WLAX : Syracuse defense preserves late lead as Orange upsets No. 3 Maryland

first_imgCOLLEGE PARK, Md. — As Syracuse held the ball, nursing a one-goal lead with less than two minutes remaining, Brett Queener shouted to his defense.‘One more stop,’ the SU volunteer assistant coach yelled to the unit, even though there was no certainty Maryland would regain the ball.But when Orange attack Alyssa Murray cranked a shot in a one-on-one opportunity with more than a minute left, Terrapins goaltender Brittany Dipper made the save. The Syracuse defense would have to make one more stop.‘For some reason I had that feeling that it was going to come down to those last 10 seconds,’ SU goaltender Alyssa Costantino said, ‘and it did, but we handled it well.’With 31 seconds left, Maryland midfielder Katie Schwarzmann drew a foul on SU defender Becca Block about 13 meters away from the net. Schwarzmann’s shot flew wide of the net and out of bounds, and the SU defense held on. The No. 5 Orange picked up a monumental 10-9 victory over the defending national runner-up Terrapins in front of 1,453 at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex in College Park. Syracuse’s 0-11 all-time record against the No. 3 Terrapins was gone, as was Maryland’s 36-game home winning streak.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Maryland has ended our seasons before, so it’s a huge rivalry between us,’ Syracuse attack Michelle Tumolo said. ‘We just realize that we’re really freaking good and that we needed to come out on top.’With just 3:18 to play, Maryland midfielder Beth Glaros bounced a free-position shot past Costantino’s right leg to cut the deficit to one.But SU midfielder Kirkland Locey won the ensuing draw to Tumolo, who came charging through a pack of players to scoop up the loose ball. The Orange then had an opportunity to run out the final three minutes of the game.After doing just that successfully for two minutes, Murray found herself with an open shot. Rather than holding back to try and save the lead, she took it.‘We’re going to play to win,’ Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. ‘If you get a one-on-one with the goalie you say take it.’The strategy is a testament to Gait’s faith in the Orange defense.Entering the game, the Terrapins were 14th in the country with 14.67 goals per game. Through 56 minutes, SU held them to nine in an excellent team defensive effort. Gait had faith in his team’s ability to stop Maryland’s attack.‘I could probably say 11, 12 girls that stood out,’ Queener said. ‘And I could also say 30 girls because our entire sidelines gave us energy the entire game.’The defense’s stellar play was never more evident than during the final 20 minutes of the first half.After allowing a pair of goals in the first nine minutes, the Orange defense tightened up and held the Terrapins scoreless for nearly 22 minutes between the 21:16 mark of the first half and the 29:18 mark of the second.During this stretch, SU scored five unanswered goals — creating a deficit the Terrapins could never fully recover from.But it was the defense that sparked that rally. Without a 22-minute scoreless stretch, five goals in one half may not have been enough for one of the nation’s premier offensive machines.‘We just tried to stick to our game plan,’ Gait said. ‘Take advantage when we get opportunities and give our defense a chance to rest because there’s a lot of pressure when (Maryland) gets the ball and I thought our players did a great job of keeping their composure.’The Terrapins battled back and cut the Orange lead to one on four separate occasions after that stretch, but each time the Orange had an answer.When Schwarzmann cut the lead to 6-5 with 22:40 to play, SU attack Devon Collins answered with a free-position goal less than three minutes later. When Maryland attack Bria Phillips cut the lead to 7-6, Tumolo answered, and when Maryland midfielder Kelly McPartland cut the lead to 8-7, Tumolo answered once again.The only time the Orange didn’t respond offensively, it did so on the defensive end to hold on for the victory. The Syracuse bench poured onto the field to mob Costantino in celebration after her role in orchestrating an extraordinary defensive effort.‘It’s really encouraging towards us to show us we can do what we want to do,’ Costantino said, ‘and that’s win the national championship.’[email protected] Published on March 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Race for Dan kicks off this weekend

first_imgThe County Senior Hurling Championship gets underway tomorrow with a total of 14 games down for decision between Saturday and Sunday. With the Tipperary Senior Hurlers finished their League campaign for this year and with a few weeks to go before the opening clash of the Munster Championship all eyes in the Premier County will now turn to club action. And its a bumper weekend of games in the hunt for the Dan Breen Cup.  One of the more highly anticipated matches will be that of reigning county hurling champions Thurles-Sarsfield who are out to defend their title – They play Borrisoleigh on Sunday afternoon in Templemore at 3.30.. while another that will draw in the crowds will be the clash of neighbours Drom-Inch and Upperchurch Drombane in Boherlahan at 2.Elsewhere and newcomers Clonakenny who were promoted from the Intermediate ranks last year take on Ballingarry in Leahy Park Cashel while another cracking encounter is likely to be the game between Kilruane MacDonaghs and Clonoulty Rossmore in Dolla.There are 14 matches in all – 5 evening games on Saturday with 6.30 throw in’s and a further 9 across the day on Sunday – Several of the games were expected to be double bills but this plan had to be scrapped given the recent poor weather conditions and the possible impact on pitcheslast_img read more