St. John's believes it is Long Island's best Division I lacrosse team after beating Stony Brook

Stony Brook's Kyle Rowe fights off St. John's Stony Brook's Kyle Rowe fights off St. John's Mario Carrera in an NCAA lacrosse game on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Photo Credit: George A. Faella

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With consecutive victories over Hofstra and Stony Brook in the same week, St. John's believes it can claim supremacy as the top Division I lacrosse team on Long Island.

"We dreamed of the day where we'd be able to say the best team on Long Island is in Queens," Red Storm coach Jason Miller said Saturday after a 13-11 triumph over the Seawolves at LaValle Stadium.

"Geographically, we can make that case." he said. " are great -- both of them -- and have been for a long time. To say we've elevated our program to be on par with those guys makes us unbelievably proud."

St. John's (5-3), which plays in the Big East, had not beaten Long Island's other Division I teams in the same season since its lacrosse program was reinstated in 2005.

"It's awesome coming out in here in front of another Long Island rival and to come out with the big 'W'," said senior attack Kieran McArdle, a former Connetquot star.

McArdle played a big part in the victory with six goals and two assists. He became the program's career point leader with 222 in Tuesday's 11-10 overtime victory over visiting Hofstra. Against Stony Brook he emerged as the school's career leader in goals with 110, breaking Chris Johnston's mark of 107 compiled from 1989-92.

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St. John's trailed 11-8 after three periods before Colin Keegan scored his fourth goal and the first of five straight by St. John's. McArdle drilled in the next two, tying the score at 11. Kevin Cernuto's unassisted goal with 3:07 remaining gave the Red Storm the lead for the first time since 2-1, and McArdle scored the final goal with 2:24 to play.

Stony Brook, which had no shots on goal in the fourth quarter, was outshot 50-28.

"Five of their first seven goals were on the extra man. Give them credit; they sliced us up on the man up," Miller said of Stony Brook. "We kind of got beat up early on in the faceoff but we battled back great in the fourth quarter. When we got possession, we got the ball to Kevin and Kieran and we scored."

Cernuto, who scored three goals, is from New Jersey but realized the significance of sweeping Hofstra and Stony Brook (4-5), saying, "I embrace the importance. I know how important it is for our coaches and our program as a whole. Being No. 1 on Long Island is huge. I know the coaches and Long Island guys are pumped on it."

Both St. John's and Stony Brook now will begin the heart of conference schedules.

"Now we know what we really need to work on," Stony Brook midfielder Mike Andreassi said of preparing for America East games. " I think we're going to be ready for UMBC and the following conference games."

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