Superlatives from Syracuse’s 1-0 loss to Michigan in 1st round of NCAA tournament

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3 ANN ARBOR, Mich. – No. 14 seed Syracuse (12-7, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) lost to No. 3 seed Michigan (20-2, 8-0 Big Ten) in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 1-0. The first half was a stalemate and Syracuse held firm in the second half even after going down a player to a red card. In overtime, though, U of M won on a sudden-death goal from Meg Dowthwaite.Here are superlatives from the game:The Big Moment: Meg Dowthwaite’s game-winnerUnder 90 seconds into overtime, Michigan crossed the ball toward the penalty spot. Dowthwaite reached out with the side of her stick and deflected the ball at Borg van der Velde. It went to the right of Syracuse’s keeper and into the goal. Senior defender Lies Lagerweij dropped to a squat and put her head in her hands.Syracuse had to play overtime with just five field players after an earlier red card to Elaine Carey and the open space proved too much to defend.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLowlight: Elaine Carey red cardCarey tipped a shot over the goal with just under 20 minutes left in the game. As the ball moved the other way, one official blew his whistle and pulled a red card from his pocket, directed at Carey. She possibly tangled up with the defender on her near the penalty spot but it was unclear what specific action drew the red.Syracuse had to play 19:30 of the game down a player after the first red card given to the Orange all season. It left the Orange playing in a formation lacking a forward as SU kept its defense intact. There weren’t many outlet options for Syracuse for the rest of the game.Stud: Laura HurffSyracuse needed to defend for much of Saturday’s match and Hurff was central to that plan. While much of the team stayed around a set spot, Hurff appeared to have free reign to cover ground and go win the ball. She jumped passing lanes to intercept the ball, tracked back on defense to catch up to odd-player rushes for Michigan and proved vital on defending corners.With under a minute left, Michigan was awarded a corner and looked to score a decisive goal. But Hurff flew off her goal line when the ball was inserted and got to the shooter to get a piece of her shot. She stifled the play Michigan drew up and gave the Orange a shot to force overtime.Dud: Syracuse offenseMichigan entered the game with the second-best goals against average in the country. Much of its effectiveness at limiting SU offensively was possession. U of M possessed the ball for a majority of the game at even strength, and then controlled the ball for almost all of the last 20 minutes once Carey was sent off.Even when Syracuse had the ball, it was unable to create any chances. SU had two corners but didn’t create much from open play. Roos Weers had a strong shot that Michigan keeper Sam Swenson saved with her right leg to deny the Orange in really its only chance on goal.Highlight: Emma Tufts’ through ball to Jennifer BleakneyLate in the first half, Tufts picked up the ball just past midfield. Two defenders closed in on her but she flipped the ball between them to lead Bleakney down the left side of the field. After making it all the way into the arc, Bleakney was able to direct the ball across the center. Neither Erin Gillingham nor Carey were able to get a clean shot on goal, but Syracuse eventually drew a corner.SU couldn’t convert off the corner when Weers’ shot was deflected wide, but the Tufts through ball may have been Syracuse’s best play – and ensuing best chance — of the first game. Commentslast_img read more

Federer Gets 1,000th Match Win

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares BRISBANE, Australia — Roger Federer turned the Brisbane International final into a grand occasion Jan. 11, beating the up-and-coming Milos Raonic in three see-sawing sets to register his 1,000th career match win.It’s a grand number for a 17-time Grand Slam champion, making him the only player after Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) to win 1,000 times on the men’s professional tour.“Clearly it’s a special day for me, winning a title plus getting to the magic number of 1,000,” Federer said after his 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4 win against third-seeded Raonic.“It feels very different to any other match I’ve ever won. All those (milestone) numbers didn’t mean anything to me, but for some reason 1,000 means a lot because it’s such a huge number. Just alone to count to 1,000 is going to take a while.”Federer clearly wanted to reach the milestone before the Australian Open, breaking Raonic’s serve in the third game and again in the opening game of the second set.He fired eight of his eventual 21 aces in the first set, taking on the big-serving Canadian’s strength. Just as it appeared Federer would coast to a comfortable victory, though, Raonic shook off his nerves to break back in the fourth game of the second set and swing the momentum.Federer had another half-chance to clinch it in two, getting an early mini-break in the tiebreaker, but Raonic went on a roll to win seven straight points and level the match.The 33-year-old Swiss star responded by serving an ace to open the third set, but he needed all his experience to save three break-point chances in that lengthy game.Tension continued to build as Raonic was forced to save two break points in each of the fourth and sixth games, and missed two chances on Federer’s serve in the fifth.Only one point went against serve in the next three games until Raonic was serving to stay in the match.He was leading 30-15 when Federer produced a pin-point topspin lob that forced an error, and then came a double-fault — Raonic’s first of the set and fourth of the match — to give Federer a championship point.Raonic netted a forehand on the next point, and Federer raised his arms to acknowledge the “Federer 1,000” placards and red-and-white Swiss flags being waved around Pat Rafter Arena.“Looking back it’s almost nicer winning this way through a tight match with nerves and humid conditions against a great player in a final,” Federer said. “It means so much more than just running away with it. I guess I was much more happy having to go three sets in the end.”Raonic said he did everything he could but didn’t quite have the answer to beat Federer for the second time in their eight head-to-heads. Still, he didn’t mind being part of the big occasion.“It’s great to see because you know how much he’s done for tennis. He turned pro I think it was like 10 years before me,” Raonic said. “It’s great to see everything he’s done for tennis. The fans he’s brought, the media attention he’s brought … he’s definitely the most popular tennis player of all time.”Ballboys held up 1,000 in big, white numerals near the net during the presentation ceremony, when Federer accepted mementos from Australian tennis greats Roy Emerson and Rod Laver: the Roy Emerson Trophy and, from Laver, a framed montage of images with the words “Congratulations Roger, 1,000 match wins.”“Special moment. I’m glad I got it,” Federer said. “To get to 1,000 match wins in front of you guys … it really means a lot to me. I’ll never forget this match.”In a career of so many milestones, Federer welcomed another and was glad to get it done before the season-opening major.He hasn’t added to his collection of Grand Slam titles since his 2012 Wimbledon triumph, but showed signs last year he’s no spent force by finishing No. 2 in the rankings, helping Switzerland to its first Davis Cup crown and finishing the season with five titles and a 73-12 record.Federer said he hasn’t got Connors’ record number of wins in his sights, yet, but he does have ambitions to win more major titles. That quest recommences Jan. 19 at Melbourne Park, where he hasn’t returned to the final since winning the last of his four Australian Open titles in 2010.“Yeah, I do believe that,” he said. “Clearly I do believe I have a shot in Melbourne, otherwise I would go home.”(JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer)last_img read more