No. 5 Syracuse’s reliance on Ben Williams costs it in 16-15 overtime loss to No. 11 Duke

first_img Published on March 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm Contact Connor: | @connorgrossman DURHAM, N.C. — Ben Williams leaned into the game’s last faceoff in a familiar spot. Game tied. Overtime. His chance to permanently turn the game’s momentum with one clamp of his stick.His final faceoff last week against Johns Hopkins came on the heels of a game-tying goal by the Blue Jays with 38 seconds left in regulation. Williams had his chance, but the ball never touched an SU stick after he let Hunter Moreland scoop up the faceoff. Game over.On Saturday SU’s junior faceoff specialist kneeled on the dirt patch at midfield for the 28th time — the four-minute overtime period ready to start at the flinch of his stick after the Orange blew a four-goal, fourth-quarter lead. Williams had his chance, but Kyle Rowe streaked away from the X with the game-winning goal in his stick. Game over.Williams still won 12 faceoffs in his toughest test of the season, but once again couldn’t grab ahold of the game when it stared back at him on the X.“That’s a great question,” head coach John Desko said when asked about Williams’ ability to win a game-changing faceoff. “He gets us the ball early and puts us in that position.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’ve got to learn to play when we don’t have the ball.”That was the paramount issue for a Syracuse team that watched Duke win 19-of-34 faceoffs, by far the most of any opponent the Orange has faced this year. SU didn’t have the ball when it mattered most, and No. 11 Duke (7-4, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) scored five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to eventually topple No. 5 Syracuse (5-2, 1-1), 16-15, in overtime on Saturday afternoon in Koskinen Stadium.Blue Devils midfielder Deemer Class punished the Orange for a career-high seven-goals. Three of those came in a 12-minute, fourth-quarter scoring drought for SU that foreshadowed the game-ending shot placed in by Chad Cohan less than a minute into overtime.“Very much like last week,” Desko said, “we didn’t learn how to close it out.”“(Duke) started to win some faceoffs, especially after goals … We’ve got to learn to play like that.”The scoreless stretch was the product of nearly a winless fourth quarter at the X. Williams lost four of his five opportunities, and in a last-ditch effort to inject life into the offense, backup Cal Paduda lost his only real chance after a Duke faceoff violation gave SU the ball earlier.Williams’ sustained success over the last year and a half has allowed Syracuse to flourish offensively, freely taking a high volume of shots knowing he was a sure bet to get the ball back on the faceoff. On Saturday the Orange instead had to rely on groundballs, which it was beat 35-32 on, and turnovers to create offensive possessions.After picking up a groundball on a clear attempt, Derek DeJoe ended the scoring drought with a low-slung laser that Blue Devils goalie Danny Fowler appeared to stop, then tap in as he turned around to see where the ball was. It knotted the score at 15 in the last three minutes, with a four-goal lead 12 minutes prior a distant memory.“When you tend to have a lead, some people mentally might feel a little more relaxed,” senior defender Brandon Mullins said. “I guess we just have to do a better job keeping the foot on the gas.”Williams had his chance to freeze the meltdown, but let the ball, and Rowe, slip out of his reach. All game he was sandwiched between Duke’s physical wings, a repeated beating that didn’t lend itself kindly to his performance at the end of the game.Syracuse blew it’s chance to win on the final possession of regulation, and despite a fitting end to disastrous fourth quarter, the ledger reset when Williams took a knee for the opening faceoff in overtime.But the lifeblood of the Orange offense, even with only three goals to his name this season, couldn’t score where he had the chance. At the X.“Ben’s a great player,” SU’s points leader, Dylan Donaue said. “He’s going to have a couple of off days.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Alexa Romero sets new career-high in strikeouts as Syracuse beats Elon, 4-2

first_imgSyracuse (13-7, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) defeated Elon (13-9), 4-2, on Tuesday evening at Hunt Softball Park in Elon, North Carolina, thanks in part to another strong performance from its ace, Alexa Romero. The Orange dominated both in the batter’s box and in the circle throughout the game, out-hitting the Phoenix nine to two while Romero struck out a career-high 13 batters to Elon’s six. The output broke her previous best of 12, which came against the University of Texas at San Antonio on Feb. 24.Romero started the game unlike her usual self. In the bottom of the first, the sophomore allowed a walk and a single in her first two batters. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third, Romero rediscovered her form by striking out the next two batters to end the inning and escape the jam.After an atypical first inning, Romero returned to the top of her game. She pitched five scoreless innings before Elon’s Ally Repko hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. Romero went on to register her 13th strikeout on the last batter of the game. The sophomore improved to 9-4 on the season.Syracuse got on the board early after singles from Alicia Hansen and Bryce Holmgren put runners on the corners and a double steal gave SU its first run of the game. Later in the at-bat, Gabby Teran singled to right field to drive in Holmgren, extending the Orange’s lead to two. Holmgren’s single marked the eighth straight game the junior has recorded a hit.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter recording two hits over the next three innings, Syracuse’s offense was revitalized in the fifth. Again, Hansen and Holmgren got on base to start the inning, before Lailoni Mayfield belted a two-RBI double to left-center to give SU a 4-0 advantage. Holmgren’s second hit in the fifth meant her ninth multi-hit game this season.Syracuse will resume conference play on Friday with the first of a three-game series against Virginia. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 13, 2018 at 7:52 pm Contact David: ddschnei@syr.edulast_img read more

Sherwood sacked as Spurs manager

first_imgEnglish Premier League side Tottenham hotspurs have confirmed Tim Sherwood’s exit from the club as head coach, after just five months at the helm have gathered.Sherwood replaced the axed Andre Villas-Boas in December and was handed an 18 month deal. The 45-year-old had been keen to remain in charge at White Hart Lane and recently stated he would have guided the club into the Champions League had he been in charge for the whole of the campaign.However, following talks with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy Sherwood has now been told he is no longer required as head coach, while it is thought his assistant Les Ferdinand will also leave White Hart Lane. Levy released a statement via the club’s official website confirming the club have parted company with Sherwood.Speculation over Sherwood’s future was rife last month, and chairman Daniel Levy has finally decided to find a more suited man to bring the club forward. Sherwood won 14 games of his 28 in charge, drawing four and losing 10. Spurs finished in sixth in the table, 10 points off fourth place.Spurs will now begin their hunt for a new manager and it is understood that Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax head coach Frank De Boer are the front runners.last_img read more