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

Liverpool begin search for new manager

first_imgFormer Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is the early favourite to take over at Anfield.To action on the pitch, Arsenal are up to second in the Premier League.Their 3-0 home win over Manchester United was enough to leapfrog their fellow title-challengers and move to within two points of leaders Manchester City.North London rivals Tottenham are just three points further back thanks to a 2-2 draw at Swansea.They’re only behind Everton on goal difference The club parted company with Brendan Rodgers a few hours after the 1-1 draw at Everton in the Premier League yesterday. A statement from the owners says it was a “difficult decision” but provides them with the best opportunity for success on the pitch.Rodgers had been in charge of the Reds for three years. last_img read more

Three-year odyssey has Brad Miller fighting for spot on Dodgers’ bench

first_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire The Dodgers made a series of front office moves in the baseball operations department, promoting farm director Brandon Gomes to vice president and assistant GM. Gomes, 34, retired as a player following the 2016 season and joined the Dodgers’ front office. He was promoted to farm director when Gabe Kapler left to become manager of the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2018 season.In addition, Will Rhymes was promoted from assistant farm director to replace Gomes as director of player development. Alex Slater was promoted to director of baseball operations and Duncan Webb to director of baseball resources.The Dodgers now have two assistant GMs (Gomes and Jeff Kingston, hired last fall) – but no GM since Farhan Zaidi left for the San Francisco Giants. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “I think it was kind of a natural development,” said Miller, in camp on a minor-league contract, trying to win a spot on the Dodgers’ bench. “I always could put the barrel on the ball, had a good track record getting up to the big leagues obviously, did some good things my first couple years, did some inconsistent things. I learned how to use my body, honestly. Learned how to unlock my full body and use my legs and drive the baseball, and got going pretty good there in 2016.”That season was “a lot of fun,” Miller said. The years since have not been as much fun.“The last couple years I was pretty messed up,” he said. “I was battling some injuries.”In 2017, Miller played “the whole year with my adductors torn off the bone.” He hit only nine home runs and saw his OPS drop over 120 points. Bilateral core surgery followed the season but he was also playing with a torn labrum in his right hip. He was traded from Tampa to the Milwaukee Brewers in mid-season then released by the Brewers after they acquired Mike Moustakas at the trade deadline.“You’ve seen the back of my baseball card, it wasn’t good,” Miller said. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco He underwent the same type of arthroscopic surgery on his hip that Corey Seager had about a week later last August with microfracture added to address cartilage damage. But Miller didn’t have a team until two weeks into spring training when he signed the minor-league deal with the Dodgers.The deal includes an opt-out date this week. If it looks like he won’t make the season-opening roster, Miller can become a free agent again rather than except an assignment to Triple-A. The Dodgers’ roster is not an easy one to crack.“Shoot, no doubt,” he said. “But they’re good – that’s what you want to be on. That’s why I came here, honestly. I felt they reward performance.“The big thing with some of these teams that are going younger – I’ll say politically correct, they’re going younger – a guy like me I’m not flexible. I don’t have options. I’m not a flexible roster piece. If I perform, they have no incentive to reward that whereas the Dodgers are trying to win. If I show I’m deserving of a spot, they’ll find a spot. No question. That’s kind of my mindset.”It won’t be easy if Seager is ready for Opening Day, as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts affirmed Sunday. Roberts has also said he expects outfielder Alex Verdugo to be on the season-opening roster. Add a backup catcher and utilityman Chris Taylor and there are no bench vacancies with a 13-man pitching staff.“I like Brad. I’ve liked him even in his days as a young player in Seattle,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of energy. There’s a baseball player in there with aptitude, wiry strength, athleticism. For us on our ballclub, it does make sense because he can play anywhere on the diamond, a left-handed bat. I don’t know how it’s going to shake out.“It’s tough. And I think Brad understood that when he signed on. I think we’ve done a nice job giving him an opportunity and a runway. We’ll see how it plays out.”KERSHAW UPDATELeft-hander Clayton Kershaw threw nearly 40 pitches in a full bullpen session Sunday, using all of his pitches. Kershaw is expected to throw to hitters for the first time this spring in the next few days.“It’s been good,” Kershaw said of his recovery from shoulder problems early in camp. “We’ve got a good plan. Now we just go to the next step and the next step is live BP.”MUNCY’S PROGRESSMuncy tested his sore right wrist/forearm by taking a full round of batting practice Sunday after being limited to 20 swings on Saturday. Muncy has also resumed throwing. He expects to be back in games soon.“It’s kind of a wait-and-see thing now,” he said. “See how we feel tomorrow.”FRONT OFFICE PROMOTIONSRelated Articlescenter_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies GLENDALE, Ariz. – There are three players in Dodgers’ camp this spring who have had 30-home run seasons in the major leagues.There is Cody Bellinger who set the National League rookie record with 39 home runs two years ago. There is Max Muncy who led the Dodgers with 35 home runs in a breakout season last year.And then there is Brad Miller.Miller hit 30 home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016. It is a number that jumps out from the back of his baseball card, surrounded as it is by a total of 29 home runs combined in his first three big-league seasons and 16 total in two seasons since. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more