Jeff Tundo's 5 goals, 4 assists lead Stony Brook past St. John's
Newsday - Jeff Tundo's career day came in an important game for Stony Brook's lacrosse team. Playing against No. 21 St. John's -- and Big East preseason player of the year Kieran McArdle -- presented another measuring stick in the non-conference schedule.
Tundo, a senior midfielder, helped the visiting Seawolves (2-2) pass the test big-time. He had five goals and four assists for a career-high nine points Tuesday in an 11-7 victory over St. John's (2-1).
"He was unbelievable,'' Seawolves coach Jim Nagle said of Tundo. "We've been talking to him since he got here about keeping level, and the last two weeks his leadership had been unbelievable. Everything he's been doing, he's been buying in 100 percent. It's one of the better performances I've seen. Heading in, I told our guys this would be a really big win for us. They were ranked 21st, I thought they should have been a lot higher.''
Tundo had three of Stony Brook's four goals in the second quarter, enabling the Seawolves to take a 7-3 lead at the half. He made it 8-3 early in the third, and when the Red Storm closed to within three on consecutive goals by Connor Mullen with 4:35 left in the third, Tundo broke the momentum with an unassisted goal. Until Mullen's first goal, St. John's had been held scoreless for 26:26.
"I'm not really worried about a career high in points,'' Tundo said. "It's cool to score a lot of goals, but mainly it helps us win. Coach is preaching playing through four quarters, no vacation time, which I think might be a great slogan for this year. The defense, through the offense, to midfield. It's more than just nine points from one player.''
Tundo was backed by Mike Rooney, who had two goals and two assists. Matt Schultz added two goals. Frank Lucatuorto won 14 of 21 faceoffs, and freshman goalkeeper Dan Shaughnessy had nine saves.
St. John's McArdle, who had a goal and four assists, had the opposite view of his team's performance.
"This was a big game for the NCAA Tournament, every game is big,'' said the senior attack and Connetquot graduate. "Coming off a big win over Yale . . . I guess our heads just weren't in the game. We weren't getting on loose ground balls, weren't playing offense the way we play, our defense was a little out of whack. At all ends of the field we just weren't ourselves today. Our goal this year was to take the Island, win against Stony Brook and Hofstra. We didn't get that done today.''
St. John's is playing this season with unanswered questions about future membership in the Big East. Syracuse, Notre Dame and Rutgers are on the way out. The replacements are unknown.
"I think the only thing we know right now is that it will be Syracuse's last year,'' St. John's coach Jason Miller said Sunday. "How the other pieces to the puzzle will all work out is still to be determined.''
The non-football schools in the conference are breaking away, but Miller is confident lacrosse will retain its automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament.
"I don't have concerns about it,'' he said. "I think that we continue to be positioned, at least here at St. John's, to play a very good conference schedule and non-conference schedule. But I don't know if any of us can predict with any type of certainty or accuracy how all this will play out when it's all said and done.''