UW unanimous favorite to win Big Ten, begin season ranked No. 4

first_imgExpectations continue to grow for the 2014-2015 UW men’s basketball team, which begins the season ranked No. 4 in the nation.The first installment of this season’s USA Today Coaches poll came out Thursday and ranked the Badgers No. 4 to start the season, with Kentucky, Arizona and Duke topping the Badgers in the poll. The Badgers will face off with the Duke Blue Devils on Dec. 3 at the Kohl Center.Wisconsin basketball to face off with DukeThe Wisconsin men’s basketball team, pegged by many to make a return trip to the Final Four next season, will Read…Also Thursday, the Big Ten announced that a media panel picked the Badgers as the unanimous favorite to win the conference.Along with the first-ever preseason number-one Big Ten ranking under UW head coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky was named the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year by the media. Kamisky and fellow forward Sam Dekker were also selected to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team.After a 30-8 season in 2013-2014, which included a trip to the Final Four for the first time since 2000, this season’s men’s basketball team returns four of their five starters from last year. Starters Josh Gasser, Traevon Jackson, Kaminsky and Dekker will all return this season, while Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, Nigel Hayes, also returns.Texas bound: Wisconsin punches ticket to Final FourANAHEIM, Calif. — It took 13 seasons and an extra five minutes, but Wisconsin is taking head coach Bo Ryan Read…Michigan State and Ohio State were selected to finish second and third respectively this season in the Big Ten to round out the preseason top three.The Preseason All-Big Ten team also included Yogi Ferrell from Indiana, Michigan’s Caris LaVert and Nebraska’s Terran Petteway.last_img read more

Forward Madison finishes at home with impressive win over league regular season champion

first_imgForward Madison FC could not have finished their regular-season home schedule in a better way. Facing the top team in USL League One, the Flamingos were more determined than ever to clench on to the last playoff position with a 1–0 win over USL League One regular-season champion North Texas SC on Sunday afternoon at Breese Stevens Field.Even the September rain could not stop fans from showing support for their beloved teams. With an announced crowd of 4,315, FMFC officially finished its inaugural year with an average home attendance of 4,292 — by far the highest in the league.Forward Madison FC: Flamingos get huge win in Richmond behind large group of road supportersForward Madison FC (10-9-6) won in a major game over the weekend as they held onto their playoff position with Read…After some back-and-forth play in the first half, Forward took the lead in the 24th minute when North Texas midfielder Imanol Almaguer deflected an own goal deflected into the net off  Forward captain Connor Tobin’s pass at the near post. Flamingos goalie Brian Sylvestre had two key saves which helped FMFC retain the lead until the half-time whistle blew.The second half was more of a stalemate. Both teams saw opportunities to advance but failed to translate them into goals. In the third minute of stoppage time, the visiting team broke into celebration as North Texas midfielder Arturo Rodriguez delivered the ball into the net, but after a short discussion with his assistant, referee Adam Kilpatrick ruled it off for offside.Now it was time for the Flock to celebrate.The Flamingos again proved in their home finale, with the support of their loyal fans, there was nothing to be afraid of. With the critical win Sunday, FMFC took a huge step toward playoffs. With only two away games left in the regular season, FMFC still stands an outside chance to claim third place in the league if results fall favorably over the final two weeks.The Flamingos’ next match is against FC Tucson on Friday, Sept. 27. The two teams last met Aug. 3, when FMFC claimed a 1–0 victory.last_img read more

Playing with goals in mind

first_imgWarren PohIf you want to have a championship water polo team, your goalie needs to be the backbone of the team.At least that is the case according to junior goalie McQuin Baron. Baron is wracking up accolades and records. He is a two-time All-American and is second on USC’s list for career saves. Perhaps the most impressive accolade, though, is that the humble Baron was an Olympian this year.“I didn’t deserve to walk out in the opening ceremonies with the greatest Olympian of all time, but it’s still awesome,” Baron said.Baron was talking about Michael Phelps. His favorite memories from the Olympics come from walking out during the opening ceremonies next to the swimming star as well as meeting the basketball team and watching swimming finals with Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin.“The Olympics unites people in sport,” Baron said. “It doesn’t matter who you are as a person or how high profile you are. While you’re there, you are equal with everyone.”Even for the highly competitive Baron, playing at the Olympics was more than just a tournament that the Americans didn’t win. The American team fell short in group play, winning two of their four games and failed to advance to the quarterfinals.“I’ll forever be an Olympian, but to a certain extent it’s really disappointing — even heartbreaking — because you work for four years to get to a certain level, and we could’ve trained for an extra month and still done just as well,” Baron said. “You start playing your games and realize it’s a just another tournament, but on a much higher level. You’re playing the same teams from the previous four years; the same people and you still have the same goal of wanting to win.”Baron took the spring semester off academically in order to train for the Olympics and dedicated approximately six hours a day to the sport. Team USA lifted weights from 6 a.m.- 7:30 a.m., practiced in the pool until noon, and had an afternoon session from 12:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. On top of that, three times a week the team returned from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. for an additional practice. Baron said his favorite part about the training period was getting to live at home with his family and other collegiate Olympians who were staying with him. Baron also said his experience has made him an even better player this year, specifically playing against such high-level athletes on a daily basis.The summer competition also made Baron realize the difference between collegiate athletics and professional athletics.“College water polo is harder because you have so much more on your mind,” Baron said. “You’re still playing a sport that you love, and we play it because we love it. It isn’t your job, and that’s what you need to find success.”For Baron, success hasn’t been hard to come by. The Tustin native already has 125 saves this season, bringing his career total to 695; good enough for second on USC’s all-time saves list. The record holder remains former Trojan Joel Dennerley, who wrapped up 855 saves while winning four national titles. That elusive first national title, is now Baron’s only focus.“I could end my four years here and have every record, but if I don’t have a national championship, no one will remember me. Everyone will remember them,” Baron said.The team is returning this season as one of the most experienced groups in the country, having retained their key people from deep NCAA tournament runs in the past.“We have the best core group and our connection is unbelievable,” Barons said. “Now, there is no excuse.”Baron said he has 100 percent confidence in this team to win the title this year. For as much fun as it was to play for Team USA, Baron said he loves playing for USC where the fans and everyone involved with the success of the program are closer to home.“We have the experience,” Baron said. “I think we have the most experienced team in the NCAA and we have the most talented, so there’s really no excuse to not win.”Regardless, Baron will be between the pipes, just where the backbone of a team should be.last_img read more

Winter is still unsure for Rams and NFC

first_imgWeek 6 of the NFL season proved that a fine line between winning and losing extends to all 32 teams, regardless of current momentum. It also gave reason to believe many squads can compete at similar levels until winter comes. Granted, since we’re not yet at the regular season’s halfway point, we don’t know how those games in November and December — the ones that matter the most — will pan out. But the slate of results this week tells me that unpredictability might be rampant when the year 2017 nears its conclusion.The Atlanta Falcons lost to the Miami Dolphins 20-17, the Chargers downed Oakland 17-16, and the Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 19-13 to spoil Andy Reid’s undefeated record. Most notably, the Denver Broncos’ run defense broke down in a surprising 23-10 loss to the injury-depleted New York Giants. With the Falcons, Chiefs and Broncos all falling short, another Super Bowl choice, the New England Patriots, barely escaped MetLife Stadium with a 24-17 victory over the New York Jets, following a controversial touchdown reversal that took 6 points away from the Jets.While the outcomes of these games were especially intriguing, this past week’s biggest story might be the loss of a Super Bowl contender’s one-of-a-kind quarterback, as Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers left the game against the Minnesota Vikings. His broken collarbone could keep him out for the rest of the year. In the NFC North, the Vikings (4-2) and Detroit Lions (3-3) surely feel better about the opportunity to overcome the Rodgers-less Packers.Former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, now Dan Quinn’s offensive coordinator, is one of the men to blame for the Falcons’ offensive situations not working out. The Falcons will travel to Gillette Stadium next week to take on the Patriots in a Super Bowl LI rematch, and both sides aren’t performing up to their previously high standards. Still, the Falcons have that explosive ability, and plenty of blueprints exist for Sarkisian to understand how to attack this lowly Patriots defense.Extra points being missed can completely alter the outlook of contests, as was demonstrated when Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio drilled his attempt off target in the fourth quarter. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers then drove his team down the field for the game-winning field goal. Rivers finally had luck on his side, and Derek Carr returned to the field with a lackluster, two-interception performance. You’d think with Carr at the helm, the Raiders would be able to emerge victorious, but then again, it’s difficult to judge how effective he can be struggling through injury issues.Rivers, meanwhile, appears to have a ton of fight in him as he nears the end of his career. With the win against the Raiders, both Rivers and Co. and Jack Del Rio’s crew have 2-4 records. The odds are probably more in the favor of the Raiders pulling out a playoff appearance, but if the Chargers are able to get running back Melvin Gordon going, I’m not counting the Bolts out. Ingram had 150 rushing and receiving yards versus Oakland. Chargers fans should also be excited for the potential of wide receiver Mike Williams after seeing him finally debut. Rivers could use a guy with that sort of size and speed, especially in crucial third-down situations that seem to destroy the Chargers at points.For the Rams, their hype train becomes more real with their 27-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Rams haven’t been 4-2 in 11 years and haven’t begun the year 3-0 on the road since 2001. If you were to tell me this summer Jared Goff would be as stable as he is now, I wouldn’t believe it. That has to speak to Goff’s maturation and the quality of the new head coach Sean McVay, a young gun from the Washington Redskins. Goff has thrown only three interceptions in his six starts this year, compared to his seven interceptions in seven starts in 2016. Even when Goff has pedestrian numbers, as he did against the Jaguars, the Rams find ways to get the job done. This time, it was on special teams and defense. Pharoh Cooper returned the opening kickoff 103 yards, and Malcolm Brown took a blocked punt to the house. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has an unit that forces turnovers at the right instances. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, picked off by Nickell Robey-Coleman minutes into the fourth quarter, learned the hard way.Is this merely an opportunistic team early on in 2017 or do the surprising performances signal the Rams actually have a shot in the NFC? I strongly believe the Rams have chance within their division, the NFC West. The 49ers look like the bottom feeder, and the Cardinals, despite their strong play against the Buccaneers this past weekend, have displayed bouts of inconsistency. Mark you calendars for December 17, when the Rams face the Seahawks for the second time. That game may decide the division champion.last_img read more

Men’s water polo gears up for Inland Empire Invitational

first_imgMarko Vavic, the son of head coach Jovan Vavic, was the team’s top scorer last season. (Tucker Judkins | Daily Trojan)After starting the season with two wins last weekend at the UCLA Mini Invitational, the Men of Troy will be in the pool once again this weekend as they partake in the Inland Empire Invitational at the University of Redlands.This past weekend, the Trojans showed once again why they were one win away from a national championship in 2017. Facing off against No. 18 Pomona-Pitzer and Whittier, the Men of Troy dominated with scores of 16-1 and 25-4, respectively. While all wins feel good, a strong season opening victory such as that over a ranked team in Pomona-Pitzer will give the Trojans plenty of positive momentum heading into the rest of their schedule.Leading the way for USC, junior driver Marin Dasic and sophomore driver Marko Vavic put up 6 and 4 scores respectively over a successful weekend in Westwood. Anticipated to be the squad’s leading scorers in 2018, it was an impressive showing for the pair.Aside from the well-known stars, a fair number of newcomers made their impact felt on Saturday. Freshman two-meter specialists Jake Ehrhardt and James Kolenda, and freshman utility Alexander Lansill were just three of the six new Trojans who scored to help seal victory in Saturday’s contests. In net, four different Trojans saw time in goal through the two contests. To the surprise of few, however, highly touted freshman goalie Sam Krutonog got the first crack at being USC’s goaltender when he started against Pomona-Pitzer and made eight saves in the winning effort.Prior to the Invitational, USC will host Concordia in its home opener Thursday night, also one of the squads that USC will end up facing at this weekend’s invitational. The Trojans dismantled the Irvine-based team to the tune of a 25-3 win last season. Play begins at 5 p.m. at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.Looking ahead at this weekend’s slate of games, there is all the reason in the world for the Trojans to be confident that they will dominate as they did a year ago. In 2017, USC swept the competition with comfortable wins over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Redlands. Scoring 10 goals over the weekend, Dasic and Vavic scored prolifically and at will in last season’s competition.This year, the story is expected to be largely similar. The one wrinkle is the addition of the La Verne Leopards to the weekend schedule. Coming off an 0-4 start to the 2018 season, the team will take on Riverside Community College, No. 7  Long Beach State and No. 10 UC Santa Barbara before facing off against the Men of Troy.Overall, the competition USC will face at this weekend’s tournament has found tough sledding so far in 2018. Carrying a 3-9 total record (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will debut at the invitational), the Trojans are expected to take care of business in Redlands, Calif. over the weekend.The competition kicks off Saturday at 10:20 a.m. when the Trojans face off against the host team Redlands, and will continue through their last game at noon on Sunday against La Verne.last_img read more

Freshman midfielder Brendan Curry plays hero for SU in 13-12 OT win over North Carolina

first_imgWhile Syracuse head coach John Desko approached the stage for his postgame press conference, freshman Brendan Curry scrambled out of his coach’s usual seat.“You ever been in one of these before?” Desko asked the midfielder.“No,” Curry said through a smile.“We’ll have to teach you where to sit, then,” Desko quipped.Curry’s first press conference came moments after he assisted on No. 7 Syracuse’s (7-4, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) game-winning overtime goal against North Carolina (6-7, 0-3) in a 13-12 win on Saturday night in the Carrier Dome. About 20 minutes prior, there was no reason to believe Curry, who had zero points until the final two minutes of regulation, would be talking to the media postgame. In fact, it didn’t look like Syracuse would be celebrating a win. Then, the first-line midfielder took over, scoring the Orange’s final two goals in regulation and assisting on the overtime goal to catapult Syracuse to a regular season conference title. His three points match a career high he set earlier in the season against Duke.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He was playing more composed in the second half,” Desko said. “He really went hard to the goal and I thought he shot very well. So we were filling it with him and decided that’s who we wanted to have the ball at the end of the game.”Curry started his first game nearly a month ago against Rutgers and has been a mainstay on the first line since. In the five games he had started in prior to Saturday, Curry tallied six points, including his three-point performance against then-No. 3 Duke. Many of those points came because of Curry’s speed, something both his teammates and coaches have highlighted throughout the season.Early in the first quarter Saturday, Curry had the ball at his sweet spot. From the top of the restraining box, Curry looked down his defender while taking a few short choppy steps. With a burst of speed, he darted down the right sideline, gaining steps on his defender along the way. But UNC’s goalkeeper Alex Bassil made an easy save on what Desko called postgame a “flat” shot.Curry wouldn’t shoot again for nearly 50 minutes. For SU, it was worth the wait. Trailing by two goals with under two minutes to play, Curry had the ball up near midfield. With 15 yards of open field in front of him, he took off. Brendan Bomberry set a pick on Curry’s defender, and Curry took advantage, cutting slightly to his right and facing little pressure from a UNC defense that was slow to slide to Curry.Running down the right side alley, Curry slung a shot just like he had in the first quarter. This one had more mustard on it, though, and Curry pinned it to the top left of the cage. After the goal, he let out a subtle fist pump, hugged junior attack Nate Solomon and nodded his head as if to show more was coming.“I knew I was going to get the shorty, I got it most of the game,” Curry said. “They weren’t really sliding to me much, so I kind of took that extra step and took couple a more shots than I usually would’ve.”Less than a minute later, Curry caught a pass out by the numbers at the 20-yard line. Curry hopped twice preparing to challenge short-stick defender Cole Haverty who was guarding him. Once sprinting, Curry briefly carried his stick with his one-hand while sneaking by Haverty. When Curry ran past Haverty, no UNC defender slid fast enough, allowing Curry to put his left hand back on the shaft and rip a goal to the bottom right of the cage.Curry fist-pumped once more, but this one was more emphatic. He held his legs in a wide, proud stance, and let out a roar as teammates swarmed him.“We just didn’t slide,” North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi said. “Curry’s a speedster, he got separation and you know he was outside the hashmarks. It was one of those things where it was a judgment call with the clear through guy and he didn’t slide.”In overtime, UNC kept a short stick on Curry. The high school attack turned college midfielder spun his stick and played with his pace of jog while running alongside UNC defender Cam Macri. This time the slide came too quickly, Breschi said.Tar Heels defender Michael Nathan left his post on the crease to help with a streaking Curry, who immediately fed a pass to where Nathan was just standing. Bomberry caught the pass and shot in one fluid motion. As the ball sank into the nylon of the net, Curry held both arms up in celebration before chest bumping with Tucker Dordevic.Curry then ran to the corner and tackled Bomberry. His teammates joined in on the moshpit near the football end zone, piling on top of Curry.“At this point in the season I try and think of myself not really as a freshman anymore,” Curry said, “I mean we’ve all played the same amount this season. Just to get my confidence is a big thing and just being confident throughout the stretch… It was just really fun being out there.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 14, 2018 at 8:24 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img read more

How Clara Morrison became Syracuse’s primary substitute

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 22, 2019 at 9:38 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew Clara Morrison waved her right arm frantically, trying to attract Chiara Gutsche’s attention from the sideline. It was early in the first quarter of Syracuse’s Oct. 12 game against North Carolina, nearing the 11-minute mark — right around the time Morrison typically enters — and after a few seconds, Gutsche glanced over.“Gutsche,” Morrison yelled, “when you get a chance.” The junior nodded slightly and jogged over to the sideline. Morrison sprinted on and joined the rush.Minutes later, Morrison jumped and thrust her arms in the air. To her left and right, Morrison’s Syracuse teammates did the same. The ball had entered the shooting circle onto Morrison’s stick, and her shot had deflected off a Tar Heel foot, earning the Orange a penalty corner. Even though Charlotte de Vries’ ensuing shot sailed wide left, Morrison had still generated a scoring opportunity for SU.Starting with this year’s season-opener against Vermont, the freshman has carved out a role in No. 15 Syracuse’s (9-5, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) lineup. Three times, that’s meant starting. But in others, it’s substantial time off the bench — Morrison’s played more than 30 minutes in six of the last seven games. Whichever role she plays, Syracuse has leaned on Morrison to generate chances for a sometimes-dormant offense at a position she has limited experience with.“Clara’s just starting to understand the roles and responsibilities of a forward, playing two sides of the ball,” Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley said. “And that takes a while.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThose extended minutes are dividends of a pre-freshman year position switch from center midfield to forward, resulting in Morrison becoming the primary substitution on an Orange roster looking for a return to the NCAA tournament. She starred for St. John’s College (Washington D.C.) High School and played up multiple age groups with the Washington Wolves, her club team. She had two prominent roles then, and now at Syracuse, she’s starting to do the same.As a 17-year-old freshman, Morrison has watched SU veterans Gutsche and Sarah Luby rotate through drills, and has picked up their motions as forwards. It was a stark difference from high school, when Morrison was responsible for finding passing lanes in the midfield, not creating them.“She likes the chess game of it,” Morrison’s mother, Kimberly, said. “She sees not just the first pass, but if you have two options, she sees which option has the better second pass.”Morrison started in high school in center midfield, traditionally the “quarterback” of a field hockey offense, said Corey Kelly, Morrison’s high school coach. Morrison led the Cadets to four consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships, including three-straight wins — a complete turnaround for the program. Her stick skills made her ball movement indispensable and created rushes that regularly ended in goals.“Before the Clara-era, we were an afterthought just because we were not very good,” Kelly said. “But she really built the program that it is today.”When she arrived at Syracuse, though, Bradley told Morrison she’d play forward. She’d learn how to work with SU’s other forwards to move off the ball and generate driving and passing lanes. If she could adapt quickly, she could earn playing time immediately on an inexperienced SU roster.Kevin Camelo | Co-Digital EditorBeing a younger player, even for a collegiate first-year, wasn’t a deterrence for Morrison — it hadn’t been for her entire field hockey career. In her first tournament, Morrison was a third grader playing against sixth graders. When she first joined the Wolves at age 11 as a practice-player only, she faced 19-year-olds.During a showcase at James Madison her first year with the Wolves, Morrison positioned herself on the left post and awaited a tip-in. She swung her stick when the ball arrived but missed. Morrison remembers an older defender on the opposing team pulled her aside. “Just hold your stick there, you don’t have to swing,” she advised Morrison. On the next rush, Morrison again paused near the left post. She held her stick out and kept it still as the ball ricocheted off it and into the cage.As Morrison developed, Syracuse started to show interest. After an eighth-grade tournament held by WC Eagles, she got an invite less than a week later for a clinic at Syracuse. Once she committed to the Orange as a sophomore, Wolves head coach Gloria Nantulya gave Morrison her blue No. 12 jersey from her sophomore season (2005) with the Orange.Morrison wore the jersey to bed before important high school games, and still wears the number as a freshman for SU.“A lot of the structures (in high school and club) were similar to how we play here,” Morrison said. “Just like running the drills, getting me prepared for the intensity and preparing me for what a practice here would be like.”Kelly and Kimberly fill each other in on Morrison’s progress almost daily in the parking lot after Morrison’s younger sister Leah’s field hockey practice.And on the Monday after Syracuse’s two-game, mid-October trip to Berkeley, California, they had new topics: Morrison’s first starts and shots on goal. Her role kept getting larger, and now the scoring opportunities have started to come. She’s chipped balls past the midfield line. Led attacks down the sidelines. Deflected shot attempts from opponents. Traits of a “crutch” player — what Nantulya called Morrison’s ability to contribute in any aspect — have surfaced.“You’re going to grow, you’re going to get there,” Kimberly reminds her daughter.After getting subbed out after the first quarter against North Carolina, Morrison walked in place on the sidelines as play continued in the second, stick firmly grasped in her hand. At the 12-minute mark, she jogged over toward the center line. Morrison raised her right arm and began to scan the field for Gutsche. target=”_blank” Commentslast_img read more

Mixed fortunes for English teams in Champions League

first_imgTonight Liverpoool host Real Madrid at Anfield while Arsenal are away to Anderlecht.Both matches start at 7.45 Chelsea are 2 points clear at the top of their Champions League group after cruising to a win over Maribor last night.It finished 6-0 at Stamford Bridge with Remy, Drogba, Terry and Hazard among the scorers.Manchester City have plenty of work to do after a 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow, which means they’re yet to win in the tournament this season. City were 2-0 up at half time.last_img read more

Premier and Kingdom go head to head

first_imgThrow-in is at 3.30 in Semple Stadium on Sunday and Tipp FM will have full live coverage of the game in association with O’Donovan Marquees, Birdhill. Tipp will go into the game as underdogs but the players believe in their own ability and will be going to Thurles to win. Influencial Tipp player Brian Fox says Tipp have momentum going into the game Colm Cooper starts for the Kingdom at centre forward having recovered from the knee injury which kept him out of action all last year.Cooper believes if Tipperarys underage stars stay focused on the game winning an All Ireland fooball title in the next few years is a realistic possibility.last_img read more

Former Tipp manager says hurlers need to avoid play-off route

first_imgSheedy says there are a few difficult games in the qualifiers and feels avoiding this route is probably the best option for Tipp. The winner’s prize will be a place in the Munster final against Waterford.Portroe native and former Tipperary All Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy believes the direct route to All Ireland glory is the way to go for the Premier County this year.He says the direct route is probably the best one as Tipp are 2 matches away from a Munster title and 4 away from an All Ireland win.last_img read more