a really hot St. John's team in the first game of the season," said Holy Cross head coach Adam Pascal. "There's no doubt that the Crusaders have been working hard, this is a different team, we're about to turn that corner, let's hope it happens next weekend versus Hartford. We got points from some players that we haven't in the past, let's hope this was an eye opener."
The Crusaders saw a solid performance by junior Andrew Morici (Manhasset, N.Y.) who recorded two goals and one assist for three points. Senior Douglas Broussard (Floral Park, N.Y.) had a strong defensive game leading the team with five ground balls.
The Red Storm was led by Cernuto who had four goals and three assists for seven points. Kieran McArdle scored three goals and had one assist for four points while Harry Kutner also had four points from four goals.
Boylan gave the Crusaders a 1-0 lead with his first collegiate goal, assisted by Morici with 12:31 left in the first quarter. Morici put a second goal for the Crusaders in the back of the net a minute later to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead at the start of the game. St. John's answered with goals by McArdle and Cernuto tying up the game 2-2, with 6:24 remaining in the quarter. With 2:19 left in the quarter Joe Granata scored for St. John's giving the Red Storm a 3-2 lead to end the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, with 14:03 left on the clock, Kutner put a goal past the Crusaders. Boylan answered with a goal, his second of the day, with 12:45 left to play cutting the Red Storm lead 4-3. St. John's Kutner recorded back to back goals, giving him a hat trick, and widening the Red Storm lead to 6-3 with 4:57 left in the quarter. Less than a minute later Cernuto had an unassisted goal. Then with 19 seconds left in the first half Crusader sophomore Hannan assisted by Boylan finally put one in the net. The half ended with the Crusaders trailing 7-4.
To start the second half Hannan scored off an assist by Boylan. A Crusader goal by Morici with 12:31 left in the quarter closed St. John's lead to 7-6. St. John's then scored four unanswered goals with under three minutes left in the third quarter, giving the Red Storm the lead 11-6. To start the fourth quarter the Red Storm recorded two more goals before Hannan, off an assist from Boylan, put one in for the Crusaders. Giving Hannan a hat trick with just over seven minutes left to play. St. John's scored three more goals to win the game 16-7.
Both teams picked up 27 ground balls while St. John's outshot Holy Cross 35-33. Crusader freshman Kenny O'Connor (Latham, N.Y.) played all 60 minutes in net and recorded four saves while St. John's goalkeeper Jeff Lowman recorded 16 saves.
The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, Feb. 26, when they will meet Hartford in non-conference action at 4:00 p.m., at the Hart Turf Field.