FH : International players lead SU into NCAA tournament

first_img Comments Martina Loncarica clenched her fists and let out a roar in celebration.The senior midfielder had just given Syracuse a 3-0 lead over Connecticut in the first half of Sunday’s Big East championship game, smacking a penalty stroke into the bottom right corner of the goal.Turning around, she sprinted out of the shooting circle, and upon reaching the top of the arc, she flung her stick toward midfield and leapt into the arms of Amy Kee.‘It’s just the way I react when I score. I might get in trouble sometimes for doing that, but it’s OK,’ Loncarica said jokingly.This unhindered passion originates from Loncarica’s childhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She and fellow Argentine Stephanie Hussey bear the traditional strengths of players from their homeland: strong dribbling ability and individual flair.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut the Argentines are just two of seven international players on No. 3 Syracuse (18-3, 5-1 Big East). Five different countries are represented on SU’s roster, and players from each of those nations bring unique skill sets that stem from their cultural backgrounds.The diverse group of players has bonded into a cohesive unit that not only won the conference tournament, but earned the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. In Saturday’s opening-round game in College Park, Md., the Orange faces Richmond (16-6, 5-1 Atlantic-10) at 11:30 a.m.‘Everyone has a little bit of something that they bring from their countries,’ Loncarica said Nov. 2. ‘ … I use my skills, which is typical from Argentina, to just dribble, and I’ll find the passes after.’Over the course of the season, the senior midfielder has showcased a series of on-ball maneuvers, sometimes flicking the ball into the air and juggling past a defender.In the opening minutes of SU’s Big East tournament semifinal victory over Villanova, Loncarica received a pass on the left side of the shooting circle roughly 15 feet from the goal. Facing away from the net, she turned her stick and popped the ball backward through her legs. The shot missed just wide left, but it was an attempt few would try.Loncarica credits these abilities to juggling sessions and pickup games with friends growing up. Now at SU, though, she is tactful in implementing those tricks.‘Of course, you have to have fun, but be efficient for the team,’ Loncarica said.‘ … But yeah, if we’re controlling the game, at some points if you can do some things to enjoy what you’re doing, then why not?’In contrast to Loncarica and Hussey, senior midfielder Liz McInerney, who is from Dublin, Ireland, excels on defense. She displays excellent vision and structure on the field, frequently filling lanes to intercept passes.In comparison, sophomore midfielder Leonie Geyer and sophomore back Laura Hahnefeldt, or ‘the Germans,’ as Kee called them, bring a comprehensive understanding of the game and a mastery of the basics: pushing, hitting and blocking.‘They’re smart, they’re skillful and very gifted intellectually, both of them,’ Bradley said.Like Geyer and Hahnefeldt, junior backs Kee, from Hertford, England, and Iona Holloway, from Glasgow, Scotland, were also taught the fundamentals at an early age — something that has helped them playing out of the back, Holloway said.After first being taught to push the ball, Holloway soon learned how to ‘drag.’ But it wasn’t until six months after she first picked up a stick that she learned to actually strike the ball, and it was another year before she played a game.The success of that training is easy to see, especially on the defensive end.Holloway has shut down opposing forwards all season long. She repeatedly lowers herself toward the ground, squares her stick to the turf and knocks the ball off the opponent’s stick.On Friday against Villanova, she actually flipped a Wildcats player after taking the ball away.Together, the seven international players have helped lead the Orange to its fourth NCAA tournament in as many years. But four victories remain between SU and its ultimate goal of becoming the national champion.On Saturday, Syracuse can take the next step against the Spiders.‘I’m very happy and very proud of what we’ve accomplished, and we still have one more thing to accomplish,’ Loncarica said.sebail01@syr.edu Published on November 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

President of Ghana Rugby meets with IRB

first_imgMr. Herbert Mensah, President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union, has met officials of the International Rugby Board (IRB) on Monday 23rd June 2014 in Dublin to discuss issues relating to the development of rugby in Ghana.Present at the meeting that was held at Huguenot House in Dublin were Mr. David Carrigy (Head of Development and International Relations), Mr. Morgan Buckley (General Manager Development) and Mr. Colum Lavery (Member Services Manager).According to Herbert Mensah, the primary objective of the meeting was to introduce himself on a personal level to the people in charge of rugby development internationally and to seek guidance on the priorities for the development of rugby in Ghana.Mr. Carrigy congratulated Mr. Mensah and his Executive Members on their election with a mandate to grow the “Rugby Family” in Ghana and assured him that the IRB is fully behind the development programme and will assist and support Ghana Rugby to achieve its objectives.Mr. Morgan Buckley in explaining the development priorities of the IRB, congratulated Ghana Rugby for participating in its core development programme “Get Into Rugby”. The training and orientation for implementation of this programme was done in Accra earlier in 2014.The Get Into Rugby programme is part of the IRB strategies to grow the game globally in partnership with member Regions and Unions. The programme is a central part of the IRB initiative to grow Rugby as it rejoins the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The aim of the programme is to encourage players of all ages to Try, Play and Stay in Rugby. Get Into Rugby will promote the values of the game and ensure children are encouraged to try Rugby in a safe and progressive environment.Mr. Buckley further encouraged Ghana Rugby to evolve from Associate Membership to Full Membership of the IRB as soon as possible in order to also get access to further IRB Development Grant Funding in addition to current support provided by the IRB.The Ghana Rugby Association (GRA), operating as the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), was established in 2003 and forms part of the IRB’s African development region CAR (Confédération Africaine de Rugby).  In order to progress from Associate Member status to Full Member status Ghana Rugby needs to comply with certain criteria laid down by the IRB.Mr. Mensah emphasised that the Board of Ghana Rugby is in the process of assessing the state of rugby in Ghana in order to come up with a revised strategic development blueprint for Ghana Rugby that will also ensure speedy compliance with the requirements of becoming  a Full Member of the IRB.last_img read more