McArdle reflects on historic career at St. John's
Jun 11, 2020 | 1496 views | 0 0 comments | 207 207 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the 31-year history of the St. John's lacrosse program, no one has enjoyed more success in red and white than Kieran McArdle.

The most decorated player in program history, McArdle's name occupies the top spot of every offensive statistical category, sitting as the Red Storm's all-time leader in career points, goals and assists.

In addition to being the program's leader in those three statistical categories, Kieran is the only player in St. John's history to amass 200 points, 100 assists and 100 goals in a career.

McArdle's parents, Jack and Patty, were a significant influence on Kieran's love for lacrosse and raised him and his sister Kailin to be well-rounded athletically at a young age.

"Ever since I could remember, I've had a lacrosse stick in my hand," said the 27-year old.

The Ronkonkoma native would play get his first taste of competitive youth lacrosse as a first grader in Sachem, just one village over from his hometown.

"My parents would drive me all over the place from camps, practices, tournaments, so they sacrificed a lot for me to play the game and be in the best situation to succeed," McArdle said.

The southpaw would develop into one of the island’s most highly touted offensive players during his tenure on the Connetquot High School lacrosse squad. McArdle had hoped to make the varsity team in his freshman season, but he was a late-bloomer and didn't have the physical body frame to compete with the upperclassmen.

Once he earned his chance to compete at the varsity level in his sophomore season, McArdle gained a starting role and never looked back as he earned All-Suffolk County honors from 2008-2010.

"We saw Kieran play for the first time in a game with West Islip, who was a New York State perennial powerhouse at the time," said St. John's lacrosse coach Jason Miller. "West Islip had a defenseman that was one of the best prospects in the country, and Kieran scored three goals on him. We were sold."

McArdle visited St. John's during his junior year at Connetquot and had the opportunity to engage with some of the players and the coaching staff for the very first time.

"St. John's was the right fit for me,” said McArdle. “The coaching staff was very welcoming, and they fit my blue-collar, chip on your shoulder mentality. Playing a Big East schedule which was loaded with talent was something that I wanted to go up against."

By the end of his junior season, McArdle had made his decision to sign a letter of intent to play for St. John's.

After four years of high school lacrosse, McArdle cemented himself as one of the best scorers in his recruiting class, earning All-American status in 2010. The All-Tristate selection was ranked 64th in Inside Lacrosse’s list of 2010’s top recruits and was rated the 19th-best attacker in the country.

In his first season with the Red Storm in 2011, McArdle started 13 of the team's 14 games, leading Miller's team with 18 assists and ranking second on the squad in both goals (21) and points (39).

He earned his first Big East Weekly Honor Roll selection after scoring three goals and recording one assist in a victory over Sacred Heart on March 26.

McArdle's sophomore season resulted in him becoming St. John's first All-American since 1986, as he landed a spot in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Honorable Mention list.

The left-handed attackman led the team with 28 goals and 32 assists. He also joined teammate Dillon Ayers as the program's first players to be named first-team All-Big East.

The Red Storm reached its first Big East championship game after defeating second-ranked Notre Dame, 8-7, in the semifinal round on May 3. The Fighting Irish would go on to reach the national semifinal that season in Foxborough.

"I'll never forget that win," said McArdle. "It was our first big-time win at St. John's, and it was to advance to the title game against Syracuse."

As a junior, the Long Island native became the first Johnnie to be named Big East Attack Player of the Year after capturing the conference’s “triple crown,” leading the league in points, goals, and assists.

He won the honor easily, finishing 32 points ahead of the next-highest contender. McArdle was a unanimous all-conference first-team selection and received Big East Weekly honors six times, with a pair of Offensive Player of the Week awards to go along with four Honor Roll selections.

The junior finished the regular season as the nation’s assist leader, averaging 3.77 per game, and ranked second in the NCAA for points per game (6.54).

McArdle tallied 36 goals and 49 assists to become the school record-holder in assists and points in a single season. His five-point performance helped carry the Red Storm to its first win over a top-ranked opponent, knocking off Notre Dame in South Bend, 12-10.

"Being able to beat the number-one team in the country on the road was very cool,” said McArdle. “It was one of my top experiences at St. John's."

McArdle became the first player in program history to be named as one of 25 finalists for the Tewaaraton Award and led the Johnnies to a 9-4 record, its best since the program was re-established in 2005.

His incredible 2013 campaign led to a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-America Second Team selection.

During his last go-around as a Johnnie, McArdle put together another historic season as a senior in 2014, becoming St. John's all-time career leader in points, assists, and goals.

The attackman became St. John's all-time career points leader on March 18 when he registered six goals, including the overtime winner, and dished out two assists in an 11-10 home victory over local rival Hofstra.

Four days later, McArdle set another program record, scoring six goals in a comeback victory at Stony Brook to bump his career tally to 110, the most ever at St. John's.

The senior reached the program "triple crown" on March 29 when he recorded four assists in a 14-7 victory at Providence, becoming St. John's all-time career leader in that category with 124.

After his senior campaign, McArdle was the owner of the nation's second-longest point-scoring streak, recording at least one point in 52 consecutive games, a streak that began on March 15, 2011.

He was also the NCAA's active leader in career assists with 139, while his 264 career points ranked him second in Division I among active players at the time.

In addition to being a Teewaaraton Award nominee for a second-straight season, McArdle was named Big East Attack Player of the Year and was a second-team USILA All-American for the second year in a row.

"St. John's means everything to me,” said McArdle. “It's the reason why I have gotten to the point of my lacrosse career right now. I'm incredibly thankful for the coaching staff and the relationships I've made there."

"Kieran's greatest quality from day one was his ability to evaluate his own game, realize where he could be better, and do it," said Miller. "He was a legitimate threat, no matter how you wanted to defend him. He just kept progressing and evolving every year as a player."

McArdle played each of his first three professional seasons with Major League Lacrosse's Florida Launch after being selected fifth overall in the 2014 MLL Draft.

He took home MLL Rookie of the Year honors in 2014 before earning back-to-back all-star bids in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, McArdle led the Launch in both points (56) and goals (37).

Last summer, he played for Atlas Lacrosse Club during the inaugural season of the Premier Lacrosse League. After registering 13 goals and 14 assists last season, the Long Island native was selected seventh overall by the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club in the 2020 Expansion Draft.

McArdle has also had a successful box lacrosse career, including a three-year stint with the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League and, most recently, the expansion Long Island Riptide this past winter.

"Playing professional lacrosse is unique. You fly in on the weekends, and you practice twice, play your game and then fly back home for the beginning of the workweek," said McArdle. "A lot of us work other jobs. Everything you do to prepare for your games on Saturdays depends on what you do on your own."

Recently, McArdle was one of 23 players chosen to represent the United States at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. McArdle led the United States to a bronze medal finish, scoring a team-high 10 goals and registering a tournament-high 30 points during pool play.

"No matter what sport you play, representing your country is the highest honor one can have as an athlete,” said McArdle. “It was a goal of mine for a while, so being able to live it and experience it this past fall, it lived up to everything I expected it to be."

Even though McArdle has achieved so much in his collegiate and professional lacrosse career, he is still chasing one ultimate goal: winning a championship.

"Winning a championship is something that I haven't done yet," said McArdle. "It's something that I have been chasing since my high school career at Connetquot."

Despite playing in two professional lacrosse leagues throughout the calendar year, McArdle has also played a vital role in serving his community.

He has been mentoring youth lacrosse players as the Director of Player Development for the Long Island Rush youth program. He also serves as a physical education teacher at P.S. 48 in Upper Manhattan.

"My goal as a teacher has always been to inspire kids to be the best version of themselves,” said McArdle. “Whether that's through lacrosse or finding a hobby that they love, that's something that I try to do within my teaching and coaching."

Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by the St. John’s University Athletic Department.
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