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Student Reporting Archive

Getting the Bad News: What it was Like for SU Sports Media on Selection Sunday

Getting the Bad News: What it was Like for SU Sports Media on Selection Sunday

Video report package: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHfYSyUqqQs&feature=youtu.be Story, photos, audio and video by Jon Cerio SYRACUSE, N.Y. – When you walk into the Carmelo K. Anthony Center on the Syracuse University campus, you can’t help getting caught up in the nostalgia. Among the banners, trophies and tributes, The Orange, or Orangemen at the time’s, historic 2003 championship game normally plays […]

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Video report packagehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHfYSyUqqQs&feature=youtu.be

Story, photos, audio and video by Jon Cerio

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – When you walk into the Carmelo K. Anthony Center on the Syracuse University campus, you can’t help getting caught up in the nostalgia. Among the banners, trophies and tributes, The Orange, or Orangemen at the time’s, historic 2003 championship game normally plays on repeat.

You can see a more youthful Jim Boeheim, a lights out performance from deep from current Orange assistant coach, then freshman Gerry McNamara.  You can watch his fellow freshman on the team, and current NBA all-star, Carmelo Anthony dominate on the block. You can also see “the block,” as lanky junior forward Hakim Warrick extended from seemingly nowhere to save the game – and Syracuse’s only national title.

On Selection Sunday, Men’s Basketball Sports Information Director Pete Moore switched the mode on that monitor from past to present.

Eyes on the Prize
All eyes were on one small screen encased in glass, awaiting the word on Syracuse’s future. Reporters would watch the NCAA selection show together, then get head coach Jim Boeheim’s reaction at a podium barely 50 feet away.
Would the 18-14 team that began the season in the Top Twenty, beat Duke, Virginia and Florida State but got clobbered by woeful St. John’s and Boston College get a bid?

CNY Central Sports Director Niko Tamurian was there, along with News Channel 9 sports reporter Mario Sacco.  Spectrum News’ Gabrielle Lucivero was doing live shots on what to expect. Ted Goldberg was there too.

Post- Standard and Syracuse.com beat reporters Mike Waters and Donna Ditota pulled up their chairs for a front row seat at the small screen.

Student media reporters including Kevin Ryans, Noah Eagle, Paul Schwedelson, Connor Grossman and Andrew Carter, were there representing Citrus TV, WAER, The Daily Orange and more.

Regardless of the station, paper, or website they represented – whether covering the team for 20 years or 20 weeks – everyone had something in common – nervous energy.

Selective Objectivity

Some may not have wanted to admit it.  After all, they work in a profession centered on objectivity.  But it was apparent that objectivity often only really matters when you’re officially reporting.  The before and after part is fair game for fandom.

“It’s your job, you have to stay neutral,” Tamurian said.  “In your heart you want them to win.”

The East Syracuse native is an unabashed fan of SU athletics, as was evident during the selection process.  He would grimace when an at-large spot went to another team, nervously rubbing his face or biting his nails, looking to colleagues for support.

Student reporters were on edge as well.  There was a lot of nervous laughter from some, fidgeting from others.

“I’ve been here, rooting for Syracuse basketball since my freshman year,” SU senior and Citrus TV reporter Kevin Ryans said.  “Obviously with the media, you want to cool it off with the fan thing.”

Bubbles Burst

As each region was announced, the room got quieter, until it reached a breaking point.

When the final spots were revealed, and Syracuse’s name wasn’t on any line, a collective sigh filled the hallway.  Someone let out an “Ouch!”

Ditota summed it up in two words:

“That’s it,” she said.

Video interviews and Boeheim press conference:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9thp5P4sWb4&feature=youtu.be

 

Not-So Mellow Center

The mood at the ‘Melo’ Center turned from hopeful to somber rather quickly.  Reporters solemnly carried their chairs back up near the podium to prepare for a surely more despondent head coach.

There wasn’t much conversing – mostly cameras getting a final once-over, last-minute microphone checks at the podium, bracket distribution, and laptops powering on.  It wasn’t long before the main event began.


Melo Drama

Boeheim entered through the glass doors, stoic and silent.  Reporters rushed to place their audio recorders on the podium as he stepped up.

“Obviously it’s disappointing,” the coach said.  “Especially for our seniors, our two fifth-year seniors who came here, who wanted obviously to make the tournament.”

Reporters didn’t ask many questions – they already seemed to know most of the answers.  The press conference lasted all of five minutes, and mainly consisted of Boeheim listing his team’s accomplishments, admitting its shortcomings, and relaying his players’ disappointment.

Much of the time was taken up by awkward silences. The coach’s final answer summed it up well.

“Everybody’s disappointed,” Boeheim said with a sigh.  “It’s what you would expect.  Nobody’s happy.”

After about 15 seconds more of silence, Moore asked if there were any more questions.

No one spoke up.

“OK, “Boeheim said and left as quickly and quietly as he had come in.

“Thank you,” Moore said. And that was that.

Audio interviews & Boeheim press conferencehttps://soundcloud.com/user-857188699/full-interviews-audio-kevin-ryans-niko-tamurian-matt-park-jim-boeheim-press-conference

 

“That’s a Wrap”

Video cameras were taken down after a few cracks at wrap ups were recorded.  Cables were coiled, laptops zipped up.  One by one, the reporters left, for the most part without much said.

There would be no out-of town trips to cover this team unless it made it to Madison Square Garden for the NIT Final Four.

“Certainly people around here are going to be disappointed with that choice,” ‘Voice of the Orange’ Matt Park said.  The men’s basketball and football play-by-play man probably had made an understatement. And he wasn’t just talking about fans.
After most had left the building, Citrus TV’s Andrew Carter, decided to make the most of the situation.  He switched hats from journalist to fan again, and filled out his NCAA tournament bracket.

“I’ve got Louisville winning the national championship,” Carter said.

Back on that small TV screen Syracuse’s 2003 Championship Game was soon playing once again.

Hit or Miss Season for Syracuse Ends with Ole Miss, 85-80

Hit or Miss Season for Syracuse Ends with Ole Miss, 85-80

Story and photos by Jon Cerio SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An up-and-down season for Syracuse basketball ended on another down note Saturday in the Carrier Dome, as the University of Mississippi upended the top-seeded Orange in the second round of the NIT, 85-80.  In a constant for Syracuse this season, the defense was picked apart by sharp […]

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Story and photos by Jon Cerio

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — 
An up-and-down season for Syracuse basketball ended on another down note Saturday in the Carrier Dome, as the University of Mississippi upended the top-seeded Orange in the second round of the NIT, 85-80.  In a constant for Syracuse this season, the defense was picked apart by sharp shooting opponents on the perimeter.

“This game is really a microcosm of our season,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.  “We fight hard, we battle. When our shots aren’t going, we aren’t able to stop the other team’s shooters.

The 9,556 in attendance saw Syracuse end the year one win shy of Boeheim’s 37th 20-win season.

Center of Attention

The Orange started the game much the way it has all season – with Taurean Thompson.  The freshman center gave SU the early 2-0 lead with one of his eight field goals in only eleven attempts.  He had 18 points in the game, tied for a team-high with Andrew White.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a freshman center that was that good right away, not once,” Boeheim said.  “He’s a very creative offensive player and defensively in the second half tonight, he was much better.”

 

Achilles Neal

Syracuse held a narrow margin for the first 4:22 on baskets from Thompson, Tyler Lydon and John Gillon.  At 15:38, Rasheed Brooks nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 10.  It was Brooks’ only field goal of the game, but just the beginning of the Rebels’ onslaught from deep.

Tyler Roberson and Deandre Burnett traded baskets, before Neal Cullen sank the second of 15 threes for Ole Miss on the day.  The Rebels nursed the lead for the better part of four minutes, until Lydon scored inside., making it 18-17 Orange.

“They shot 15-for-32, and they’re good shooters, but nobody’s that good,” Boeheim said.  “We have to get up and make them change the shot. We didn’t do that.”

 

Forwards and Backwards

In what may end up being Lydon’s last game in an Orange uniform, he put up a strong performance, particulary in the first half.   At the intermission, the forward had ten points and seven boards, winding up with a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds.

The teams went back and forth, with four ties and three lead changes after the Lydon make, until the 6:30 mark at 25-25.

 

Game of Runs

From there the Orange went on a 9-0 run over the next 3:52.  Frank Howard put up four points in the stretch, and Lydon added a three and a baseline jam to get the fans pumped up.

Terrence Davis broke the run for the Rebels with a layup.  He converted on 5-8 field goals and eleven points in the first half, then exploded in the second.

With 1:04 left on the clock in the first, Syracuse had a 38-30 lead.  Then Deandre Burnett happened.  He drained back-to-back threes, one at the buzzer, to cut the lead to 38-36 at the half.

It was a sloppy first 20 minutes of action, with six Ole Miss turnovers, and four for Syracuse.  On the whole, there were six ties and six lead changes in the opening stanza.

After 40 and 34 point outings for Andrew White in his last two games, he had five points at halftime – all from the free throw line.

 

Can’t Miss

The Rebels picked up where they left off at the close of the first half.  Davis and Burnett hit consecutive triples for Ole Miss, forcing an Orange timeout.  It was 42-38 Rebels after less than two minutes of play in the second half.

Davis hit another one from deep, giving him 17 points at that point.  He finished an impressive 11-14 from the field, with 30 points.

SU answered with a 6-0 run of its own, including a Thompson jumper, and layups from Battle and White.  It was 45-44 Rebels with 15:34 to play.

After a Sebastian Saiz layup put Ole Miss up by three, Tyus Battle came back down the court and tied things up from downtown.  19 seconds later, Cullen Neal answered in kind with a three, one of his three makes from deep.

Ole Miss worked its lead up to five, not allowing the Orange to creep back within more than three points.  That is, until Tyus Battle went baseline with a monster jam, making it 54-53.

 

Answering the Call

Seemingly with every big make for the Orange, the Rebels answered immediately from deep.

After the Battle slam, Davis drained another three.  After a big Thompson basket inside, it was Davis with another three.  It was 61-55 with 9:58 remaining.

Battle answered with five straight points, cutting the lead to a single point.  Right on cue, Davis hit again from deep.  Battle returned fire with a three of his own – which was answered with a Burnett inside score.

 

White on Time

Ole Miss held onto the lead until the 4:14 mark, in the middle of Andrew White’s hot streak.  He drained three from behind-the-arc, his second tying the game at 71.

Again, the Rebels answered from deep with Cullen Neal.  White’s third three in a row tied things back up at 74 with 3:40 remaining.

“The threes that Andrew hit at the end were tougher than the ones he had missed, for the most part,” Boeheim said.  “He had a bad day and we could have overcome that if we had played a little bit of defense and we didn’t.”

 

Rebel Alliance

Syracuse never got the lead.  A Burnett three and a Saiz dunk made it 79-75.  Thompson went inside with the slam to cut it to two and Lydon added a free throw to trim it to one.

Like clockwork, Burnett came back with a dagger of a three, putting the Rebels up four with 1:22 remaining.

There were some questioned calls down the stretch.  Battle was called for two straight fouls in the press that looked to some in the Dome as near Rebel turnovers.  Fans booed loudly at the officials, questioning their agenda.

Ole Miss outlasted Syracuse at the free throw line down the stretch, and pulled out the 85-80 victory.  With the win, Ole Miss improved to 22-13 on the year, and faces the winner of Georgia Tech and Belmont in the third round of the NIT.

 

Bittersweet End

Syracuse ended its year on a sour note, with a record of 19-15.  Still, there were some positive takeaways from Boeheim and the players.

“It’s a season where we did some great things,” Boeheim said.  “We fought our way from the bottom of the league to start out, to the middle of the best league in the country. We tied for seventh (after) being in a bad place and this team fought back.”

“It was definitely a learning experience for me,” Tyus Battle said.  “We had a lot of ups and downs this season, but we kept on fighting and that’s what I love about this team.  We just had a a lot of heart and we had a lot of fight in us.”

There are uncertainties for next season.  It remains to be seen whether Lydon will return for his junior season.  It’s also a possibility that Battle could look to go pro as well.

It is certain that White, Gillon, Tyler Roberson and the often-injured DaJuan Coleman are out of eligibility.

Boeheim hasn’t confirmed that he plans to be back as scheduled for one final year next season either, though he sounded as if he is planning on it.

“We’ve got some work to do, and we’d like to bring someone in so we’ll see what happens,” Boeheim said.  “I like the three guys we have commitments from.  I think we’ll try to find somebody else.  But, we’ll see what happens.  We’ve got some good young players, we just have to get some help for them, especially inside.  I think the guys we have coming will help us.”

 

Senior Scribe

Senior Scribe

Video package: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4klrANE4VSQ&feature=youtu.be   Story, photos, video and audio by Jon Cerio   Additional photos by Bridget Chavez   Scribe – (noun) – writer; specifically: journalist – Merriam-Webster Dictionary SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It only happens once a year.  For athletes, it’s once in a lifetime – well, maybe twice in a lifetime, for the occasional grad student.  […]

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Video package: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4klrANE4VSQ&feature=youtu.be

 

Story, photos, video and audio by Jon Cerio  

Additional photos by Bridget Chavez

 

Scribe – (noun) – writer; specifically: journalist – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It only happens once a year.  For athletes, it’s once in a lifetime – well, maybe twice in a lifetime, for the occasional grad student.  On this year’s Senior Day, 30,448 paying fans greeted Syracuse men’s basketball’s graduating class before the game with Georgia Tech, March 4.  Players soaked in the cheers and applause, hoping to remember the roar of the crowd one last time.
A few rows behind one of the baskets, another team looked on.  Syracuse.com and Post-Standard beat reporters Mike Waters and Donna Ditota watched alongside senior columnist Bud Poliquin.  For Poliquin, it was a scene all too familiar.  After all, he had been to more than 30 senior days in his time.

“I’ve been around enough so that, ‘Jeez, I’ve seen this before, I’ve asked this question before, I’ve heard this answer before,'” he says.

The faces and numbers have changed over the years, but their stories seem to blur together for Poliquin.

 

Different day, same stuff

Sitting in on his radio show,  “Bud and the Manchild” in the  ESPN Radio Syracuse studio in Armory Square several days later, that same sentiment comes through when discussing the Syracuse Orange’s tournament chances.

Filling in for regular co-host Jim “Manchild” Lerch, producer Paul “Boy Green” Esden, Jr. tries to get Poliquin to hammer home a point he had already nailed into place several times during the broadcast.

“This is a cyclical conversation,” Poliquin says.  “The redundancy is numbing.”

After the show, Poliquin sits down for an interview one room over and gives some perspective.

Full audio interview:     https://soundcloud.com/user-857188699/full-bud-poliquin-interview
Coast to Cold

The native Chicagoan, who worked in blissful San Diego, says he gave up sunshine and sit-down interviews for blustery Syracuse, New York because his bride Kathleen is from the area.  The community gained a writer who had had one-on-one interviews with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mickey Mantle, and Michael Jordan .

“I find myself going from interviewing professional men, to 18 and 19-year-old young men, boys dare I say,” Poliquin says. “I’m not saying they bore me. They’re just not as interesting.  I wasn’t interesting when I was 20-years-old.  I’m far more interesting now, I hope to goodness I am.”

Poliquin also notes that with each passing year he gets older, while the players stay the same age and there is a growing disconnect between himself and his subjects. But he knows that doesn’t excuse him from generating good content.

Sitting in a box of a room with antiquated recording equipment filling a space smaller than your typical Central New York kitchen, Poliquin says he must constantly write himself outside of the proverbial box.

“The onus is on me,” he says.

 

 

One-On-One

Though the athletes may not have changed much over the years, Poliquin says that’s not the case for his industry.

“The thing that I most mourn in the business is the absence of these one-on-one conversations. Nowadays, everything is presented in press conference fashion.  It’s antiseptic.  There is no such thing as real intimate conversation.”

Poliquin recalls a time when he could go up to an athlete, and ask him or her to talk, without anyone facilitating the conversation.  He says that’s the way he interviewed some of the all-time sports greats.

“Nowadays, you have quarterbacks that say ‘Oh, I only talk on Wednesdays.’ And they talk to a room full of 40 people.  And you’re supposed to get something out of that?”

 

On the periphery

In the fall, Poliquin sticks to the periphery, finding the football players no one else is engaging in conversation.  You’ll notice in photos from press conferences and locker room media scrums (a term that shows up often in his columns), Poliquin is either in the background, or not present at all.

Don’t think it goes unnoticed.  Earlier in the season, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim called into question some of Poliquin’s tactics in one of his articles.  In a room filled with dozens of media reporters, their exclusive exchange lasted the better part of seven and a half minutes.

“I like it when you come, because usually you don’t come and I don’t have anyone to talk to.” Boeheim joked with the veteran writer.

Poliquin says that’s by design, and that the current setup affects the way he pursues an angle.

“I very rarely ask a question in a press conference, because I don’t like the idea that if I’m asking a question that I think has some meat on the bone, and he says something, now everyone’s got it. I’ve given away my trade secrets so to speak.  I’ve given away my piece.”

 

The Golden Age

Poliquin says if today’s standards had existed back when he was starting out in his career, he might not have stuck with it.

“I might not have lasted this long, I wouldn’t have liked it at all.  It would be so unfulfilling to me.”

“I lived in what I think will be the golden age of sports writing,” he adds. “We, the industry, we held off radio when it came.  We held off TV when it came.  We lost to the Internet, the Internet beat us, and there’s no win in that.  We’re done, in the way that we were.”

 

A Re-imagined State

Poliquin knows the clock is ticking down toward his own Senior Day.

“As to how long I’m going to do it, it’ll probably be a shorter amount of time than a lot of people think,” he says.  “There’s a thing out there called life that I might want to take a look at.”

Still, at 64, the idea of retirement scares him.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be a retired gentleman, but I’ll be a fellow in a re-imagined state,” Poliquin says with a smile.

 

 

Orange Men Hold Off UNCG to Advance in NIT

Orange Men Hold Off UNCG to Advance in NIT

Story and Photos by Jon Cerio SYRACUSE, N.Y. — There were no “Greensboro versus Boeheim” t-shirts visible in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night – there were barely any Orange ones. One day after blizzard conditions postponed a first round NIT matchup between Syracuse and UNC Greensboro, Syracuse weathered the storm against a tenacious Spartan team […]

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Story and Photos by Jon Cerio

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — There were no “Greensboro versus Boeheim” t-shirts visible in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night – there were barely any Orange ones.

One day after blizzard conditions postponed a first round NIT matchup between Syracuse and UNC Greensboro, Syracuse weathered the storm against a tenacious Spartan team in front of 4,288 hardy fans, 90-77.

“I thought the people were good,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.  “I thought they were very good. Obviously, it’s tough to get out and get here.”

Crystal Clear

A game that the Orange appeared to be in control of in the second half wound up becoming a bit of a nail-biter down the stretch as the Spartans cut a 22-point Syracuse lead to seven.

While the coach’s comments in Brooklyn about there being no reason to hold the ACC tournament in Greensboro led to a mini-tempest in the media a week before, Boeheim had nothing but praise for Greensboro’s hometown college team.

“I think that UNCG is a very good team,” Boeheim said.  “I thought to get them down 22 the way they played – I mean they won their last seven regular season (games) and came within a shot of getting to the (NCAA) tournament.”
From the start, UNCG made it clear it was not to be taken lightly.  Kyrin Galloway got behind the Syracuse zone and put the first points on the board with a slam dunk on the assist from Diante Baldwin.
A Tyus Battle three and a pair of Taurean Thompson mid-range jumpers put the Orange up 7-2.  Over the next 2:21, the Spartans made it a one-point affair, after a Francis Alonso three made it 10-9.

Syracuse went back inside to Thompson, who connected on his eighth point in the first 6:30.  But the Spartans exploited the zone on the other end with a James Dickey dunk.

 

White-Out

That’s when Andrew White III took over.  White connected on nine straight Orange points from deep in 1:27.  Those in attendance made themselves heard.

“We obviously shot the ball really well and played well,” Boeheim said.  “When he gets it going like that he doesn’t miss many.”

“My big thing was just trying to get juiced up early – get going early,” White said.  “Because obviously the vibe was a little different, the stakes were a little different, so I just wanted to try and light a fire up under my team and just make sure that we were ready to go and play this game so that we could take care of business.”

In fact, White broke Gerry McNamara’s Syracuse school record of 107 made threes in a season in Wednesday night’s game.  White has made 109 on the season, and was 7-9 from deep in this one.

“Andrew shot the lights out,” freshman guard Tyus Battle said.  “I feel like when we give him the ball and the ball goes up, it’s going in the basket. I’m really lucky to be playing with a shooter like that.”

 

Offensive Flurry

Greensboro wasn’t deterred.  They answered with a Demetrius Troy triple, followed by a third dunk – this one from Galloway to tie the game at 21 with 9:53 remaining until the half.  After a White jumper, Troy again connected from downtown, giving the Spartans the lead at 24-23.

That was the last lead of the game for UNCG, as Syracuse went on a 12-0 run, including Frank Howard and Andrew White threes, a Battle field goal, and a Tyler Lydon slam off the nifty assist from Howard.  It was 35-24 with 6:11 til the half.

Another three from Troy got the lead back down to six at the 4:10 mark, but Syracuse pushed it back to double digits two minutes later and took the 47-37 advantage into halftime.

UNC Greensboro found success inside, with 18 points in the paint in the first half.  The Orange cashed in on 10 fast break points.  White shot 7-10 from the field for 19 points, and the team as a whole hit 64 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.

 

Snowball Effect

Syracuse stretched its lead to 17 in the first 3:39 of the second half.  Tyus Battle had six of his 20 in that stretch.

Aside from some easy dunks from Dickey and Baldwin, the Orange looked to be in control, ballooning the lead to 22 with under twelve minutes remaining, 69-47.

 

Digging Out

But the Spartans weren’t done.  An 8-0 run, including four points from RJ White, cut the lead to 14.

Syracuse kept the lead in the double digit range however, at least until the waning minutes.  At the 5:38 mark, White hit from deep for three of his game-high 34.  Then Greensboro went on an 11-0 run, capped off by a Diante Baldwin three.  It was 81-74 Orange with 2:05 to play.

That was as close as UNCG got.  Syracuse closed out the game at the line, hitting nine free throws down the stretch.

 

Forecasting the Future

“I don’t think Syracuse has ever won an NIT Championship before, so we’ll be making a little bit of history,” Battle said.  “As a competitor, I just want to win and that’s the main thing – winning games. I don’t care if it’s the NCAA Tournament or the NIT – we’re just trying to win and keep on playing.”

The Orange (19-14) advances to the second round of the NIT tournament, where it will host Ole Miss (21-13) on Saturday at 11 a.m.  The Rebels defeated Monmouth in the first round on Wednesday, 91-83.

“I saw part of their Monmouth game, we’ll see that tonight,” Boeheim said.  “Monmouth is really good and tough to beat at home. I thought they really played well. That’ll be a tough game.”

 

 

 

Another One-goal Game to Orange; Survival at St. John’s

Another One-goal Game to Orange; Survival at St. John’s

Story and photos by Dontae Harris Queens, N.Y —  On a very cold Saturday with snow still piled up on the sides of the field. the Syracuse Orange men held on to escape the St. John’s Red Storm on Saturday, winning 9-8 in a lacrosse game many had expected to be a blowout. With Spring […]

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Story and photos by Dontae Harris

Queens, N.Y —  On a very cold Saturday with snow still piled up on the sides of the field. the Syracuse Orange men held on to escape the St. John’s Red Storm on Saturday, winning 9-8 in a lacrosse game many had expected to be a blowout.

With Spring Break underway in Syracuse, New York Area alumni and students on hand made the atmosphere almost as if the game was played in the Carrier Dome. After every Orange goal, the orange fans cheered “Let’s go, Orange.”

The Orange went, just effectively enough to get out with the win. And when it was over, one SU player was heard to say, “We gotta get back on the bus.”

The Orange men are now 4-1, having played four consecutive one-goal games, winning three. They’re back in action Saturday, March 18th  at John Hopkins.

Link to Daily Orange story here:

http://dailyorange.com/2017/03/syracuse-narrowly-escapes-st-johns-9-8-in-seasons-first-road-game/

 

Showing Them the Ropes

Showing Them the Ropes

Story, Video, Audio and Photos by Jon Cerio Video package: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmHJVaxFCYg&feature=youtu.be SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When you park at ShoppingTown Mall, and enter between Sears and the old Media Play entrance, you can’t help noticing the stark contrast between what is and what was. There’s an emptiness in the parking garage and exterior that bustled a few years […]

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Story, Video, Audio and Photos by Jon Cerio

Video package: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmHJVaxFCYg&feature=youtu.be

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When you park at ShoppingTown Mall, and enter between Sears and the old Media Play entrance, you can’t help noticing the stark contrast between what is and what was.

There’s an emptiness in the parking garage and exterior that bustled a few years ago.  Go a little further, and inside the void continues.  Empty storefronts, house music reverberating through abandoned halls.Through a black curtain under one of those storefronts, some light shines through.

Pass through the curtain and a dim illumination greets you.  It’s hard to make out the various wrestling posters from local house shows in the past decades plastered to the walls.  Painted banners that fans no doubt held up with pride during the events now drape the room’s perimeter, motionless.
To the side, Derek Potoki’s students quietly change their shoes, and stretch their calves and quads.  Just beyond, a large ring – gold and purple ropes surrounding a flat red mat.   It’s appearance entices you to step inside, but the sights and sounds of bodies grimacing as they crash into its plywood platform give you second thoughts soon after.
Still, there is an energy in that dark room modestly lit by fluorescents, infused with dried perspiration.  There is a tangible hunger in these young men and women – a desire to conquer that apparatus, and master the commands that their larger instructor doles out…whatever the toll might be on their bodies and psyche.

A Tall Order

Professional wrestling is often referred to as sports entertainment.  Derek Potocki is uniquely qualified for both aspects.

The 41-year-old  Syracuse native is a veteran of the professional wrestling scene of more than two decades.  Trained by the legendary “Killer Kowalski,” the same man who trained WWE superstar “HHH,” Potocki learned the rigorous ins and outs of the business.

Potocki said there were many times when he worked a full five days locally, then drove to Boston with his seven-foot-tall UPS truck driver friend, Bob Leo, to train for the weekend at the Kowalski school.  At 6’3,” and 232 pounds, Potocki said he rode the coat tails of his friend to break into the business.

“Kowalski saw him, a 7-foot guy, and liked him,” Potocki said.  “So I just went with him up to (Kowalski’s) school.”

After attending the school, Potocki said he hit the road with his taller friend, often wrestling multiple times a night, all across the country, on into Canada.  Potocki said it wasn’t long before promoters recognized his ability.

Where the Big Boys Play

When WWE owner Vince McMahon went to Killer Kowalski for enhancement talent, also known as jobbers, wrestlers whose main purpose is to enhance talent by losing matches to better-known wrestlers, Kowalski decided to use wrestlers from his school.  As a result, Potocki, known as Zaquary Springate III, got the call.

“I got to do a lot of stuff, and wrestle a lot of guys, huge stars and big stars, and my idols growing up,” Potocki said.  “So, I had a good career.”

Potocki recalled one particular night in Toronto, Canada, wrestling WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.  He said he was overwhelmed by the bright lights and the roar of the crowd.

“I remember seeing his shadow over me, about to do the splash,” Potocki said.  “I thought about all the people he did that to – Bob Backlund, and Don Muraco, just the legends…and he’s about to do it to me.”

Shopping for Talent

Now Potocki runs the school in Shoppingtown.  He said he wants to give back to the industry that’s given him so much.

The teaching is more than physical, however.  As a former entrepeneurship teacher at Syracuse University, Potocki said he recognizes the value of an education.

“I try to tell my guys to go to school and get an education,” Potocki said.  “If you’re just working a 9-5 job, and you plan on being a professional wrestler, you’re going to be in big trouble.”

Renaissance Man

The gritty grappler’s exploits go far beyond the ring.  Besides teaching at Syracuse University, Potocki has worked as an engineer for news stations, acted in several plays, and fronts an eighties cover band called Pop Rox. At a recent show at Roadhouse 48, just outside Thunder Island in Fulton, they belted out songs such as “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Don’t You Forget About Me.” It’s not hard to imagine a wrestling tie-in there.

Potocki said the opportunity to still perform for audiences with the band helps him deal with not performing for wrestling fans.

“There’s nothing on earth that’s like that, there’s no high like that in the world,” Potocki said.  “It’s tough to let go of that.”

 

The “Family” That Skis Together

The “Family” That Skis Together

Story, photos and videos by Bridget Chavez Video package: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2NvFknFTh4&feature=youtu.be CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — When it was over, the people involved called it a memorable year. The Cleveland Metro Ski Council held its final race of the season at Bristol Mountain on March 4 and 5. The group primarily races in New York and Ohio during the […]

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Story, photos and videos by Bridget Chavez

Video package: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2NvFknFTh4&feature=youtu.be

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — When it was over, the people involved called it a memorable year.

The Cleveland Metro Ski Council held its final race of the season at Bristol Mountain on March 4 and 5. The group primarily races in New York and Ohio during the skiing and snowboarding season.

The Council is made up of 24 ski clubs and more than 8,000 skiers and snowboarders, but regardless of the large size, members said everyone is close with one another.

“We found our people,”skier Keri Cavanaugh said. “We pretty much call it a family,” She and friend Emily Paris met through the group. The two raced alongside wearing matching inflatable unicorn costumes just for added fun, they said.

“So many people don’t understand,” Paris said.

Raw interview with Cavanaugh and Parishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2As_oXEBSrI&feature=youtu.be

Competition at your own level

In addition to the fun and spunk the group brings, members compete with one another for the best time out of three races. Racers are divided into classes based on ability, and Race Committee Chair Becky Bertuzzi said all ages are welcome to compete.

“It doesn’t matter what your ability level is, you’ll be racing with people of the same ability,” Bertuzzi said.

Something special

Larry Steele has been skiing since the 1970s and still hasn’t grown tired of the sport and said it’s his “good genes” that allow the 70-year-old to continue to ski competitively.

“I like to ski,” Steele said. “I just do. It’s fun and I just like being outside in the winter.”

Although they all come from different backgrounds, the one thing each member has in common is their love for the sport and the outdoors.

“Skiing is unlike anything else,” Cavanaugh said. “There’s a moment where you have quality time by yourself as well as quality time with other people doing the same sport.”

 

Lacrosse: Orange Men Down Cavs on Last-minute Goal

Lacrosse: Orange Men Down Cavs on Last-minute Goal

Story by Andrew Leffler Photos by Dontae Harris SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Orange men dug themselves out of another deep hole at the Carrier Dome on Sunday and this time finished the job with a 14-13 win over Virginia on a Sergio Salcido goal with 15 seconds left. “To be able to pick away at […]

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Story by Andrew Leffler

Photos by Dontae Harris

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Orange men dug themselves out of another deep hole at the Carrier Dome on Sunday and this time finished the job with a 14-13 win over Virginia on a Sergio Salcido goal with 15 seconds left.

“To be able to pick away at it, and get back into it, and to win it at the end, is a great win for Syracuse, and I’m very proud of the guys of how they played down the stretch,” Orange head coach John Desko said.

Rivalry Renewed

Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome was intense. An absolute showdown between two powerhouses in the collegiate lacrosse world. It was a battle of “blue and orange,” as Syracuse hosted its ACC rival. Coming in Syracuse was 2-1, and Virginia was 4-1. Both teams’ only losses had a one goal differential (Army defeated SU on a last-second goal 14-13; UPenn downed  UVA 11-10).


For the majority of this game, Syracuse again was playing catchup. Even though both teams scored four goals in the first period, Syracuse was scoreless in the second, putting Virginia up 8-4 at the half.

Syracuse made up for it in the second half.

Matt Lane and Nate Solomon finished the game with five points, both scoring three goals and racking a pair of assists. And then there was Salcido. Salcido also finished the game with five points, dishing out three assists and scoring a couple of goals.

It was his second goal that carried the most weight.

“When I got the ball, I looked over and they were shutting down everyone, making me take the matchup they liked,”Salcido said. “So I knew I needed to make a play. I dodged the middle, kind of zigzagged going back and forth, just trying to get a step on my guy, and shoot the ball and make sure I got a quality shot.”

“It’s not often you can win a game by one goal, having the roundball discrepancy, like we did in this game,” Desko said. “Hats off to [Virginia], I thought they played really hard, but I thought our guys played hard the whole way, especially in the second half, being down like we were down.”

Room for Orange Improvement

The big head scratcher in the game was the fact that Virginia managed to pick up 43 ground balls, compared to Syracuse’s 27. As happy as Desko was, being in these close games is something he’s not a fan of.

“I don’t want to play that way,” he said. “I want to get off to a better start. Again I thought we had some opportunities in that second period. We could have put a few back up there and made it a lot closer going into halftime, but credit to their goalie, and I didn’t think we shot great, especially in the first half.”

Salcido agreed that the team needs to get better starts.

“I think like Coach Desko said, obviously it’s not what we want to be doing , getting these nail-biters, coming here down the stretch, probably like to get a lead early and control the game. But you got to adapt and overcome, and it’s something we’ve been preaching all fall to the guys and all spring. We want to win, and it’s important to us. We work hard so we make sure we are pulling out these games the best we can.”
Despite Loss, Virginia Found A Win In Central New York


It was a homecoming of sorts for first-year Cavaliers head coach Lars Tiffany, who grew up in Lafayette. and he had some things to be happy about.

Virginia’s Michael Kraus finished the game with six points, scoring four goals and dishing out two assists. In addition to Kraus’ performance, Dox Aitken finished with five points, scoring three goals and getting two assists.

“I don’t think I could be any more proud of my team,”  Tiffany said after the game. “We really did a great job on the ground balls. We flew around and we created extra possessions for ourselves most of the game. The last half of the fourth quarter, give Syracuse credit. They were the ones getting the extra possessions and getting loose balls and creating more shots on goal. But I’m really excited to be coaching Virginia because of the passion we play with.”

“That’s the way the game is meant to be played,” he said. “What an exciting atmosphere.” Having grown up in the Syracuse area, Tiffany is well aware of the importance lacrosse has in Central New York.

“It’s really special to be able to play in front of so many rabid lacrosse fans, who were obviously rooting against us, or most them were rooting against us, but what an atmosphere. Obviously the loss stings, but I want to put this in perspective, what a great way to spend a Sunday. Running up and down against Syracuse University in a high-scoring, big hitting, action packed game.”

Onondaga Experience

Despite losing the game, Virginia did something special during the visit. After Tiffany
made his opening statement on the game, he said he is very appreciative for the opportunity he and his team were a part of the previous day.

“Special thanks to the Onondagas, and the Onondaga Nation for allowing us to go on the reservation yesterday and spend some time with Alfred Jacques, and seeing the stick making skills that he has. Really appreciate the Onondagas for inviting us on their land.”

Michael Kraus said he learned a lot from being on the reservation, especially how the Onondagas see the sport of lacrosse.

“That was a one of a kind experience for us to be able to go on the reservation and spend time with Jacques and go in their indoor facility.

“I think what struck me was what lacrosse means to them. It really is their whole entire life, and they lacrosse for the Creator, it’s kind of how they live their life. It’s how they raise young boys to become men.

“That’s what stuck out to me and also when they play, they play the game to the fullest extent. Clean, no hatred, no revenge, it’s just a clean game, something bigger than themselves, and I think that’s what stuck out the most to me. ”

Kraus said he tried to implement what he learned on the reservation to Sunday’s game today, and after the performance he had, he clearly learned something new. Before the game, the freshman had 26 points, 13 goals and 13 assists. Now he has 31.

 

Look Ahead

The next SU men’s game will be on March 11, when Syracuse will be in Queens to face St. John’s.

The Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse team had a win of its own Sunday, also defeating Virginia 16-15 in overtime. Its next game is also on March 11, and will be on the road, facing the Orange women’s nemesis, Maryland.

 

 

“Anything You Can Do…” – Orange Women Beat Cavs 16-15

“Anything You Can Do…” – Orange Women Beat Cavs 16-15

Photos by Dontae Harris SYRACUSE, N.Y.– As if the Orange men’s last-minute come-from-behind win over Virginia, 14-13 a few hours earlier hadn’t been exciting enough, Coach Gary Gait’s Orange women roared back from a first half deficit of 11-2 to beat the Cavaliers women on Sunday, 16-15. Junior Riley Donahue scored the go-ahead goal with 4:06 […]

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Photos by Dontae Harris

SYRACUSE, N.Y.– As if the Orange men’s last-minute come-from-behind win over Virginia, 14-13 a few hours earlier hadn’t been exciting enough, Coach Gary Gait’s Orange women roared back from a first half deficit of 11-2 to beat the Cavaliers women on Sunday, 16-15.

Junior Riley Donahue scored the go-ahead goal with 4:06 left and the No. 5/4 Orange women held on to stay undefeated at 7-0 and win their second game in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Senior Devon Parker led Syracuse with a career-high five goals.

“This was an effort that came from incredibly tired athletes that dug down deep within themselves, found what they had and made some great plays at the end of the game,” Gait said.

Reflections in an Orange Eye – Senior Day at the Dome

Reflections in an Orange Eye – Senior Day at the Dome

Story, photos and video by Bridget Chavez VIDEO PACKAGE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSM6IoDqOew&feature=youtu.be SYRACUSE, N.Y. — They went out with a bang. The Syracuse Men’s Basketball team hosted Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon in front of  30,448 fans at the Carrier Dome for Senior Day, which was the largest on-campus crowd in college basketball this season. For the players and […]

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Story, photos and video by Bridget Chavez

VIDEO PACKAGE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSM6IoDqOew&feature=youtu.be

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — They went out with a bang.

The Syracuse Men’s Basketball team hosted Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon in front of  30,448 fans at the Carrier Dome for Senior Day, which was the largest on-campus crowd in college basketball this season. For the players and fans alike, it was a game to remember, a 90-61 pounding of Georgia Tech following a roaring tribute to the players before what they hope is their last game in the Carrier Dome.

Friends. Family and Framed Jerseys

The pre-game ceremony began by honoring the seniors and graduate students who will not be returning next year. Each player was escorted by family members onto the court and greeted by head coach Jim Boeheim. They were also presented with individually framed jerseys to commemorate their time with the Orange. For two of them, graduate transfers Andrew White III and John Gillon, that time is just one season.
The New Guys
Emotions ran high throughout the game as White put up a whopping 40 points for the Orange, his career high . Gillon, who scored 43 points against North Carolina State in an overtime road win, chipped in ten points and ten assists. White said he’s proud to be part of this team and all they have accomplished together.
“We’ve imposed our will on the ACC and we put ourselves in a position to make it to the postseason and get whatever we want out of it,” White said.
And while the regular season is over, Gillon noted there is more to come, starting with the ACC Tournament on Wednesday.
“It’s sad but I’m ready for the next chapter and the season’s still going so I’m focused on

that but, man, this school it’s a special place.”

 

Orange Veterans

Tyler Roberson had four points and three rebounds in 24 minutes and even walk-on Doyin Akintobi-Adeyeye had a put-back bucket to give him ten points on the season.
Graduate student, DaJuan Coleman, the McDonald’s All-American from nearby Jamesville-DeWitt High School whose career has been severely curtailed by injury was able to get in on the action and played for the final minutes of the game. He said the moment was very special t o him.
“This whole journey has just been a grind,” Coleman said. “But my teammates and coaches, they always have my back and it means a lot to finish it out.”
Career High for White as Orange Blasts Georgia Tech on Senior Day

Career High for White as Orange Blasts Georgia Tech on Senior Day

Story by Jake Lapin Photos by Bridget Chavez SYRACUSE, N.Y. —   On a day where the seniors played their final game at the Carrier Dome and the ACC standings were very much up in the air, Syracuse took care of business by defeating Georgia Tech, 90-61, Saturday. With the win, Syracuse (18-13, 10-8 ACC) crept […]

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Story by Jake Lapin

Photos by Bridget Chavez

SYRACUSE, N.Y. —   On a day where the seniors played their final game at the Carrier Dome and the ACC standings were very much up in the air, Syracuse took care of business by defeating Georgia Tech, 90-61, Saturday.

With the win, Syracuse (18-13, 10-8 ACC) crept up a spot to finish as the eighth seed as the ACC regular season came to a close and got a bye in the opening round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn next week. It also split the season series after a 6-point loss to the Yellow Jackets (17-14, 8-10) in Atlanta 13 days earlier.

“We did a good job with getting the right positions, getting the ball in the right places and finishing,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We shot well from start to finish.”



Fast Start, Dominating Finish

Syracuse jumped on Tech quickly, piling up leads of as much as 16 points at 38-22 with 1:30 to go in the first half. Freshman Tyus Battle hit three early 3-pointers to ignite the offense. He had 22 points in the game.

But the Yellow Jackets scored the last four points of the half to close the deficit to twelve, then started the second half on a 9-0 run to get within three before Andrew White III hit a shot from beyond the arc.

From there the Orange clamped down on Tech’s offense, White caught fire and Syracuse ran away with it.

“You’ve got to give Syracuse a lot of credit – obviously they were fantastic,” Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner said.  “Andrew White III was just amazing.  They were dialed in.”

White Hot

The cheesy pun does not do White’s performance any justice. In his regular season finale, the recently slumping guard awoke with a vengeance, finishing with 40 points on 12-of-16 shooting.

White had it going from beyond the arc, where he shot 8-of-9 on the game and 7-of-7 in the second half.

In his previous three games, White had 31 points combined in a total of 120 minutes. In this one he averaged over a point per minute with his forty-piece in just 39 minutes of playing time.

“Nobody cares about my 40 points if we don’t win the game,” White said. He also pointed out that after struggling the last couple of games, the law of averages was due to help him out.

White had shot just 22-percent from deep in Syracuse’s previous four games before his absurd 89-percent mark against Georgia Tech.

“He just didn’t miss anything,” Boeheim said after the game. “One of the best shooting performances I’ve seen.”

“He’s a walking bucket,” his fellow fifth-year transfer John Gillon added. “I’ve been saying it all year.”

Seniors Saluted

The Orange honored each of its seniors as it traditionally does on the final home game of the regular season. DaJuan Coleman, Doyin Akintobi-Adeyeye and Tyler Roberson were honored in a pregame ceremony, as well as White and Gillon. Each of them was presented a framed jersey at center court with family and friends close by.

In an unexpected twist, each of the seniors saw the floor courtesy of the blowout.

Coleman played for the first time since Jan. 24 vs. Wake Forest. He did not record a stat in his three minutes of play, but received a booming ovation from the crowd, particularly the student section upon checking in.

“He’s a great kid,” Boeheim said. “I think he could have been a really good player without those knees. He just can’t move out there. He somehow played through this just on sheer will and determination.”

“When I got in there, and heard everyone chanting my name, just making a lot of noise, I was a little emotional,” Coleman said.

“I thought he gave us everything he could,” Boeheim added. “That’s all you can ask for from a player as a coach.”

Akintobi-Adeyeye scored in his sole minute of play on a put-back layup. He finished the season with 10 points scored in 13 games played.

Gillon had a sneaky double-double, with 10 points and 10 assists with just three turnovers.

Roberson finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds and a steal in his final game at the Dome.

“He played as hard as he could for four years,” Boeheim said.

Double Bubble

This game carried importance for both Syracuse and Georgia Tech, jockeying for position in the ACC standings as well as trying to impress the NCAA Tournament committee before Selection Sunday.

Entering the day, both teams appeared on Joe Lunardi’s “On the Bubble” in Bracketology. After the win, the Orange can be found under the “Last Four Byes” category, avoiding the play-in game as a 10-seed. Georgia Tech is among the “First Four Out.”

With the ACC standings now set in stone, Georgia Tech will have to play in the first round, missing out on the top-nine in the conference, but according to Boeheim, it could have been worse.

“I think Georgia Tech has done a fantastic job on defense,” Boeheim said. “They won eight games in this league, they beat a lot of really good teams. They played a lot of people really tough too. They deserve a lot of credit.” Boeheim also added that Pastner should be ACC coach of the year.

As for Syracuse, it appears that Orange Nation can potentially take a sigh of relief, although nothing is certain. Each win in Brooklyn at the ACC Tournament would only bolster an already seemingly-sufficient resume.

When asked if one more win would get the Orange into March Madness, White responded “I don’t know exactly where we stand. We’re going in to Brooklyn and trying to win a tournament.”


Notes

Saturday’s attendance was 30,448, the largest the NCAA has seen this season, topping the Syracuse-Duke game which held the previous record. Syracuse finished with a 21,142 average of fans per game. 12 of the 15 teams in the ACC do not have arenas that can even accommodate 20,000 people.

“It’s unbelievable the support we’ve had,” Boeheim said. “The fans are always good but I think they were even better this year.”

Due to the blowout, sophomore Tyler Lydon had an easy night tallying “just” 37 minutes. It broke a streak of 11-straight games without checking out, including two games that went to overtime. The last time Lydon did not play at least 40 minutes was at North Carolina on Jan. 16, when he played a mere 39 minutes.

Syracuse has shot 38.5-percent from deep this season. Its 62.5-percent against Georgia Tech was a season-high. The 15 makes tied a season high as well.

“You shoot the ball like that from the three, it’s hard to beat that,” Boeheim said.

Looking Ahead

The ACC Tournament bracket is officially set. Syracuse will face Miami in the 8/9 matchup at the Barclays Center at noon ET on Wednesday. The game will be aired on ESPN, and the winner gets to face first-seeded North Carolina in the quarterfinals the following day.

Georgia Tech will play Pittsburgh in the 11/14 matchup on Tuesday in the opening round. That game can be found on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET

Pitino’s Cardinals Wallop Orange Men

Pitino’s Cardinals Wallop Orange Men

Story by Brianna Adams Photos by Bridget Chavez LOUISVILLE, KY. — The KFC Yum! Center roared from tip off to the buzzer as No. 7 University of Louisville (23-6, 11-5) demolished Syracuse University (17-13, 9-8), 88-68, in the home stretch of the regular season Sunday. After Syracuse forced Louisville to overtime in the match at the […]

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Story by Brianna Adams

Photos by Bridget Chavez

LOUISVILLE, KY. — The KFC Yum! Center roared from tip off to the buzzer as No. 7 University of Louisville (23-6, 11-5) demolished Syracuse University (17-13, 9-8), 88-68, in the home stretch of the regular season Sunday.

After Syracuse forced Louisville to overtime in the match at the Carrier Dome 13 days earlier, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino’s squad adjusted and stopped any chance of Syracuse making another comeback.

“The most impressive thing about the win is we got off our feet and challenged every shot they took.” Pitino said. “We pressed. We didn’t press at Syracuse, Outside of that, Syracuse can beat anybody on a given night, and we just wanted to make sure that every shot they took was challenged.”

Louisville Defensive Attack

The press effectively killed Syracuse’s opportunities behind the arc. The team shot 27.9 percent on three-point attempts with only one coming from Andrew White III. The grad transfer has been consistent all season for the Orange but in the battle in Kentucky, the guard he managed just seven points, getting off just eight 3-point shots and connecting on just the one.

“We play him as if he has no dribble,” Pitino said. “We get up. We sit on his right hand.”

Keeping the Orange alive

John Gillon, whose last-second shot beat Duke Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome, scored ten points in the game and was shut out in the first half.

“First half, if John Gillon and Andrew White don’t score, we’re not going to do much,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.

Freshman Tyus Battle (20 points) and sophomore Tyler Lydon (17 points) carried the offensive load for the Orange. In the first five minutes of the game, Syracuse struggled to score a basket with its first few points coming from free throws. It wasn’t until Battle knocked a three that momentum changed for the Orange.

A second three by Battle put Syracuse ahead 17-13 at the midway point of the first half.

But the Cardinals closed out the half on a 28-8 run and led 41-25 at halftime.

Battle and Lydon scored 23 of the 25 points the team had.

“I think we got good looks,” Battle said. “We just weren’t making them today and that’s just the game of basketball. It happens.”

The Orange never got closer than eleven in the second half and wound up losing by the largest margin it has in a league game since it joined the ACC.

 

Dominant Donovan

Sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell has been key for Louisville’s success this season. In Sunday’s match, Donovan punctured the zone immediately drilling a three for the first points of the game less than a minute in. Mitchell dominated behind the arc knocking six of ten 3-pointers against the Orange zone defense. Mitchell ended the game leading both teams in scoring with 25 points.
On the defensive end Mitchell had two key steals and five boards, helping Louisville capitalize on Syracuse’s missed opportunities.

“Great shooter, he’s improved his passing,” Pitino said. “He’s a steal machine, quite a player.”

 

Regular Season Finale 

The regular season is nearing its end for the two ACC teams. The Cardinals will next travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Wednesday to close out their games on the road with a conference match against Wake Forest (16-12, 7-9). They will then close out their regular season at home against Notre Dame (22-7, 11-5) on Saturday.

Syracuse returns to the Carrier Dome for one last game against Georgia Tech (16-13, 7-9) on Saturday. The Orange are looking for redemption and a chance to bolster their NCAA tournament chances after losing 71-65 in Atlanta last week. The Yellow Jackets lost at Notre Dame, 64-60, on Sunday night.

Black Knights Beat Orange Men with Last-second Goal

Black Knights Beat Orange Men with Last-second Goal

Story by Ashley Moore Photos by Dontae Harris SYRACUSE, N.Y. — For the second straight game, the #6 Syracuse Orange men found themselves trailing in the second half in a game to be decided within the final seconds Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.  Unlike the last game, when the Orange pulled out a win over […]

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Story by Ashley Moore

Photos by Dontae Harris

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — For the second straight game, the #6 Syracuse Orange men found themselves trailing in the second half in a game to be decided within the final seconds Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.

 Unlike the last game, when the Orange pulled out a win over Albany, Syracuse found itself on the losing end of a last second game-winning goal by Army West Point’s David Symmes.
“I had a matchup I liked and I split right-to-left,” Symmes said. “I just took the shot.”
The Black Knights celebrated and the Orange men had their first loss of the season.



Faceoff woes

Less than an hour before game time, the Syracuse Orange announced that its star faceoff specialist, Ben Williams, would not suit up to play against the Army-West Point Black Knights due to an undisclosed injury.
“Ben Williams is one of the best in the game and has really gotten after us these last couple of years,” Army head coach Joe Alberici said. “We had no prior knowledge of it, but we had to turn that into a strength in the first half and we certainly did.”
Fifth-year senior Cal Paduda started the game for Williams and struggled, winning just three of 13 draws and grabbing two groundballs.
Army-West Point controlled the tempo of the first half by maintaining possession of the ball. Dan Grabher won 11 of 16 faceoffs and the Black Knights scooped up five more groundballs than the Orange.

“They had some nice two-three minute possessions and sometimes the ball bounced their way so they were able to come up with some extra ground balls,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said.


Change at the X

 With 12 minutes to go in the first half, Army went on a 4-0 run, lasting nearly ten minutes, sparked by back-to-back goals from senior midfielder, Matthew Donovan.
With under four minutes to go in the half, Desko replaced Paduda with freshman Danny Varello.
 After an Army goal, Varello won his first faceoff of the game to give Syracuse a chance to snap the Army streak.

Later in the possession, Stephen Rehfuss tiptoed the crease as he wrapped around the goal to go head-on with Army goalie, Aj Barretto. A Rehfuss spin move put Syracuse back on the scoreboard.

The Orange managed to score one more goal before the half, going into halftime down two.

Second Half Adjustments

 The second half started tighter than the first with Syracuse and Army exchanging goals, both scoring three in the third.
Varello and Grabher split eight faceoffs, but Army still managed to come up with more loose balls.
With just under eleven minutes to go in the game, Syracuse was charged with two penalties, one on Pat Carlin and the other on Carlo Ciferi, forcing the Orange to play down two men. The Orange managed to hold the Black Knights scoreless until both players returned to the field, resulting in monstrous applause by Syracuse fans.

Momentum swung in Syracuse’ favor after score two goals, tying up the game at 12.

Both teams managed to score within the next few minutes, turning the game into a nail biter with just two minutes left in regulation.

The Orange had the ball with a chance to go ahead but after a Sergio Salcido turnover, Army regained possession

Alberici called a timeout to draw up the final, potentially game winning play.

Starting with 38 seconds left in the game, Matt Donovan moved the ball through the X from left to right, passed it to Nate Jones, who passed it to Ted Glesener in the top right corner. Glesener moved it to Symmes, who took an unexpected game-winning shot from his left hip and scored with 0.5 seconds left in the game.
“They were answering us but I kind of looked at it like we were answering them,” Alberici said.
“One thing we knew about [Army] cming in is that they were going to be well coached and play for 60 minutes, which they did,” Desko said.

Looking Ahead

Syracuse (2-1) closes out a four-game home stretch against #7 Virginia to begin ACC play next Sunday at noon in the Carrier Dome.

Army West Point (3-1) will host Lafayette Saturday to start Patriot League play.

 

 

 

Women Roll Over UMass to Stay Unbeaten

Women Roll Over UMass to Stay Unbeaten

Story and photos by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The #5 Syracuse Orange (4-0) remain perfect through four games after a 17-8 win over the University of Massachusetts (1-3) at the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon. “It’s always nice to be home in the dome and have a very well coached UMass team come in here.” […]

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Story and photos by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The #5 Syracuse Orange (4-0) remain perfect through four games after a 17-8 win over the University of Massachusetts (1-3) at the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s always nice to be home in the dome and have a very well coached UMass team come in here.” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “They were on our elbows a lot, it was the most physical game all year.”

Gait said the physicality of the game led to more turnovers than he would have liked for SU with 25, while the Minutemen had 24.

In the tenth meeting for the teams, UMass was no match for SU in scoring. The Orange outshot the Minutemen 43-21 and controlled more draws with the help of freshman defender, Morgan Widner.

Widner continued to dominate in the draw circle. She leads the nation in draw controls per game with 13.67 but early in the second half, Gait decided to use sophomore midfielder, Julie Cross, at the draw.

Cross is Widner’s draw partner in practice and Gait wanted to give her a chance.

“We’ve been talking about getting Julie a couple draws,” he said. “We just wanted to give Morgan a chance to see where the pressure is coming from and take a break.”

The Orange women have a tough week ahead of them, playing four games in eight days. Up next they’ll host upstate rival, Albany on Monday, followed by their first road game at Northwestern on Friday before coming home to host Virginia on Sunday.

The Minutemen will head home and host Connecticut on Sunday March 5.

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Women Roll Over Wake on Senior Night

Orange Women Roll Over Wake on Senior Night

Story and photos by Julian McKenzie SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse senior guard Alexis Peterson couldn’t help but think in the moment, and not of the game at hand, as she stepped on the Jim Boeheim Court with her parents. The Columbus, Ohio native received a commemorative plaque for her years as a talented player, scoring the […]

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Story and photos by Julian McKenzie

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse senior guard Alexis Peterson couldn’t help but think in the moment, and not of the game at hand, as she stepped on the Jim Boeheim Court with her parents. The Columbus, Ohio native received a commemorative plaque for her years as a talented player, scoring the second-most points in school history among other accolades.

“It’s amazing how fast time flies,” said Peterson. “It was definitely a bittersweet moment. ‘Ok, this is really it. I’m really here. This season is really going to end.’”

Following the opening ceremony, Peterson and her fellow teammates were all business as the #20 ranked Orange crushed the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 85-64 at the Carrier Dome Thursday night. The win moves Syracuse to 19-9 on the year and a 10-5 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Big night for us to get number ten,” Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We wanted to send our seniors out with a win.”

Four Orange players scored double-digit figures including Peterson, who led the way with 25 points. Center Briana Day registered her eighth double-double of the season by halftime and ended the game with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Fifth-year guard Brittney Sykes added 16 points and nine rebounds and Amsterdam-born forward Isabella Slim chipped in with eight points and six rebounds.

The lone non-senior starting player, Gabby Cooper, scored 15 points in the victory.


“It’s A Celebration”

Peterson, Sykes, Slim, both Briana and Bria Day were honored prior to the game as part of the Senior Night celebrations. Four of the five players are starters for the Orange. A sixth player, Michelle Van Dyke, who hasn’t played for the Orange since 2014-15, was also recognized.

As pre-game celebrations unfolded and led right to the opening tip-off, a small thought crept into the mind of Sykes, who has been with the team since 2012-13.

“I’m old,” the 22-year old guard said, prompting laughter from reporters. The New Jersey native redshirted what should have been her junior season after suffering a season-ending injury, resulting in 2016-17 being her fifth year with the team.

“I really did think I was old. It’s been the joke all season from the opposite coaching staff, from our own coaching staff, our teammates, the other team. It was just a long time coming, honestly. It was good to finally have that feeling of certainty that, it’s bittersweet but, it’ll be my last time in the Dome, possibly.”

Post-game, the senior players saluted the crowd and celebrated with fans before retreating to the locker room.

“It was just all smiles,” Peterson said. “I’m sad that this could be the last game, but it’s also a happy moment. It’s a celebration.”

Hillsman showed his appreciation to his seniors for their years of service for the Syracuse women’s program.

“They’ve been the best,” Coach Q said “They made me a better coach. The more they improved, the more I had to improve.”


Senior Moment

The Orange trailed for only 37 seconds Thursday, down 3-2 very early in the opening quarter. Syracuse ended the opening frame with a 27-18 lead. While the Orange scored 15 points in the second quarter, their defense held Wake Forest to 10 points and the Orange took a 42-28 lead into halftime.

Briana Day and Peterson combined to score 25 of the Orange’s 42 points. Day registered a double-double with under four minutes to go in the first half.

“I didn’t have too well of a rebounding game last game so I needed to redeem myself. I thought I did.” said Day, who had five rebounds total against Notre Dame Sunday.

 

Keeping Up The Pace

Syracuse added 19 more points in the third quarter, none more impressive than Peterson’s steal and layup. Wake Forest forward Elisa Penna made an errant pass that was stolen by Peterson before she cruised to the basket to add to the Orange lead.

Syracuse wasn’t interested in settling down after taking a 61-42 lead into the fourth, as they scored 24 points in the final quarter and continued to press Wake Forest on inbound plays and dove for loose balls.

 

Next

Syracuse has one more game left in the regular season at Pitt Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

March 1-5 will be the 2017 ACC Tournament, held in Conway, South Carolina, which precedes the NCAA tournament.

 

 

 

 

Orange Downs Duke on Gillon Buzzer Beater

Orange Downs Duke on Gillon Buzzer Beater

Story by Jon Cerio Photos by Robert Schiff SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With eleven ticks on the clock and the game tied at 75-75, Tyler Lydon corralled the Luke Kennard miss. He gave it to Tyus Battle, who held onto the ball for a few precious seconds before passing off to John Gillon, 80 feet from the […]

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Story by Jon Cerio

Photos by Robert Schiff

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With eleven ticks on the clock and the game tied at 75-75, Tyler Lydon corralled the Luke Kennard miss. He gave it to Tyus Battle, who held onto the ball for a few precious seconds before passing off to John Gillon, 80 feet from the basket.
“I got the rebound, looked up at the clock and saw there were about five to six seconds left and passed it off to John” Battle said.  “I made sure I ran just in case he passed it to me, but he put it up and I had a feeling it was going in. I just lost it after that. It was amazing.”

Gillon went from the far foul line up to the top of the key.  With 1.6 ticks left on the clock, he let it fly. It banked home as the buzzer went off and Syracuse beat the Blue Devils, 78-75,

Orange fans stormed the court and stayed.

“The last play, we knew we were going to get the ball and we were just going to give it to John and go,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.  “We hoped there would be a little more time, so he could go all the way, but once in a while you get lucky, and we’ll take it.”

“Congratulation to Syracuse, they’ve been in so many close games, and they’ve hit big shots,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Gillon has hit big shots.”

Dancing with the Devils

The game was back and forth for much of the night.  SU’s Taurean Thompson got the game’s first basket just over one minute in.  He scored six of the Orange’s first ten points, on his way to eleven for the game.

In what was be a recurring theme, seemingly whenever SU hit a big shot, Duke went to its clutch sophomore, Luke Kennard.  He answered Thompson’s basket with a jumper of his own.

In a little over five minutes, the Blue Devils doubled up the Orange at 12-6.  Syracuse responded with a 7-0 run, capped off with a three from Andrew White III.

 

Hell and Back

The crowd of 30,331, the largest to see an on-campus game this season, was on an ebb and flow of emotion throughout this one.  Every Orange make was followed with a huge reaction from the fans.  With every Blue Devil shot or call against the Orange, the crowd barked displeasure.  Anytime Duke’s Grayson Allen so much as touched the basketball, he was booed nearly out of the building.

Allen had a less-than stellar outing.  Duke is 24-6 when the 6’5” junior leads his team in scoring.  On this night he went 2-11 from the field, and 1-8 from deep, for eight points.

“I thought we did a good job with Allen,” Boeheim said. “Kennard has had an unbelievable year and Tatum is a great player. I thought we did a better job in the second half with them.”

 

Double Trouble

After Syracuse took the lead at 13-12 with 12:24 left in the half, Duke came right back with a Jayson Tatum three.  Tatum had a double-double at the half with 14 points and ten boards.  He finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

For the next 5:14, Duke and Syracuse went back and forth, keeping it close.  At the 7:10 mark, a Tatum layup pushed the lead to six at 23-17.  Two minutes later, Kennard hit one of his five threes, extending the lead to nine.

 

Devils’ Advocates

Syracuse scrambled to cut into the lead, but every shot the Orange made in the final five minutes of the half was met with a Duke response.

At 4:38, Gillon drilled a three-point shot to cut the lead to six.  19 seconds later, Tatum hit a jumper to push the margin back to eight.

With 2:32 remaining, Syracuse’s Tyler Roberson connected on a basket from Frank Howard, making it 28-22.  15 seconds later – Kennard buried a three, and the lead was back to nine.

Gillon managed to sneak a basket in before the half, making it 33-25 at the break. Duke’s seven offensive rebounds helped get the edge on the scoreboard.

“In the first half we were too stagnant – on offense we just weren’t really getting any movement,” Boeheim said.

Syracuse only managed 25 points in the first half.  In the second, the Orange put up 53.

 

Hot-Hand Luke

Lydon got the ball rolling with a triple at the 19:14 mark.  20 seconds later, Kennard picked up where he left off in the first half, draining one from deep.

Back-to-back Gillon layups cut the lead to 37-35 with 17:14 to go.  14 seconds later, Kennard hit from downtown.  Kennard has now connected from beyond the three-point line in 31 consecutive games.

 

Holding the Line

Throughout the next 4:52, every big make for Syracuse was met with a swift response from the Blue Devils.  The lead bounced between two and four points over that stretch, until four straight Orange free throws, including a pair from Gillon.  His 5-5 performance from the line extended his made free throw streak to 43 consecutive makes.

 

“I think we’re getting pretty comfortable playing close games,” Gillon said.  “We just keep on battling, keep on fighting. We don’t give up until we see zeros on the board.”

 

Trial By Fire

Duke responded with a Harry Giles slam and a Tatum three.  Over the next 8:50, there were five ties and eight lead changes.

With 2:00 to go, Battle nailed the jumper, tying the game at 73-73.  Amile Jefferson responded inside and drew the foul.  He hit the pair, giving Duke a 75-73 with 1:34 remaining.

After Gillon missed a layup at 1:10,  Allen grabbed the board and had the chance to extend the lead from deep with 45 seconds to go.  He couldn’t connect and seven seconds later Gillon hit a left-side jumper to tie things up at 75-75.

Duke looked to the hot hand in Kennard for a response, but he couldn’t hit the jumper. Gillon’s final heroics followed.

“I was just really one-track minded,” John Gillon said.  “I really wanted to win. We needed to win. That was my one focus.”

His buzzer beater gave Gillion 26 points and six assists on the night. And zero turnovers.

“To be able to play in this game and play against Duke, it was a dream come true,” Gillon said.. “I don’t take it for granted. I’m glad I could play like that on that stage.”

“For me it went exactly right, except the end,” Krzyzewski said.  “We are supposed to hit the shot and they were supposed to miss. We were supposed to win but they screwed up my game plan.”

 

Heaven Sent

The Dome was as loud as it’s been in a long time, and for good reason.  This was one of the great college basketball games this year, or in recent years.

“It took me a little bit to realize what had happened,” Lydon said.  “I just stood there. I was down by the paint. I kind of just looked at the basket like, ‘Thank you, Lord’. It felt really good, obviously.”

 

Cardinals Next

Syracuse improved to 17-12 (9-7 in ACC play) and again has a legitimate chance at making the NCAA tournament after the third victory over a top-ten team at home this season.

The Orange has two more games left before the ACC tournament.  The road doesn’t get any easier, as it leads to Louisville and Rick Pitino’s seventh-ranked Cardinals on Sunday. The Orange lost to Louisville in overtime in the Dome earlier this month.The Cardinals will be smarting from a pounding they took at North Carolina Wednesday night.

Duke dropped to 22-6, 10-5 in the ACC, and will travel to Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes this Saturday.

 

 

Crowd Breaks Record But Irish Bust Orange Home Streak

Crowd Breaks Record But Irish Bust Orange Home Streak

Story by Bridget Chavez Photos by Michelle Fenelon Syracuse, N.Y — Looking to shatter more than record-breaking crowd numbers, the No, 21 Syracuse Women’s Basketball team hosted No.7 Notre Dame Sunday evening in the Carrier Dome. The Dome was packed with a record-breaking 11,021 in attendance for a women’s game but luck was on the […]

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Story by Bridget Chavez

Photos by Michelle Fenelon

Syracuse, N.Y — Looking to shatter more than record-breaking crowd numbers, the No, 21
Syracuse Women’s Basketball team hosted No.7 Notre Dame Sunday evening in the Carrier Dome. The Dome was packed with a record-breaking 11,021 in attendance for a women’s game but luck was on the Irish side as they pulled out an 85-80 win over the Orange in the final quarter. The Orange had won 18 home games in a row.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for making it happen,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said.
” Having a good crowd is a good thing for our team. I think our fans saw a good game.”


Fast start by Orange

The Orange (18-9. 9-5 ACC) got off to a fiery start as Brittney Sykes sank a three-pointer within the first fifteen seconds of the game. Alexis Peterson kept it going with an easy layup and gave Syracuse a 5-2 lead over the Irish.

“Hitting those shots definitely opened up the lanes for us,” Sykes said. “We just have to make sure that we have the will to go to the boards and crash. We just have to do a better job as a team and hold each other accountable.”

Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale responded with an jumper that missed and although Kathryn Westbeld got the rebound but turned it over. Brittney Sykes and Gabby Cooper teamed up for back- to-back threes giving the Orange a nine-point lead.

Marina Mabrey hit a three for the Irish (24-3, 13-1) bringing the score 13-5. The Orange’s Gabby Cooper answered with a three pointer on an assist from Peterson.

The Orange led by as many as eleven points before Notre Dame finished the quarter strong.

Going into the second quarter, Syracuse led 30-24.

Second quarter

Both teams missed a couple of jumpers but finally a defensive rebound by Ogunbowale set up Brianna Turner for an easy layup for the Irish.

Trying to hold on to the lead, Sykes stole the ball  from Jackie Young and Briana Day got a layup for Syracuse bringing the score 32-26.

With just over one minute to play before the half, Brianna Turner added two more for the Irish off an assist from Ogunbowale. Sykes and Peterson teamed up for an added two for the Orange, leading at the half 43-35.

Peterson and Sykes are the country’s top scoring backcourt, averaging 43 points for the Orange.

Orange holds on through 3rd quarter

The second half started off with Notre Dame trying to close the gap. Brianna Turner’s layup brought the score to 43-37. Two more layups and a three tied the game at 46, but not for long. Peterson and Sykes together again for an easy layup and assist.

Young helped her team gain on the Orange with a layup but the Irish were still down 63-59.

Fourth belongs to the Irish

The Irish had a newfound momentum as they found their stride in the final quarter. opening with a 10-0 run to take the lead.

“They made adjustments and it was tough. It threw us out of our defense,” Orange center Briana Day said.

The Orange struggled to come back and with a mere 12 seconds left to play Peterson made both shots after she was fouled closing the gap 81-80. But Sykes fouled Mabrey who converted both free throws Another foul sent Turner to the line and she sank both finishing off Syracuse 85-80.

“They [Syracuse] gets better and better every year. This is a game I was really worried about,” Notre Dame Coach Muffet McGraw said. “I thought this might be the most important game of the year.

Next

Next up, Syracuse will take on Wake Forest in the Dome Thursday night at 7:00 and Notre Dame hosts Boston College at home in the Purcell Pavilion the same night.

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Tennis Gets Win in Home Opener

Orange Tennis Gets Win in Home Opener

Story and photo by Andrew Leffler SYRACUSE, N. Y. — The sound of tennis balls striking nylon echoed in the Drumlins Tennis Center Saturday morning as the Syracuse Women’s Tennis Team faced the University of Buffalo in its first home match of the spring season. Syracuse was determined for a win. Coming home after four straight […]

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Story and photo by Andrew Leffler

SYRACUSE, N. Y. — The sound of tennis balls striking nylon echoed in the Drumlins Tennis Center Saturday morning as the Syracuse Women’s Tennis Team faced the University of Buffalo in its first home match of the spring season.

Syracuse was determined for a win. Coming home after four straight losses, Syracuse was a bit homesick, and Saturday’s 6-1 victory over Buffalo proved that there is no place like home.

Home Sweet Home

There was a different team out there. A team that one wouldn’t expect to have lost four straight. Head coach Younes Limam said after the match, “I think it’s always nice to get that first W at home.”

“I think that one of the biggest things for us today was winning those big points.” Despite losing one doubles match and one singles match, Limam was very pleased with his team.

“I feel like we did a tremendous job playing those big points, better than what we have done in the past, and you could see the results, like with the third set on court number 2 and on court number 5. We did a great job committing to our shots, and really doing it to the fullest.”

Line One Doubles Combines For Three Wins

Syracuse’s line one doubles team, comprised of sophomore Gabriela Knutson and freshman Miranda Ramirez led the way early on with their 6-3 win at doubles, and it didn’t stop there.

Knutson, who played line one singles, had an easy 6-2, 6-0 win against Buffalo’s Tanja Stojanovska.

Ramirez, who is the newest member of the women’s team, made a statement in her first ever Syracuse home match, defeating Chantal Martinez-Blanco, 6-0, 6-3. at line two singles. Ramirez was more than pleased with her play. Her composure was evident, as she was in complete control all match, and all day long.

“I thought it was a great match,” she said afterwards. “I thought I played really well, very happy with the result and the whole team won, so that made my day. Absolutely love it. The atmosphere is amazing. This is my first home match, so I really loved it.”

Like a chess match, Ramirez was always one step ahead of her opponent.

“I think that from the back I was very solid. I had a lot of big shots and I was also opening up angles, which I thought helped me out a lot today. I was able to tell where she was going, where she expected the ball to go and try and hit the opposite way.”

Start Strong, Finish Stronger

Syracuse had a great start to its home stand. The win against Buffalo was a strong start for the women, as they look to finish even stronger Sunday when they face Brown.

Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Sweeps Doubleheader

Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Sweeps Doubleheader

Story and photo by Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Orange women picked up where they left off Saturday afternoon when they jumped out to a 6-0 lead early in the first half Saturday night. The Orange (3-0) kept the lead throughout the game, defeating the Binghamton Bearcats (0-2) 16-5 to remain unbeaten and […]

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Story and photo by Jacqueline Mundry

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Orange women picked up where they left off Saturday afternoon when they jumped out to a 6-0 lead early in the first half Saturday night.

The Orange (3-0) kept the lead throughout the game, defeating the Binghamton Bearcats (0-2) 16-5 to remain unbeaten and complete a day/night doubleheader sweep after downing Canisius 18-6 in the opener.

Double header affect

The Orange offense did not let the fact that the team played just hours before be an excuse to let up on scoring. Over the course of their first three games this season, it has scored 52 points.

Eleven Syracuse players contributed to the team’s 16 points by recording goals. There was also one hat trick on the night by junior midfielder, Kelzi Van Atta.

Coach Gary Gait said he was proud of his team executing, especially since it had played earlier in the day.

“They’re working on getting better every day,” he said. “You can tell they’re probably getting a little bit tired but they still executed pretty well and put the ball in the back.”

Freshman defender, Morgan Widner said although it is exhausting, she enjoys doubleheaders.

“It’s honestly such an amazing experience, we were talking about it in the locker room today. A lot of other teams in the NCAA don’t get the opportunity to play two teams in one day so it’s just a good opportunity to play two different teams, two different styles, get some more lacrosse under our belt.”

Widner was very successful at the draw in both games, winning 14 of 22 against Binghamton. She credits her teammates and coach on her success.

“How great they [teammates] are at boxing out on the circle gives me that open opportunity to get it myself and also Gary and I work a lot on a certain technique that just allows us to get it,” she said.

Bearcats fall short

Binghamton was quiet most of the game, but did go on a run scoring three goals late in the second half of the game, gaining a little momentum.

Gait didn’t seem worried about the Bearcats’ run.

“This is a great opportunity here when you’re up by 7, 8, 9 goals, you’re gonna let your other players play and get some game experience,” he said. “And that’s kind of why we do these doubleheaders to get everybody in the game and let every staying body play.”

Up next

The Bearcats will look for their first win of the season at Colgate on Wednesday at 5 p.m. while the Orange will host Massachusetts on Saturday at 4 p.m. in hopes of staying perfect.

Lacrosse: Orange Men Catch Great Danes

Lacrosse: Orange Men Catch Great Danes

Story by Jacqueline Mundry Photos by Dontae Harris  SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With the amount of purple in the stands and cheers for the Great Danes, many would believe this game was played at the University of Albany. That wasn’t the case as the #6 Syracuse Orange (2-0) hosted the #12 Albany Great Danes (0-1)in men’s lacrosse […]

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Story by Jacqueline Mundry

Photos by Dontae Harris 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With the amount of purple in the stands and cheers for the Great Danes, many would believe this game was played at the University of Albany. That wasn’t the case as the #6 Syracuse Orange (2-0) hosted the #12 Albany Great Danes (0-1)in men’s lacrosse on Saturday afternoon.

A game that started out with Great Dane domination, ended up being a thriller as the Orange took down the Great Danes 10-9 with a goal from senior midfielder Nick Mariano with two seconds left in the game to give Syracuse the win.

“I mean honestly I wasn’t listening in the huddle,” Mariano admitted with a laugh, “until the last five seconds coach said I was gonna come off a pick, I knew what we were doing.”

All Albany

The Great Danes took the early lead and continued to score, leading the Orange 6-1 in the second period.

The Great Danes were also dominant on defense in the first half, causing five turnovers and capitalizing on ground balls.

The Albany domination slowed down in the third period, giving the Orange an opportunity to score four goals to take its first lead of the game.

“I’ll be honest, I don’t think it was much of what they were doing, they didn’t really change much of their defense,” Albany head coach Scott Marr said of being shut out in the third period.

“Maybe a little bit of our youth came out, maybe inexperience, you could look at it a bunch of different ways but we just didn’t execute what had worked in the first two quarters,” senior attack Bennett Drake said.

Albany got the momentum back after that and tied the game up at 7. This was the beginning of the back-and-forth battle between the two teams that ended with Mariano’s clutch shot.

Looking for a comeback

The Orange went into halftime trailing by three and head coach John Desko told his team, “we got 30 minutes to go,” he said. “Didn’t need it to happen all at once we just had to go out, roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”

The first half may have been all Albany but in the third period it was Syracuse’s game. The Orange won five of six face-offs and redshirt senior goalkeeper, Evan Molloy, had three saves.

“To come out on top against a good lacrosse team like this, in such a close game is going to be a good learning experience for our group,” Desko said. “To have to fight and come back against a hot goaltender was a good exercise for us.”

Up next

After a tough loss, Marr said the Great Danes are looking ahead.

“We don’t dwell on losses or wins, the games over, we accept the outcome and now we’re focused on Drexel,” he said.

The Great Danes will look to get their first win of the season when they visit Drexel on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Orange will host Army West Point on Saturday at noon in the Carrier Dome.