Losers:Syracuse had two weeks to prepare for a run-heavy South Florida offense after allowing 268 yards on the ground to national power Lousiana State. But the bye week didn’t seem to help Syracuse (3-2, 1-0) as the Orange allowed 282 yards on the ground to South Florida (2-3, 0-1 American Athletic) as the Bulls thwarted a Syracuse comeback attempt to win 45-24. Freshman quarterback Eric Dungey turned in a “wobbly” performance in his first game back from injury.Read all of The Daily Orange’s coverage of the game here. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 11, 2015 at 4:50 pm Contact Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Sam4TR Brenden Motley threw three second-quarter touchdown passes to Isaiah Ford on the way to a 28-13 win for Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) over North Carolina State (4-2, 0-2).No. 6 Clemson (5-0, 2-0) used a balance offensive attack to rack up 538 yards and 43 points as the Tigers handed Georgia Tech (2-4, 0-3), which scored 24 points, its third straight ACC loss in a four-game losing streak.In a battle of Sunshine State schools, Dalvin Cook of No. 12 Florida State (5-0, 3-0) rushed for 222 yards and scored three touchdowns — including a 23-yard scamper which put the Seminoles up for good as it beat the Miami Hurricanes (3-2, 0-1), 29-24.Pittsburgh (4-1, 2-0) held off a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by Virginia (1-4, 0-1) within the last minute to preserve its second consecutive win.A 25-yard, third quarter field goal by Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2) was all the Demon Deacons needed to squeak by Boston College (3-3, 0-3) in a 3-0 win.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWinners:Duke (5-1, 2-0) failed to score a touchdown last week, but got the win. This week: Different Duke, same result. The Blue Devils scored five touchdowns en route to a 44-3 rout of Army (1-5).
Published on October 21, 2015 at 7:55 pm Contact Sam: email@example.com | @Sam4TR As Rob Weers drove his rental Kia Sorento through Syracuse, he turned to the passenger seat and asked his daughter which direction to turn for J.S. Coyne Stadium.It had become a familiar conversation through the years, first while biking to primary school in the Netherlands.“She said to go to the left and she meant the right,” Rob said. “She is dyslexic … so it’s difficult to distinguish for her. Left and right are abstract; (they) don’t say anything.”Eventually the Weers family arrived and Roos had two goals and two assists in a 9-1 win later that day.It’s been a season of successes for Weers — who leads No. 1, undefeated Syracuse in goals, game-winning goals and is tied for most assists — especially considering she was going to attend Albany until a chance encounter with SU midfielder Alma Fenne at a friend’s birthday party in the Netherlands.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe transition to American field hockey has been a challenge, but it’s one Weers wanted. She expected to learn English, but didn’t know the jargon of the sport she’d played all her life – the one her father thought she’d never learn – would change.“It was pretty embarrassing in the beginning,” Weers said. “(At practice, my teammates) said, ‘Right, Roos,’ and I’d say, ‘I’m on my way,’ but be going the wrong way.”Weers grew up hearing “forehand” instead of “right” and “backhand” instead of “left” on the pitch about 500 meters from the family’s house. Holding the stick helped her visualize the directions and made dealing with dyslexia easier.Her mother, Janneke Rutten, a schoolteacher who also has dyslexia, recognized the signs around when Weers was five years old. Weers struggled to read and write words and repeated her mistakes, sometimes 10 times consecutively. It took her twice or three times as long as others to learn the same material and she never read in groups.“It’s difficult because sometimes it’s really annoying and embarrassing,” Weers said. “… You have to accept it. You can’t do anything about it. The only thing you can do is work harder. That’s what I’ve done all my life.”When Rob, a field hockey coach, and her brother, Bram Weers, a star player who’d eventually play on one of the world’s top clubs, went to the pitch, Roos went too.Rob describes Bram as a natural talent who didn’t need much instruction and could do anything with the ball.“Then Roos started. Complete different story,” he said, laughing. “I explained things to her and she’d always do the opposite … I said to her mother, ‘I think she’s never going to learn it.’”Weers joined a team and trained four times per week. In her free time, Weers copied Bram and they played games. They practiced one of field hockey’s most difficult skills, the drag flick. It requires wrist action which many American girls aren’t strong enough for, Rob said. Roos stood at the 25-yard line and Bram stood about 20 yards behind her. They practiced flicking, competing to see who could most consistently reach the baseline.At 14, Roos joined Bram’s club, Kampong, and played there for five years. By the time she reached juniors at 17, the club asked Roos to play Saturdays in the younger tournaments and Sundays for the seniors.“She puts a lot of effort in … People with a lot of talent have it easier,” Rob said. “(Bram) doesn’t get all out of his skills, and Roos does.”Weers wanted to travel and learn foreign languages, but she had a difficult time learning Dutch itself. She decided she needed immersion, playing for clubs in Barcelona and Manchester. After her year abroad, Weers returned to Amsterdam, where she met Fenne.Before Fenne and Weers moved to Syracuse, became South Campus roommates and the top two scorers for the Orange, they ran into one another at a friend’s birthday party in the Netherlands and started talking about America.Fenne thought she was going to Boston College, but “they blew me off,” she said. Weers mentioned she’d been talking to Albany for three months because her friend, Fiori Van Rijswijk, went there.“Well, I’m not sure if they’re good enough, like if I would learn a lot,” Weers said.“Oh my God, dude. You have to come to Syracuse,” Fenne said.As soon as Weers arrived, she struggled. Not just with the lefts and rights; she also hadn’t finished her paperwork, couldn’t travel to away scrimmages and failed her first 2,000-meter run test. English presented a challenge, but a welcome one. She’s learning tenses. Sometimes she says, “I did saw,” instead of “I saw,” but she’s practicing. She also finds comfort in her South Campus apartment, where she cooks Dutch pancakes and speaks Dutch with Fenne, friends over FaceTime and her parents.But which language Weers is speaking doesn’t matter; she’s usually talking about one thing.“She debates in field hockey over everything,” Fenne said. “Sometimes it’s really fun debating in Dutch … Sometimes it’s like, ‘OK, Roos. No field hockey today. We practice for four hours.’”When Rob came to Syracuse and the three went to Chili’s, Fenne saw it was a family attribute. Rob peppered dinner conversation with questions about the team’s press defense.Earlier that day, Rob had watched practice. There he saw his daughter, the one who left him exasperated many years ago on the pitch near home, as one of the best players on America’s No. 1 field hockey team.“Every time, I’m surprised,” Rob said. “… When she was eight, I thought, ‘Ohhhh. We’re never going to make it.’“But we did.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Published on November 10, 2015 at 10:27 pm Contact Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ When Mount Union, Division III football’s No. 1 team, beat Wilmington on the road on Oct. 24, it was the Purple Raider’s 100th consecutive regular season win. Mount Union won that game 69-0, its next two by a collective 97-0 margin and has outscored opponents this season 502-31.Head coach Vince Kehres is accustomed to success. Under his father, Larry Kehres, Mount Union won 54 consecutive games from 1996 to 1999, including three consecutive national championships. The team lost one game and then won 55 games in a row and three more championships.He is the third Purple Raiders coach since 1962 and took over from his father in 2013.“A lot of (college football) staffs have a lot of turnover, but we’re lucky here to have continuity,” Kehres said. “If you come back within 30 years of graduating, your coach is still here. That gives us a strong (program). A lot of guys still feel connected.”Sixteen of 18 current coaches are alums. The program has had several NFL products, including wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts III as well as defensive coordinator Dom Capers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut it’s this season’s success that is stranger than usual. After graduating Kevin Burke, two-time D-III player of the year at quarterback, Mount Union has relied on a wide receiver-turned-quarterback, a quarterback-turned-wide receiver and a once-undersized offensive lineman to lead the team. The difficulty of building a D-III powerhouse is only compounded by higher-level schools trawling Ohio, the lack of scholarships and conference rules prohibiting Kehres to make home visits.“(In recruiting), we sell tradition,” Kehres said. “We can sustain success. The key is getting (recruits) on campus in the fall. If they see the team play, they get a taste of the atmosphere.”Kehres spends a lot of time on the phone and the road during the season. When he’s not coaching his current team, he’s visiting high schools and meeting parents.He didn’t have to go far to recruit Taurice Scott, who attended high school nearby and played games in Mount Union’s stadium. He arrived a quarterback, but sat behind Burke for two seasons. Kehres decided Scott’s athleticism could be better used than holding a clipboard. Scott went from throwing passes to catching them, leading the 2014 team with 82 catches, 1,112 yards and 12 touchdowns.“I enjoyed being a wide receiver,” Scott said through a Mount Union spokesman. “But I missed being quarterback … there’s still the quarterback inside me.”With Burke gone, and newfound perspective, Kehres said, Scott switched back. This season, Scott leads all of D-III in passing efficiency (189.2), throwing for 25 touchdowns and two interceptions.Kehres’ philosophy, “PFP,” is one of the reasons Mount Union stays competitive year to year, he said. Kehres evaluates his “players,” then builds “formations” and “plays.”It’s not finding athletes that fit his system, it’s fitting his system to athletes.Sometimes he thinks not having scholarships is an advantage because he tinkers with his roster constantly. Before he switched Scott to receiver, Kehres tried him out as a defensive back. When he realized Roman Namdar wouldn’t play as a signal-caller behind Burke and Scott, he knew what to do.Namdar, now a senior, leads the team with 681 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. No receiver on the team has more than four scores. After switching positions, practice consistency became a key to success, Namdar said through a team spokesman.Additionally, Kehres looks for players who love the game. Without scholarships, he said, passion is instrumental in building culture. He saw the desire to play in Mike Frank, who initiated meetings with the coaching staff after attending a high school summer camp while he was a 235-pound offensive lineman.“Every time I turned around, he was here,” Kehres said. “He embraced the opportunity to be developed. I don’t know if we could’ve predicted (his success) in the recruiting process … We thought, ‘Maybe he’ll be a good project.’”Frank worked with the strength coaches, started as a sophomore and bulked up to 270 pounds as a senior before being named a preseason All-American.It’s the development, culture and adaptable system, which covers recruiting off years. It’s the philosophy of a program that’s been headed by a Kehres since 1986.“My dad had opportunities to leave, but he decided to stay and he felt comfortable here and he took pride in what we were putting together,” Kehres said. “It’d be difficult to leave because of how much we’ve invested … We want to see (success) carry on.” Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 11, 2016 at 2:58 pm Syracuse kicks off its season on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome against Colgate. The Orange beat Colgate 78-51 last season. With a new cast of characters, SU is ranked No. 19 to start the season. For everything you need to know about Colgate, click here.Here’s how our beat writers forecast Syracuse’s season opener.Connor GrossmanOverbiteSyracuse 71, Colgate 62Despite losing its top three shooters from last year, the biggest question for Syracuse doesn’t involve offensive production. Rather, how quickly can the team’s new players learn the zone? Jim Boeheim tinkered around with pressing and man-to-man defense in two exhibition games, and the results were unspectacular. The Orange won’t struggle to score on Colgate, and is a near-lock to win. But just how close will Syracuse let the Raiders get to their lead?Matt SchneidmanSqueaky cleanSyracuse 78, Colgate 58AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe longest winning streak for one Division I team against another belongs to the Orange, against the Raiders. Syracuse gets to flash its new pieces for the first time in the regular season and it’s the fresh faces — Andrew White and Tyus Battle – who along with Tyler Lydon guide No. 19 SU to an easy win in game one.Paul SchwedelsonBrushing upSyracuse 76, Colgate 50Syracuse imposes its will from the start and cruises to victory. It’s still early November and the Orange still has a lot to work on but SU is ranked No. 19 to start the year for a reason. Jordan Swopshire (43.8 percent) and Sean O’Brien (42.6 percent) are sharp-shooters from the outside, but as long as Syracuse defends the 3, the Orange should have no problem capitalizing on its size advantage down low. Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ Lies Lagerweij spun past one Connecticut defender, then dipped around another. The crowd rose to its feet as Lagerweij entered the arc and ripped a reverse shot. Connecticut goalkeeper Nina Klein denied the shot with her body. The save was one of three she made while Syracuse played with an extra player for the first seven and a half minutes of overtime.The Orange outshot Connecticut 6-2 in overtime. But the Huskies were the ones celebrating when the ball crossed the goal line for the final time on Sunday.Despite playing on its home field, third-seeded Syracuse (15-4, 4-2 Atlantic Coast) played from behind all game before eventually falling to sixth-seeded Connecticut (22-1, 7-0), 3-2, in double overtime in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. Syracuse didn’t hold a lead at any point and tallied just three shots in regulation. A late surge from Syracuse’s offense, including a game-tying goal, was not enough to complete the comeback on Sunday at J.S. Coyne Stadium. With the loss, SU won’t defend its national title.“(UConn) has a stingy defense,” Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley said. “It took us a while to be able to figure out how to manipulate it and beat it.”Twenty-two minutes into the game, UConn forward Charlotte Veitner tipped a blast from Anna Middendorf, to put the Huskies on the board first. Syracuse answered quickly. Less than two minutes after Veitner’s goal, Liz Sack tipped a ball off of a UConn defender inside the arc, earning a penalty corner.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNijsje Venrooy’s insert went directly to Lagerweij, who ripped a low, screaming shot out in front of the net. Serra Degnan extended her stick to redirect the ball into the back of the net. As the team gathered around Degnan in celebration, Lagerweij gave a fist pump and jogged back to her position in the back line.Following the equalizer, UConn’s defense tightened up. Under constant pressure, passes along the back line began to go wild for Syracuse. Venrooy attempted to work the ball out along the sideline before being held up by several UConn defenders. After losing possession, Venrooy failed to protect her feet, which the ball hit, leaving the opportunity for the Connecticut forward to earn a corner.Sam Ogozalek | Staff Writer“I think what makes us dangerous in the postseason is we pride ourselves on our defense.” Middendorf said. “The way in which not just the back three but our goalkeeper and midfield, forwards pressuring, we were not going to let much into our circle.”UConn entered halftime with a 2-1 lead. At the break, Syracuse trailed Connecticut seven to one in total shots. Syracuse earned one penalty corner in the first frame while Connecticut produced five penalty-corner opportunities.After yellow cards were issued to Connecticut’s Barbara Hoogen and Veitner, Syracuse played two minutes with a two-player advantage. The Orange struggled to maintain possession despite the extra players. On a delay of game restart deep in Connecticut territory, Emma Tufts struggled to penetrate the UConn back line as she gave the ball up to a UConn defender.As UConn advanced the ball down field, Syracuse midfielder Laura Hurff dashed down the middle of the field in hot pursuit of the ball. Instead of stealing it, Hurff shouldered the UConn player and received a 10-minute yellow card for the play.The mistakes mounted as the half carried on. Lagerweij failed to connect with Venrooy as the ball bounced out of bounds. Jamie Martin missed a pass on the following break-out attempt. Hurff battled to get the ball but lost control. Martin once again found herself with the ball but the play again ended with Connecticut possession. Syracuse called timeout.Syracuse re-entered play with a newfound energy. Sack darted into the offensive zone, attacking the corner with speed. She played the ball on to Tufts, who hit the ball off a UConn defender earning a corner. Roos Weers received the insert from Venrooy, took one step in and rocketed a shot to the bottom left of the net to tie the game with four minutes left in regulation.“I was really proud of our kids that they didn’t quit,” Bradley said. “They found a way to get themselves back in the game to win it.”In the huddle before overtime, Lagerweij rallied her teammates. She pointed to her head as she looked at each of her teammates.“One main point that we said a lot today and especially toward the end of the game and overtime is this is our field and we never ever give up,” Lagerweij said.But the Orange never found the back of the net on its six overtime shots.UConn needed only two. Comments Published on November 14, 2016 at 2:42 am Contact Josh: email@example.com | @Schafer_44
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 19, 2017 at 11:26 pm Contact Charlie: firstname.lastname@example.org | @charliedisturco Week after week, Syracuse head coach John Desko mentioned one thing the Orange could improve upon: turnovers.“We need to play better than we did in our last road trip, minimize our turnovers,” Desko said March 16.“Get rid of our turnovers, have better possessions against these good teams … All of your possessions are important,” he said a week later.“We want to keep the turnover numbers down,” Desko said April 4.In the middle of the season, the Orange struggled to limit turnovers. Some bad passes sailed out of bounds. Occasionally, the offense tried dodging and fighting through double teams rather than passing to the open man. Other times, players peppered the goalie with an easy shot, which Desko considers a turnover.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMaking smarter decisions has helped the top-ranked Orange (10-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) limit its turnovers as the season progressed, contributing to its jump into the No. 1 spot. By making better passes and not forcing shots, Syracuse has staved off top competition in close games and kept its eight-game win streak alive. Against ranked opponents through March 18, Syracuse posted 11 turnovers all three times. Since, the Orange has posted single digits against each ranked opponent.Turnovers can make or break a game’s outcome. As the game comes down to the wire, one quick turnover can lead to a fast break and goal on the opposite end. A stretch of consecutive turnovers creates runs for opponents that otherwise shouldn’t be in a close contest against the Orange.Against St. John’s on March 11, turnovers slowed down the Orange offense. In the first 15 minutes, Syracuse had five goals and one turnover to its name. But over the next three quarters, the offense struggled to create production, finishing with four goals and 14 turnovers the rest of the way — including six in the fourth and three in the last five minutes of the game.With 20 seconds left, Paolo Ciferri turned the ball over and started a St. John’s counter attack. A wide shot as time expired gave the Orange a 9-8 win against the Red Storm — a game that could’ve ended in a blowout had SU played smarter with the ball.“We just started making some ugly turnovers,” senior attack Jordan Evans said. “Myself included. That was leading to goals on the other end and them capitalizing it.”Leigh Ann Rodgers | Staff PhotographerIn practice, when players made turnovers, they had to do pushups based on how badly the turnover was, Brad Voigt said. Even though pushups were not hard, something small like adding a penalty for turning the ball over creates an added level of importance. And it worked.On March 25, Syracuse had its first single-digit turnover performance in a month against Duke. In a one-goal game during which freshman midfielder Jamie Trimboli netted the game-winner in overtime, Syracuse forced 15 turnovers — a plus-six margin.A week later, against Notre Dame, the Orange dethroned the then-No. 1 Fighting Irish by one. In the last quarter of the game, SU forced three turnovers including one with two seconds left to seal the win.“Every team gets better as the season goes on,” Voigt said. “We put major emphasis on not turning the ball over.”The increased ball control can be largely attributed to smarter play out of Sergio Salcido and Evans, the two feeders on offense.Salcido is the No. 1 target for defenses, and had to adapt from a shooter to a passer. In the beginning, he tried to force shots and had seven turnovers to his name through March 18 (Johns Hopkins). But he has since turned the ball over only four times and racked up 14 assists.“You have to know how to value the ball. We control the ball when the ball’s in our stick,” Salcido said. “… It was a mutual understanding of when to push the ball and when to be a little conservative.”Evans entered the year as the main threat but has since changed his role. Like Salcido, his turnover numbers have dropped since the Johns Hopkins game. Through the JHU game, Evans had six turnovers. Since, he’s had four and added six assists.“If you look at (Evans’) numbers and the lack of turnovers,” Desko said, “something that doesn’t reflect in the points category is being able to run the offense and get to the right places and tell other people where to go.”Syracuse knows one turnover can be the difference between an early exit or the national championship. It’ll need its feeders, and team overall, to keep limiting turnovers to make a deep playoff run. And so far, that’s been the case. Comments
At the beginning of Northeast Regionals in Buffalo, Justyn Knight stopped running the 10-kilometer course. He had to adjust his shoe.That mishap didn’t stop him from finishing first at the event for a third consecutive time and leading his team to a first-place finish for the fifth straight year.On the Audubon Golf Course, Knight ran the meet in 31:43.4 while senior Colin Bennie followed right behind him and placed second with a time of 31:44.9.Sophomore Aidan Tooker had a sixth place finish in 32:06.1. Rounding out the scoring five, senior Philo Germano (32:10.1) and redshirt freshman Dominic Hockenbury (32:15.4) placed eighth and eleventh, respectively.Following a 27 point performance at ACC Championships on October 27th, No. 3 Syracuse responded with a 28 point performance to automatically qualify them for NCAA Championships. Their top five this year outran last year’s squad who scored 29 points in the Bronx, New York.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBehind them was Iona who gained the second NCAA Championship berth out of the Northeast region with 48 points.The men’s team looks to improve on last year’s third-place finish at NCAA national championships Nov. 18 in Louisville, Kentucky. Comments Published on November 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm Contact KJ: email@example.com | @KJEdelman Facebook Twitter Google+
Through the first three games of the season, a predictable rotation has been formed at the center position for SU.Junior Paschal Chukwu would start. Then, at some point early in the first half — seemingly dependent on how quickly Chukwu made a mistake — backup freshman Bourama Sidibe would check in and play for a good chunk of whatever time was left before halftime.Eight minutes into Monday night’s contest, it happened again. Chukwu had scored and then blocked a shot on the next play. He failed to corral the rebound, though, prompting head coach Jim Boeheim to sub him out and replace him with Sidibe.That didn’t happen in the second half, though. Sidibe was limited because of a knee injury, giving Chukwu a longer leash in the second half. He took advantage and dominated the game.“This is what we missed last year. Paschal can control the middle of the court like that. It just makes such a difference,” Boeheim said. “Because his defense was so good inside, he just changed the whole game. And he got some offensive things tonight, we looked for him a little bit better.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse (4-0) has the highest average height in the country, per Kenpom.com, meaning it has a size advantage every time it plays. There was a clear one Monday for the 7-foot-2 Chukwu, as Oakland’s (2-2) tallest healthy player stood at just 6-foot-9. It led to Chukwu having the breakout game that many expected when he transferred from Providence two years ago. He flirted with a triple-double in SU’s 74-50 win and ended with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks, all career highs.“I’m starting to figure out where my strong suit is,” Chukwu said.Chukwu was ranked as the 61st best recruit in the Class of 2014. He appeared in 34 games for Providence his freshman season, but averaged just 9.9 minutes per game. He transferred and sat out the 2015-2016 season due to transfer rules. Last year he played in just seven games, having his season cut short due to a torn retina.The rust from missing so much time in each of the last two years showed early in this season and in his limited playing time last year. His timing was off and he’d sometimes struggle to make the most of his size near the rim, on either end.“He hasn’t played in three years, I think a lot of people really don’t understand that,” said point guard Frank Howard, who’s also Chukwu’s roommate. “He’s getting his steps and his feet right. I think he did that tonight, just getting back in a groove. You could see the potential we have.”That was the issue for the limited part of Chukwu’s career at Syracuse — all it had been was potential. On Monday night, it materialized into results, on both ends of the floor.On the defensive end, Chukwu said that he “just went for every block I could.” Oakland is a 3-point-heavy team, but when the ball was worked inside, Chukwu was there to consistently send it away. The Golden Grizzlies tried different tactics, such as sliding its leading scorer and 6-foot-3 marksman Kendrick Nunn from the perimeter into the high post, where Chukwu would have to step up on him rather than a slower forward or center. Still, Chukwu anchored the defense and stopped most of those opportunities.“They had really good shooters today. So we were able to get up a lot higher, knowing that Paschal was down there being active,” freshman forward Oshae Brissett said. “When they were able to dump it into the mid-post, we knew that he was down there and it gave us time to get back.”Often times last year and early this year, Chukwu struggled with the basics on the offensive side. Passes often went through his hands. Post-up opportunities typically consisted of a simple one-dribble hook with nothing else.He was more refined on Monday. Early in the first quarter he got an offensive rebound. He remained patient as players flew by him, pivoted in and scored on a layup.When SU struggled to get its offense moving in the second half, Chukwu was there as well. The Orange’s first bucket of the latter frame was a putback slam by Chukwu on a missed layup from Howard in transition. Chukwu scored six of the next eight SU points after those two, roaming around the paint for easy passes and lobs and putting back offensive rebounds.When healthy, Sidibe will still be a factor in the center rotation, as Boeheim said in the preseason that he wants each player to play roughly 20 minutes a game. But Chukwu knows what his role is and showed on Monday night that he could live up to it.“Basically, use my height and dominate the game,” Chukwu said. “And I think I did that today.” Comments Published on November 20, 2017 at 11:07 pm Contact Tomer: firstname.lastname@example.org | @tomer_langer Facebook Twitter Google+
Life as a freshman is never easy.There are roommate issues, homesickness, eating what passes as food at the cafeteria and, of course, joining a team full of award winning players.Maybe not every University of Wisconsin student can relate to that last part, but the three freshmen on the UW women’s hockey team certainly can. They came into their freshman year knowing they were about to join one of the most prestigious female hockey teams in the country.Thankfully, Sophia Shaver, Sam Cogan and Mikaela Gardner had not only each other, but also a team full of girls waiting to help them no matter what. From schoolwork and campus life to tips to help them get their game up to college level, the Wisconsin freshmen had an army of people behind them.Shaver, Cogan and Gardner started their freshman season off with team bonding and trying to find their places on the Wisconsin roster, which includes national team members, future Olympians and a record-breaking goalie. So the team bonded in the best way possible: playing several highly-competitive rounds of laser tag.Gardner, the only defenseman in this year’s class, certainly had her share of things to be intimidated about. Not only was she coming on to one of the greatest defensive cores in the WCHA, but she was also coming in alone with no one to share her nerves. But her fears soon vanished, and she became more comfortable playing alongside the Badger defense.“In the beginning it was intimidating, being the only freshman,” Gardner said. “[Shaver and Cogan] at least had each other. It was definitely really cool and amazing, and they’ve helped me with things, both on and off the ice. But I think that I’ve gotten a lot better just from taking little tips from them, and just kind of watching them in practice or in a game.”As their season progressed, the Badger class of 2019 found their footing and became more comfortable playing alongside their new teammates. They also found their moments to shine, with all three players scoring their first goals within the first two weeks of the season.Of course, the new Badgers had also yet to experience their first Border Battle game against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.Women’s hockey: Johnson looks ahead as Badgers eye redemption in Frozen FourThe Wisconsin women’s hockey team is looking ahead to the matchup with the Minnesota Golden Gophers this week after ending Read…Considering Cogan is from Ottawa, Ontario, and Gardner is from Illinois, Shaver was the only one that really had any idea how intense the rivalry is between the two institutions.Cogan admitted that while she was nervous the first time she met the Gophers on the ice, the nerves were eventually worth it.“I had no idea how crazy [the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry] was and how intense it can be,” Cogan said. “Not only before the game, but during the game, your heart is racing and you’re sweating. But it’s fun. Going in there, still, I get really nervous, but it’s a good nervous.”Cogan went on to score the first goal in the series, which would end with a Wisconsin sweep of the Gophers. A Badger team had not accomplished that feat since 2009.Women’s hockey: No. 2 Wisconsin opens NCAA Tournament against MercyhurstThe No. 2 ranked University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team will fight for the chance to go to the NCAA Frozen Read…The second half of the season saw changes for both Cogan and Shaver, who were placed on new lines. Cogan moved onto a rotation with Emily Clark and Annie Pankowski, and Shaver found herself beside Erika Sowchuk and Baylee Wellhausen.Shaver, who had watched Badger hockey and admired Hilary Knight, was always looking for the chance to make her mark on the program. She wanted someday to see herself on the same wall in the LaBahn Arena as her idol.“I can’t wait to contribute to [the Badger program],” Shaver said. “With how great this program has been, I can’t wait to have my own part in it and grow with the program.”Now, as they enter their final weekend of the season, all three freshmen find themselves preparing for the NCAA Frozen Four tournament. While they may be newcomers to the game, their team has a bitter history, one that for the past two years has ended in losses to Minnesota.Seeing how hard her team has worked to change the outcome of past Frozen Four games pushed Shaver to do well this post-season. Shaver watched last year’s semi-final game, and doesn’t want the same thing to happen this year.“Coming from them,” Shaver said, “I can see how much they want this, so it makes me want it that much as well. I was at that game, watching. Seeing that made me not want it to happen to us this year.”Whether they win or lose, one thing is certain: the Badger class of 2019 has a first season under their belts that most players can only dream of.
The University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team wants to do what most Division I athletic programs want to do every time they compete: Win the game.After losing exhibition matches against Creighton and the University of Illinois-Chicago, the squad fought to not add another pair of losses to the column, forcing ties with Tulsa and Oral Roberts. The potential exists for future outcomes to change, but it will be anything but a cake walk through Ann Arbor. Wisconsin will look to open up Big Ten play with a bang, as they clash with a Wolverines squad Friday evening that has yet to lose, and more importantly, have yet to leave campus. Five straight home games leading into conference play has the Maize and Blue quite confident going into their showdown with the Badgers. UW has maintained a strong defensive front amid the loss of Sam Brotherton, who signed with English football club Sunderland following the conclusion of last season. Senior and Illinois native Christopher Mueller has made quite the effort to fill in Brotherton’s cleats this fall.His defensive prowess has allowed for a better transition to the Wisconsin offense on the pitch. Fellow Badger defender Alex Masbruch looks to continue his comeback campaign following his devastating ACL injury that cut his season short last year. Driven by the memory of himself sitting on the sideline while his teammates fell to the hands of the Maryland Terrapins in last year’s Big Ten Championship game, Masbruch is out for revenge. Already exceeding coaches’ expectations, he will look to continue his return with a strong showing against Michigan.Men’s soccer: Big Ten play opens for Badgers against MichiganDuring the 2016 offseason, Wisconsin men’s soccer sent many of its players to the Premier Development League of the United Read…After winning their lone matchup with the Wolverines during the 2016 season 2-1, the Badgers will look to renew their dominance against Michigan with the start of 2017. Their slow start to the season should not be discouraging, for the Badgers are known for their strong starts in Big Ten play, winning their first two conference matches in each of the last two years. Such success should be replicated this year.The Badgers and the Wolverines will square up against one another Friday night at 6 p.m.. The game will be televised on BTN Plus, which students connected to campus wi-fi can watch for free.