Defense-1st strategy not enough in 5-2 loss to No. 6 Cornell

first_img Published on January 29, 2019 at 11:01 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmerman Despite the 5-2 result, Syracuse — for even a short period — demonstrated a formula to beat faster, stronger and more talented teams. By committing to a defensively oriented gameplan predicated on forwards skating back on the defense and generating chances on counter-attacks, Syracuse (6-17-2, 6-5-1 College Hockey America) took an early 2-0 lead on No. 6 Cornell 14-2-5, 5-2-1 Ivy League) before losing momentum and surrendering five unanswered goals. “Just trying to adapt to their speed,” center Brooke Avery said of the commitment to pinching back on defense. Center Lauren Bellefontaine, who was key in dropping back on defense and winning the puck in the neutral zone, set up Syracuse’s first goal. Four minutes into the game, she dropped off a pass on the left wing for Allie Munroe, who carried it behind the net into Gretzky’s office and put a wraparound shot on net. Munroe’s shot was deflected and finished by Anonda Hoppner.On one play in the second period, Bellefontaine tracked back on defense to help freshman defenseman Shelby Calof double team a Cornell forward in the deep corner. The trap led to a turnover and counter-attack. Bellefontaine recorded four blocks in the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Because they have a lot of speed on their team,” Bellefontaine said, “(And) a lot of skill, they like to dangle around players, so it was very important for us to be in the right place at the right time so they wouldn’t get by you.”Ally Walsh | Staff PhotographerTo go up 2-0, winger Emma Polaski got back on defense to capture a steal in the neutral zone. The ensuing back-and-forth combination between her and Abby Moloughney on the counterattack led to Polaski’s team-leading tenth goal of the season.Another one of SU’s best chances started on defense. Early in the first period, defenseman Allie Olnowich won possession in the back and angled a pass off the board perfectly to Polaski streaking through an open space in the neutral zone. Later, forward Victoria Klimek got two breakaway chances by leaking out after defensive stops. Cornell’s Grace Graham cut Syracuse’s lead in half nine minutes into the first period with a wrist shot from the slot. Goalkeeper Allison Small (25 saves) didn’t react in time. Cornell would tie it in the second period with a deflected shot from the blue line. Syracuse’s defensive strategy faltered further when two forwards missed assignments in the D-zone to open the third period on a Cornell power play, which made it 3-2. A miscommunication on the back end led to Cornell’s fourth goal, where goalkeeper Allison Small (25 saves) couldn’t hold on to a shot under pressure. A minute later, an over-the-top lob pass found a streaking Amy Curlew for a breakaway which she finished.“The most glaring aspect of the third period was they were more fit than us,” Flanagan said. “They just looked like they were wheeling pretty good and were making crisp passes, and they just seemed to have more energy.”With Kristen Siermachesky (upper body) and Lindsay Eastwood (illness) watching from the bleachers, SU played Logan Hicks, typically a forward, heavy minutes in the back. Dakota Derrer, another SU defenders it relied on earlier in the year, ended her Syracuse career with a concussion on Nov. 5. Hicks last played defense as a freshman before transitioning to forward, but she said she was comfortable.“Everybody was helping out,” Hicks said. “We were really focusing on … getting everyone involved in the d-zone, making sure we got it out and not getting stuck in our own end too long.” On one play, a Cornell forward had a step on Hicks through the blue line, but Hicks recovered and cut off the angle, eventually deflecting her shot off the boards. Hicks recorded two blocks in the game. The Orange contained one-on-ones in the first two periods, but struggled as the game progressed because of fatigue, Flanagan said.Big Red forward Maddie Mills, who leads Cornell in goals with 14, entered the game ranked 18th in the country in points. The SU defense limited her to just one shot on goal. The Big Red, who average an 11th-best 3.15 goals per game, entered the third period with two scores before exploding for three in the third. Head coach Paul Flanagan attributed their slow start to being “half asleep.” Cornell woke up, and Syracuse’s defensive strategy fell apart. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

West Brom beat United, hand City EPL title

first_img0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) More importantly, though, it means Pep Guardiola’s City team cannot now be caught at the top of the table, thus handing the Catalan coach his first Premier League crown in just his second year in English football.Realistically it was always a matter of when and not if City would become English champions for a fifth time following a dominant season from the blue half of Manchester.But, just a week after spoiling City’s title party by beating their local rivals 3-2 at the Etihad, the way United abjectly gifted the title to their neighbours will sting.United’s comeback at the Etihad from a 2-0 half-time deficit offered their supporters a rare fillip of flair and excitement after a difficult season where their style of play has hardly endeared Jose Mourinho to the club’s fanbase.And that was also the case on Sunday, as United failed to spark the imagination in any tangible way even though they were playing a side that had hadn’t won in the league since January.West Brom sacked manager Alan Pardew at the start of April after just four months following one win in his 18 matches in charge, but even a famous win at Old Trafford may be too little, too late for the Baggies as they still lie nine points off safety with just four games remaining.United dominated possession early on, but despite the efforts of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, precious little real impact was made by the home side.Lukaku saw one shot cannon back off the face of West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster, while Pogba’s desire to make a difference saw him booked after half an hour for attempting to steer the ball into the net with a very obvious, very deliberate handball.Prompted by the abject nature of the opening 45 minutes, Mourinho brought on Jesse Lingard at half-time and he was immediately in the heart of the action as United attempted to wake from their slumber.West Brom, to their credit, also kept probing forward but they lacked the class required to really open United up at the back.Mourinho attempted to end the stalemate – and the tedium – by introducing Anthony Martial with half an hour remaining and his introduction undoubtedly lifted the quiet Old Trafford atmosphere.Increasingly poor conditions and a general lack of thrust continued to inhibit both sides, but United did force Foster into wonderfully save on 66 minutes when he tipped a Lukaku effort around the post.However, the plucky visitors then sensationally seized their chance when Chris Brunt delivered a corner from the right with 17 minutes remaining. Nemanja Matic panicked at the delivery and headed back inside to Rodriguez, who could not miss from three yards out.United, sensing the impact of the result, threw everything forward but West Brom displayed some new-found defensive fortitude and held on for a famous victory.United will want to forget the result and its significance as quickly as they can.However, the fans of West Brom — and certainly Manchester City — are likely to remember it for quite some time. 0Shares0000West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez celebrates after giving his side a shock lead over Manchester United on SundayMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Apr 15- Manchester City were confirmed as Premier League champions without kicking a ball on Sunday as rock bottom West Brom stunned Manchester United with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.United simply had to avoid defeat to keep the title race mathematically alive, but a late header from Jay Rodriguez gave West Brom a hugely surprising three points and finally gave their fans something to cheer this season.last_img read more

One goalkeeper in, one out as Manchester United name Champions League squad

first_imgDavid De Gea has been named in Manchester United’s Champions League squad after his failed move to Real Madrid.The goalkeeper, who is currently on international duty with the Spanish national side, saw his transfer fall through after the correct documents were not received by La Liga officials before the deadline.Keylor Navas was due to move in the opposite direction and Manchester United and Real Madrid have been blaming each other for the failure to make the move happen.While David De Gea is included in the squad, there is no room for Victor Valdes, with the other two goalkeeping spaces taken by Sergio Romero and Sam Johnstone.Here is the squad in full:Goalkeepers: De Gea, Romero, JohnstoneDefenders: Jones, Rojo, Smalling, Shaw, Varela, McNair, DarmianMidfielders: Carrick, Blind, Young, Herrera, Powell, Valencia, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Lingard, Pereira, Mata,Forwards: Depay, Martial, Rooney, Wilson 1 David De Gea last_img read more