Saint John's vs. Rutgers
March 31, 2007
The Game Story:

With a 6-4 victory Saturday afternoon over the visiting Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the St. John’s Red Storm lacrosse team made history by winning its first ECAC Lacrosse game since the program’s reinstatement in 2005.

With the win, the Red Storm advances to 4-5 overall and 1-2 in the league, while the Scarlet Knights fall to 2-4, 1-2 in the ECAC.

“It goes without saying that this was a huge win for our program and an even bigger win for St. John’s University,” remarked Head Coach Jason Miller. “The goal in reinstating this program was to be as competitive as anybody in Division I, and we took a huge step forward in that pursuit today over a program for whom I have a great amount of respect for. This was a tremendous win for St. John’s University today.”

Fed by junior Tom Manes, junior midfielder Justin O’Donnell scored the game-winning goal three minutes into the fourth period after the Scarlet Knights went on a three goal run midway through the third to tie the contest up at four.

Junior Tom Michaelsen powered in the safety goal past Rutgers goaltender Bill Olin two minutes later leading the Red Storm to their first ECAC win.

The win ties the Red Storm’s all-time wins since 2005. Last season, the Red Storm also had four wins with an overall record of 4-9. It also gives the Red Storm a two-game win streak, its best of the season, and a three-game win streak at home on DaSilva Memorial Field. The 6-4 victory is also the Red Storm’s first over the Scarlet Knights in 14 meetings.

The Scarlet Knights got on the board first when their first shot of the game got past junior goaltender Dave Saccente, making his first appearance in six games.

Sophomore Matt Viscusi tied the game up at one with just over a minute to go in the first with his second career goal.

The Michaelsen twins, Trevor and Tom went to work in the second giving the Red Storm a 4-1 lead, with two goals by Trevor Michaelsen, who transferred from Rutgers in 2005. Manes assisted both of Michaelsen’s goals.

In the third, ECAC Player of the Week, Rutgers’ Colin Checcio answered back with two straight goals of his own, looking to make a Scarlet Knight run. Scarlet Knight, Justin Pennington, who is second in points with 12 behind Checcio (17), tied the game at four with 42 seconds left in the third period.

O’Donnell and Tom Michaelsen, ECAC honor roll selections, saved the Red Storm in the fourth with their goals in the middle of the fourth.

Red Storm senior tri-captain Anthony Bozymowski led the St. John’s defense in holding Checcio to just two goals. In league games, Checcio had averaged four goals a game thus far and averaged 2.80 goals per game in all eight Rutgers games played until this afternoon. Bozymowski and Tim LaMare with a total of three caused turnovers also held the Rutgers attack to their lowest scoring effort this season.

Rutgers had also earned national attention this week as they had earned one vote in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Top 20 poll.

Tom Michaelsen continues to lead the Red Storm offense with 25 points this season (15 goals, 10 assists), while Trevor Michaelsen comes in second with 19 points (16 goals, three assists). O’Donnell ranks third in points with 14 (12 goals, two assists) and Manes has a close 13 points with nine assists, four goals, three assists against Rutgers.

Up next, the Red Storm will travel up north to Miller’s old stomping grounds to face-off against the Minutemen of Massachusetts.

“We believe in our system and we believe in the way we prepare for opponents and that preparation won’t change for UMass,” said Miller.

Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 in Amherst, Mass.

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