Defensive slumps have nearly sunk Syracuse in recent weeks

first_img Comments Published on March 19, 2019 at 12:16 am Contact Nick: | @nick_a_alvarez The shot clock wound down, and Adam Charalambides was desperate. The Rutgers attack was nearly parallel to Syracuse’s Drake Porter near the crease when he flung an underhanded shot. Porter barely flinched, watching the ball bounce past him and into netting as the buzzer sounded. From the sidelines, Orange head coach John Desko walked onto the turf with extended arms. Officials convened, and the goal was awarded. It was early in the first quarter of the March 16 contest and already, it seemed like Rutgers’ offense was clicking. When asked about Charalambides’ six-goal output, Desko leaned back and took a deep breath.“That’s a great question,” Desko said. “We were a little disappointed, we had guys marking him and he backdoored us a couple times.” The play was a first for Porter in his first season as a starter. The junior goalie’s played well, posting more than 13 saves per game — the top mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Defender Nick Mellen has been regarded as one of the best defenders in the country by experts and opponents. But even with stalwarts and the talented backline, the numbers haven’t equated. No. 12 Syracuse’s (4-2, 0-1 ACC) defense has allowed multiple scoring runs in recent weeks, leading to a loss to Virginia and almost costing games against Johns Hopkins and RU. Its defense is middle of the road in caused turnovers (24th), stopping man-down chances (28th) and scoring (29th). Through six games, Syracuse’s defense is just average.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis Sunday, the Orange host No. 2 Duke — the highest-ranked opponent they’ve played this season with a top-15 offense — so the backline might need a stronger performance to match their thriving offense. The close contest with Rutgers wasn’t the first time Syracuse stumbled with an opponent’s early game plan. Two weeks prior, Virginia’s Michael Kraus exposed SU’s struggles with “big-little” matchups on March 3. It was the first time an offense utilized that strategy against Syracuse, Desko said, and it wasn’t prepared.Kraus paced the Cavaliers with six points, including a diving play where he charged the crease from behind-the-cage and flicked a shot past Porter for one of his three goals. SU adjusted its defense, assigned specific matchups but on the final goal of the game, Mikey Herring slipped free from a screen and scored the overtime winner. “Syracuse did a really nice job defending us one-on-one, and they didn’t want to slide,” UVA head coach Lars Tiffany said. “We wanted to continue to exploit that.”Susie Teuscher | Digital Design EditorThe Orange appeared to solve their defensive problems a week later against Johns Hopkins. When the ball swung behind Porter’s net, the goalie stepped behind and pressured the ball while two poles patrolled the crease. Yet the Blue Jays still leapt to an early 5-1 advantage. Their attack seized one-on-one matchups and used ball-screens to generate space and pressure with transition. While scoring from atypical players like Brett Kennedy and Peter Dearth salvaged the win, the defense almost sunk SU below .500.And this past Sunday, it allowed a Rutgers team playing its third game in eight days to establish another early lead. The RU duo of Kieran Mullins and Charalambides handed the Orange their worst defensive-frame of the season, scoring six times in the first. Syracuse stressed the importance of stopping RU’s transition game in practice, Desko said. But even though the Orange “beat it to death” before Saturday’s game, the Scarlet Knights still tallied a couple of fast break goals. But as seen through its up-and-down defensive stretch, Syracuse has adjusted well, but its opened other gaps. This past Sunday, it came in the form of Mullins operating from behind the goal, employing a now-familiar inverted-offense. SU’s defenders dropped into a zone when Mullins dropped low. But Rutgers countered and Charalambides capitalized. The 6-foot-2 attack rotated through crossing motions and the self-identifying non-dodger caught passes and whipped in goals. He scored on all of his first five shots, once causing Dearth to bend his stick over his head and shake his head at a replay. “We went into halftime and said, ‘Enough’s enough,’” Desko said. “If others were gonna hurt us, let them do it, but we can’t give this guy anymore.” The second-half strategy centered on stopping Charalambides with the 6-foot, 227-pound Tyson Bomberry. The senior face-guarded RU’s main threat and when SU rotated assignments, that defender retained the pressure. Syracuse’s defense settled. It allowed the attack and faceoff units to solve the Scarlet Knights’ defense and goalie Max Edelmann. Eventually, the fourth quarter turned into a shootout, and the offense took over, saving the team from its first defensive slump of the season.center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Bristol City run riot to move into play-off places with defeat of Blackburn

first_img Bannan penalty helps Sheffield Wednesday strengthen grip on play-off place 2 Mulgrew put the visitors ahead before Bristol City recovered in sparkling style Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Elliott Bennett sent a low shot wide following a fast break and Adam Armstrong had a shot blocked by Tomas Kalas as the home side started to surrender possession in dangerous areas.However, the hosts were level on 38 minutes when Brownhill found the top corner with a sweet right-footed free-kick from a central position just outside the box, awarded after Ryan Nyambe fouled Matt Taylor.Blackburn nearly regained the lead within a couple of minutes, Maenpaa saving well from Armstrong. City defender Adam Webster appeared to be fouled in the build-up and head coach Johnson was shown a yellow card by referee David Webb for his protests.The hosts began the second half in the same fashion as the first and Raya had to produce another fine save to keep out a shot from Taylor, whose moment of inspiration then allowed Watkins to make it 2-1.Taylor chested an Eliasson cross into the path of the Wales international, who had time and space to shoot past Raya from 10 yards.Johnson made a double change on 66 minutes, introducing Diedhiou and Callum O’Dowda for Watkins and the excellent Taylor.Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray had used three substitutes by the 72nd minute – but it was City who finished stronger.Diedhiou netted the third goal with a low drive in the 73rd minute. Fed by Weimann on the break, City’s club record signing – making his first appearance of the season following a six-match ban – scored with the aid of a slight deflection. Cardiff and Preston play out stalemate in Championship early kick-off ROUND-UP EFL result Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ goalless stalemate impact Latest Championship news GREAT NEWS Lee Johnson’s side have moved into the Championship’s top six REPLY However, Lee Johnson’s men were level at half-time thanks to Josh Brownhill’s effort and they turned things round in the second half with further goals from Marley Watkins, Famara Diedhiou and Marlon Pack.Blackburn had goalkeeper David Raya to thank for not falling behind early on. He parried a fierce Jack Hunt drive and did even better to get a hand to Andreas Weimann’s close range shot from a Niclas Eliasson cross.Brownhill curled a shot wide but Mulgrew’s goal had an effect on both teams and it was Blackburn who started to look more dangerous.They almost went two up on 26 minutes when Kasey Palmer volleyed against the woodwork following indecision between City left-back Lloyd Kelly and Maenpaa. Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Hull defender MacDonald given all-clear after battle with bowel cancer Leeds lose at Fulham, West Brom held, Charlton’s winless run continues Bristol City moved into the Championship play-off zone by coming from behind to beat Blackburn 4-1 at Ashton Gate.The visitors took a 13th-minute lead in bizarre circumstances as City allowed a low inswinging corner from the right by Charlie Mulgrew to enter their net unaided, with goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa flat-footed and no one defending the near post. 2 Captain Pack rounded off a sparkling second-half display, heading home from eight yards with eight minutes left after a cross from the right had been flicked on.last_img read more


first_imgAdrian Sweeney was absolutely superb for Dungloe in their victory over Malin.Former Donegal GAA star Adrian Sweeney rolled back the years this evening by scoring a superb 1-9 as he inspired Dungloe to their first league win of the season. Former All-Star Sweeney made his first league appearance of the season for Dungloe and produced an incredible display.Even at 38, he is indispensable for Tony Boyle’s side and is ably assisted by his evergreen younger brother Raymond who continues to perform excellently at midfield. Malin opened the scoring when Dan McDaid slotted over from 20 yards.Adrian Sweeney got his opening score after his goalbound effort was well saved by Mullarkey in the Malin net to push the ball over the bar.McDaid scored again from almost the exact same position out on the left, this time from a free after Christopher McLaughlin had been fouled.Sweeney replied with a free after he was judged to have been fouled to level shortly after. Corey Gallagher scored a free from the other side when Adrian Hanlon had been fouled.Gallagher then scored a debatable point shortly after when umpires seemed to disagree but the point was awarded.Conor Greene scored a great point shortly after when he beat his man and slotted over from 20 yards.Dan Mc Daid tapped over a 13 yard free in front of the goals after Seamus Doherty had been fouled as Malin kept in touch.Sweeney, who really reeled back the years all evening, scored again after a good break through the middle from Corey Gallagher, this time with his right foot. He then added two more frees to stretch the lead out to five.Malin then hit two excellent scores from range with Paul McLaughlin hitting an excellent effort from outside the 45’ and Stephen McLaughlin scoring from 35 yards after good interplay between himself and John Gerard McLaughlin. Half time score read Malin 0-05 Dungloe 0-08.Malin scored the first two scores of the second half through two Dan Mc Daid frees, the first after Gary Farren was brought down and the second after Dungloe were caught overcarrying. However that’s as good as it got for Malin with the home side only getting one more score in the remaining 25 minutes.Dungloe scored from Sweeney after Greene had won a long ball in and fed the corner forward, and again through Sweeney from out on the right from about 25 yards.A Corey Gallagher free extended the lead after Darren Curran had been fouled.The visitors hit three more scores from Greene in the right corner, wingback Owen Scally from the left and that man Sweeney again from a free after he himself had been fouled.Malin had a good goal chance shortly after with Stephen Doherty, who added some life when he came on, unfortunate to see his effort saved by Sharkey in the Dungloe net, there also seemed to be a hint of a foul as Malin appealed in vain for a penalty.The only goal of the game with ten minutes left and effectively sealed the game when Sweeney who collected a long ball in and casually stroked the ball in low to the keepers right to seal the points for the men from the west.Matthew Byrne scored in reply for Malin after good work from the Doherty brothers, with Stephen, Christopher and Seamus all involved as Malin recycled the ball well to work out to Byrne.Greene, Sweeney and even cornerback Doalty Boyle with the last score completed the game for Dungloe as an understrength Malin tasted their third defeat of the season.Malin team and scorers: Daniel Mullarkey, Michael McLaughlin, Damien Harkin, Gary Farren, Gary Collins, Paul McLaughlin (0-01), Charles Byrne, Declan Walsh, John Gerard McLaughlin, Kieron McLaughlin, Conor Farren, Stephen McLaughlin (0-01),Christopher McLaughlin, Dan McDaid (0-05), Seamus Doherty. Subs used: Niall McLaughlin for Declan Walsh (15 mins), Matthew Byrne (0-01)for Christopher McLaughlin (40 mins), Stephen Doherty for Conor Farren (46 mins) and Christopher Doherty for John Gerard McLaughlin (50 mins)Dungloe team and scorers: Ciaran Sharkey, Jack Scally, Gavin Ward, Doalty Boyle (0-01), Ryan Rodgers, Darren Curran, Owen Scally (0-01), Raymond Sweeney, Corey Gallagher (0-03), Noel McBride, Adrian Hanlon, Mark Sweeney, Adrian Sweeney (1-09), Conor Greene (0-03), David Mc Carron. Subs used Ryan Greene and Donal Rodgers (50 mins)ADRIAN SWEENEY INSPIRES DUNGLOE AS THEY EARN BRILLIANT VICTORY AWAY TO MALIN was last modified: April 12th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Adrian SweeneydungloeGAAMalinnewsSportlast_img read more