Milik, Lozano strikes help Napoli win on return to Serie A action

first_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Arkadiusz Milik and Hirving Lozano both scored headers as Napoli followed their Italian Cup triumph with a 2-0 win at Hellas Verona in their return to Serie A on Tuesday. Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik scored against Verona Napoli beat Juventus on penalties in the Italian Cup final last week after eliminating Inter Milan in the semi-finals, but this was their first league match since beating Torino on February 29 before the coronavirus lockdown. Almost four months later, they extended their Serie A winning streak to four games against one of their rivals for a European place, while keeping their slim hopes of Champions League qualification alive by moving to within nine points of fourth-placed Atalanta. Gennaro Gattuso’s side remain sixth, three points behind fifth-placed Roma, who play Sampdoria on Wednesday, and four points ahead of eighth-placed Verona. “We can’t relax, we don’t even have to think about the Champions League,” said Gattuso, whose side face struggling SPAL on Sunday. “We must continue on this path, believe that work gives us important things, as happened in the Cup. “I don’t know if these 11 games will be enough for us to get into the Champions League, we must already think about the challenge against SPAL.” Polish forward Milik opened the scoring on 36 minutes, nodding in Matteo Politano’s corner. Davide Faraoni thought he had equalised for the hosts after an hour, but his goal was ruled out for a Mattia Zaccagni handball in the build-up. Lorenzo Insigne missed a chance for a second for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining by curling a shot over. Read Also: Video: Schmeichel saves Leicester with penalty stop in Brighton draw The Sardinian side move up to 10th place with SPAL second from bottom and facing relegation to Serie B next season. Torino and Udinese play later on Tuesday in a match between two sides fighting the drop and struggling Genoa host Parma. But Mexican international Lozano, on as an 84th-minute substitute, rose high to head home a Faouzi Ghoulam cross six minutes later. Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina denied Samuel Di Carmine and Miguel Veloso as Verona suffered their first defeat since the league returned to action. Gattuso’s side honoured club record goal scorer Dries Mertens with a special badge on their jersey: “Dries Mertens, Napoli’s All-Time Top Scorer.” The Belgian, who has scored 122 goals for the southerners, came on for the last 20 minutes. Cagliari, meanwhile, earned their first league win since December 2 with Giovanni Simeone scoring three minutes into injury time for a 1-0 win over SPAL.center_img Loading… Promoted ContentWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?Did You Notice How Natural Simba’s Movements Looked In The Movie?Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do8 Fascinating Facts About CoffeeWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?Top 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World8 Scenes That Prove TV Has Gone Too FarA Little Cafe For Animal Lovers That You Will Never Want To Leave5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Betterlast_img read more

Miranda Ramirez rides strong baseline play to 10-match win streak

first_img Published on March 29, 2017 at 11:31 pm Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Graham Miranda Ramirez was riding a nine-game singles win streak when SU head coach Younes Limam quipped last Wednesday, “Don’t jinx it now.”His worries were unnecessary. On Sunday, the freshman plowed through her first No. 1 singles match for the Orange. Ramirez’s face remained determinedly blank as she downed Georgia Tech’s best player and No. 46 Rasheeda McAdoo, in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.The 5-foot-3 Ramirez had every answer and return for the much bigger and stronger McAdoo. Ramirez came out unscathed and pushed her consecutive wins to 10.“I felt really good from the back,” Ramirez said Sunday, “and I was able to move (McAdoo) around a lot, which I don’t think she’s too comfortable with.”This season, Ramirez has developed into a rising talent for a Syracuse (5-8, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) team that is otherwise struggling. She has dependably won points all season, which the Orange needs again on Friday at 3 p.m. against Louisville (13-5, 2-4). Ramirez, a freshman, consistently overcomes her weakness at the net and susceptibility to drop shots by playing mistake-free tennis. That, along with strong baseline play and patience that baits her opponents into errors, enables her success.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Obviously, her strengths are playing from the baseline and dictating play,” Limam said, “but we’re trying to add a little more diversity to her game.”Ramirez’ 11-1 singles record projects dominance, and so do her straight set wins. But she isn’t a stereotypical No. 1 singles power player. Her small frame can’t serve blisters and her returns don’t drop jaws.Unable to out-muscle opponents, Ramirez can’t afford to beat herself, and she hasn’t yet. Rarely does she miss long or wide and, though no statistics are available, double faults have never played an important role in her home matches. Comfortable playing in long rallies, Ramirez stays amid long rallies and fires return after return until an exasperated opponent sends a shot long or wide.“It’s a very good style of play,” Limam said. “It’s something she does really well … playing on her terms.”Ramirez also employs long cross-court or down the line rallies as she steadily works her opponent to one side of the court. Once she believes her opponent cannot run back across quick enough, Ramirez rifles a return to the opposite corner. This ploy worked against McAdoo, who found herself constantly stretching for a ball just out of reach.Relying so heavily on the baseline, though, creates vulnerability: drop shots. Fortunately for Ramirez, aggression around the net presents a simple remedy.“We’re just trying to have her get a little bit more comfortable finishing points at the net,” Limam said.Despite her wins, the freshman has been working on playing at the net and judging when to leave the baseline, said Limam. Last Wednesday, Ramirez spent over an hour in a one-on-one session focused entirely on playing closer to the divider.“It’s just trying to maintain my level,” Ramirez said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Syracuse starts season practicing inside because of winter weather

first_img Published on March 3, 2019 at 10:56 pm Contact Adam: | @_adamhillman Facebook Twitter Google+ During central New York winters, Syracuse can’t field ground balls off the dirt of the Skytop softball stadium. There’s usually snow on the ground. Syracuse can’t take pop-up drills outside, unlike many of its opponents in the Atlantic Coast Conference.Instead, SU is forced to practice indoors on turf at Manley Field House.“There’s a big difference between fielding ground balls on turf and fielding ground balls on dirt,” head coach Shannon Doepking said. “Unfortunately, we’re in a place where we don’t get that experience a lot. We get it on the weekends.”That discrepancy between practicing indoors and outdoors has affected Syracuse’s (5-11) defense so far this season during games. The Orange are No. 181 in fielding percentage through Feb. 28 and have committed 20 errors in 16 games. In a loss to San Diego State on Feb. 8, the Orange committed five errors, including two in the seventh inning that allowed the Aztecs to score six runs and win 9-8.Doepking admitted that SU won’t be able to practice outside until at least after spring break. Syracuse doesn’t play a home game until Wednesday, March 27 against Niagara. Until then, the Orange will practice at Manley Field House. For most players, it offers a drastically different perspective.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think we’re not used to all the hops we get,” senior Hannah Dossett said. “For outfielders, it’s a completely different view.”When indoors, SU had created high-pressure circumstances to replicate live-game intensity. The coaches load the bases and tell the defense they are ahead by one run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Anytime SU makes an error, they go back to a previous situation and tries to correct it.“You can get live reads in and play a game out based on the situation,” junior outfielder Toni Martin said. “It’s not the same but it helps a lot even though we’re in here and not outside.”The team has traveled to away sites earlier so it can have one practice outdoors, Dossett said. Instead of leaving late on Thursday for a Friday matchup, the Orange will leave early in the morning. The strategy has helped SU adjust outdoors and transition to the ever-changing environments.With only seven errors in its last eight games, the practices have helped, but the Orange still are not great defensively. The added exposure outdoors has allowed Syracuse to run, catch, pitch and slide on dirt, but SU is still committing errors in key moments.Facing No. 3 Florida on Feb. 24, SU faced a three run deficit in the third inning when Florida senior Alex Voss smacked a pitch toward Syracuse sophomore shortstop Neli Casares-Maher, who misplayed the ball. Gators sophomore Hannah Adams, who started at first base, trotted to third. Adams scored on the next at-bat as the Gators took a four-run lead. The Orange are persisting with the practice game plan because for now, they have to.“We’ve been having errors, but it’s the beginning of the year,” Casares-Maher said. “We should be able to clean it up. By the end, we’re going to be a phenomenal defensive team.” Commentslast_img read more