No. 7 Syracuse’s defense holds strong but can’t finish in 13-8 loss at No. 9 Cornell

first_img Published on April 10, 2018 at 10:59 pm Contact Josh: | @Schafer_44 ITHACA, N.Y. — Syracuse’s Dom Madonna did what he could, sprawling low to deflect a fast break opportunity. With SU already set to go a man-down following a Tucker Dordevic penalty, Madonna denied the initial scoring chance but failed to maintain possession. Instead, the ball bounced to the corner, and the Big Red’s possession continued.Again, on the next feed, Syracuse seemed to stop Cornell. An Orange long pole deflected a pass, leaving the ball on the carpet for SU defender Nick Mellen. The ball took an off-bounce, Mellen bobbled the pickup, and Cornell’s Clarke Petterson buried another Cornell goal.“We didn’t play absolutely terrible,” Mellen said. “They got a bunch of goals off broken plays and passes that somehow went to the ground and somehow went to their stick.”On Tuesday night at Schoellkopf Field, No. 7 Syracuse’s (6-4, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) defense held strong at times but couldn’t finish in a 13-8 loss to No. 9 Cornell (8-3, 3-1 Ivy league). The Big Red’s offense entered riding a four-game winning streak in which it averaged more than 20 goals. It ranked first in goals per game (15.30), assists per game (10.50), points per game (25.80) and shooting percentage (.418). Yet Syracuse held it scoreless for more than 13 minutes in the second quarter and more than eight minutes in the third.Still, Cornell finished enough. In a game with nearly equal shots on goal and an even faceoff distribution, the Big Red hammered SU on the ground. It scooped 43 groundballs to the Orange’s 30. Five of Cornell’s goals came off second-chance opportunities where it had already shot earlier in the possession.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Just going into this game I think we knew it was going to scrap; it was going to be a battle,” said Cornell attack Jeff Teat, who had six points. “I think we scraped off second-chance opportunities and finished plays when we need to.”Cornell dumped in four goals before 10 minutes had ticked off the clock. After the Big Red saved a Bradley Voigt shot, the agonizing possessions began for SU. With the Orange trailing by two goals at the time, Teat scooped up a ball off what could’ve been a Cornell turnover a minute into the possession. Then he fired a shot off an SU defender, but Cornell’s Connor Fletcher nabbed the groundball.The ball eventually worked its way back to Teat. He was covered tightly but whipped a behind-the-back pass into traffic anyway. The ball jostled through a crowd of SU defenders before bouncing on the ground. Cornell attack John Piatelli scooped the ball off the hop, making it appear as if the bounce pass was intentional. Moments later, Piatelli’s low crank shot dribbled in after deflecting off the goalkeeper.“I thought it was OK considering how much they had the ball,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “We just can’t let them get the inside stuff.”Throughout the night, Syracuse’s defense looked like a football defense that was excellent on the first two downs but faltered on the third, or a basketball defense stellar at contesting shots but horrible at boxing out.Syracuse’s version of those came when the defense flashed a glimmer of hope. Mellen caused a turnover on Teat behind the cage, simply poking the ball right out of the nation’s leading point scorer’s stick. On SU’s next possession, Cornell did the same, forcing David Lipka into a turnover.Again, Mellen forced a turnover. Mellen rode Teat down the right hash marks, the same place he had been beaten for a goal in the first quarter, and swatted the ball out of Teat’s stick. With Teat falling to the ground, Mellen scooped the ground ball and gave SU a possession, which led to a goal.Then came another lengthy possession. Syracuse denied Cornell for more than two minutes. Madonna’s save once again left the ball loose. Cornell missed the net on its next shot. Then, with Teat standing nearly flat-footed at the top of the X, he fed an open cutter for a Cornell goal.“You have to understand that’s just the way it goes,” Mellen said. “Sometimes we’re going to get a couple big stops and we try to clear it and turn it over or we get down to the offense and they just get a quick turnover. That’s just something we need to work on.”Moments before Mellen spoke, explaining how SU’s defense hadn’t played as bad as the scoreboard may have portrayed, Cornell’s players celebrated.The Big Red players gathered in front of the entrance to Schoellkopf Field, rose their hands and hooted and hollered in celebration as their photo was taken. In Cornell’s best win since 2014, it didn’t matter how well Syracuse’s defense had played. The scoreboard didn’t reflect it. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Real Madrid win eight-goal thriller, Atletico keep up Barca chase

first_imgSeville, Spain | AFP | Man of the moment Marco Asensio scored twice and Cristiano Ronaldo was also on target as Real Madrid kept up the feel-good factor with a thrilling 5-3 victory at Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday night.Madrid had been 2-1 down at half-time in a fantastic game at the Benito Villamarin, but they came roaring back in the second half with Sergio Ramos, Asensio — who had scored the opener – Ronaldo and Karim Benzema all finding the net.They survived a late Betis onslaught, and after their 3-1 Champions League last 16, first-leg win against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, this victory confirms that Zinedine Zidane’s side are looking better in La Liga now too.?? EIGHT goals, THREE points, ONE match report. Read all about our pulsating victory over @RealBetis_en and check out all the best photos! ? #RMLiga— Real Madrid C.F.???? (@realmadriden) February 18, 2018They remain fourth, a huge 17 points behind leaders Barcelona. However, this was their fourth win in five league outings, and they are back to within a point of third-placed Valencia with a game in hand to come at Leganes in midweek.“It was an end to end game, a bit crazy, but I like that. It shows that we had a proper opponent,” said Zidane.“Betis were fantastic and controlled the last half-hour of the first half. But I’m happy in the end, and I prefer to focus on the five goals we scored rather than the three we let in.” Asensio had come off the bench to set up the two late goals that allowed Real to beat PSG and he was rewarded with a start on Sunday in Seville, while Gareth Bale also came in as the likes of Benzema and Luka Modric dropped to the bench.Asensio duly headed Madrid into an 11th-minute lead after Antonio Adan had saved a Ronaldo shot, but Betis had won when the sides last met at the Santiago Bernabeu and they hit back brilliantly.¡Feliz por la victoria! / Happy with the victory!?? #RMLiga #HalaMadrid— Marco Asensio (@marcoasensio10) February 18, 2018Loren and Joaquin, the latter from a free-kick, both came close before Aissa Mandi headed in a Joaquin cross to make it 1-1 in the 33rd minute.It was 2-1 shortly after, as visiting defender Nacho could only help a Junior shot into his own net, and the home fans in the crowd of over 53,000 erupted.Real also saw Marcelo limp off in the first half, a potentially worrying sign ahead of the PSG second leg, and Zidane confirmed the Brazilian would find out the extent of his injury on Monday.Madrid recovered superbly after the restart, though.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

5 things to know after Steelers beat Packers 38-31

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu , left, intercepts a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) and returns it for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Don Wright)GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers slogged through sloppy turf and braved a light, persistent snow in a down-to-the-wire game with playoff implications for both teams.In the end, the Steelers held on for a 38-31 win and both squads got a little help to keep their postseason aspirations alive.Troy Polamalu forced a fumble to set up Le’Veon Bell’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:28 left, then Pittsburgh withstood Green Bay’s throw into the end zone on the game’s last play. They’re a long shot, but the Steelers (7-8), after starting 0-4 this season, are mathematically in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot.It would be a near-miracle if they can get through another week. The Steelers need to beat the Browns in Week 17, and have the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers — all 8-7 — all lose.“There’s only one way to respond to the situation that we’re in,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “There’s either (win) or fold the tents up, and we’re not into that.”The Packers (7-7-1) had a two-game winning streak snapped, but still have shot at winning the NFC North after the Bears lost 54-11 to the Eagles on Sunday night.Chicago and Green Bay meet next week at Soldier Field for the division crown.Five things to know after the wild game in the wintry conditions at Lambeau Field:BIG PLAY TROY: Long hair flowing out from under of his helmet, Polamalu lunged through the air as Packers quarterback Matt Flynn tried to scramble for a first down. Polamalu knocked the ball loose, the Steelers recovered at the 17 and Bell ran in from 1 yard out five plays later to give the Steelers the go-ahead score.Sound familiar? Polamalu came up with his fifth forced fumble of the season.“I think you always think about trying to do something to secure the tackle,” he said. “Fortunately, sometimes it works and, unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t work and you end up missing tackles.”NOW BATTING:  A rarely seen penalty nearly spoiled the Steelers’ night.Defensive lineman Ziggy Hood was called for illegal batting in the third quarter when he poked the ball out of bounds after it had been loose following a blocked field goal.Officials conferred a few minutes before calling the penalty and awarding the ball to Green Bay, ruling the Steelers never controlled it and that it never crossed the line of scrimmage at the Steelers 5.Referee Carl Cheffers described batting to a pool reporter as an intentional act of striking the ball in a loose-ball situation in the direction of a team’s own goal line.The Packers got a second chance and Eddie Lacy scored on the next play to give Green Bay a short-lived lead.ROOKIE RBS: Bell finished with 26 carries for 124 yards, while fellow rookie Lacy had 15 carries for 84 yards and two scores but later left after re-aggravating an ankle injury.Lacy vowed to return for the Bears game. He set a franchise rookie record with 1,112 yards rushing on the year.“Had we won it would feel a little better,” Lacy said.PICK SIX: The Packers seemed to be picking on Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen for spurts, and Jarrett Boykin’s 5-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter came after jumping and leaning forward around Allen for the grab.But Allen atoned for any mistakes by intercepting a screen and running untouched 40 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Allen finished with six tackles in his third straight start at left cornerback after replacing William Gay.MEDICAL REPORT: The injury list got longer for two battered teams.Besides Lacy, the Packers linebacker Clay Matthews left following a sack after re-aggravating a right thumb injury that kept him out of four games earlier this season. Matthews had surgery on the thumb and he appeared to be in considerable pain on the sideline.For the Steelers, rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was a late scratch because of the flu, while receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a 1-yard touchdown catch before leaving with a knee injury.__Online: AP NFL website:  www.pro32.ap.org___Follow Genaro Armas at read more

Column: NFL should wear less pink and more purple

first_imgIn this Oct. 6, 2013, file photo, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) slaps hands with breast cancer survivors as he is introduced before an NFL football game between the Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs in Nashville, Tenn. The NFL’s fourth annual “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” kicks off Thursday night, Oct. 2, 2014, with the Viking at the Packers and runs through October. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)The NFL’s idea of outreach to women was once described as “shrink it and pink it.” That is, taking the same stuff the league was already selling to men, scaling it to size and then splashing on a lot of pink dye.That’s not enough anymore.Fans will see pinked-out fields this weekend for the start of the NFL’s version of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Keep in mind the league took in more than $9 billion last year from an audience in which women made up almost half (46 percent, or 93 million total viewers).The NFL’s fourth annual campaign, dubbed “A Crucial Catch,” is a good cause to be sure. Like any runway show — albeit one with violent collisions— the participants will be accessorized head to toe. According to the league’s own inventory, that means pink “cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals, quarterback towels and mouth guards.”(OK, maybe not mouth guards, since players who agreed to wear them to endorse Crest toothpaste were allowed to opt out after corporate parent Procter & Gamble pulled out of the campaign in response to the league’s colossal bungling of the Ray Rice affair.)Fans won’t be shortchanged, either. In addition to being handed pink rally towels in some stadiums, they’ll be treated to pink goal post padding, cheerleaders waving pink pompoms, special pink ribbon game balls and pink-ribboned caps for coaches, team personnel and officials.You might think all that pink would translate into a lot of money.Maybe, maybe not. Depends on who you ask.The NFL donates 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of pink merchandise and game-worn items through an auction on In 2009, the first year of the program, that meant a check to the American Cancer Society for $310,175; last year, it was for $1.86 million. It’s not a direct comparison, but the society’s campaign with the Walgreen’s chain — which offers customers a chance to add a donation when paying for their purchases — raises about $5 million annually.The NFL has kicked in about $6.7 million total so far, and there’s no question their partnership with ACS has been increasingly effective at getting out the word. This year, in every NFL market, there will be free, on site-screenings and support staff to answer questions. The campaign has already provided 10,000 free screenings and educated another 72,000 women on its benefits. A survey last season found that 70 percent of the women who watched games during October got the message as well, and the number has been steadily climbing. But as far as tangible benefits that’s about it.Kellie Davis-Patton takes a selfie with a statue of a purple cow in Detroit on Sept. 14, 2014. Statues of purple cows around downtown Detroit are part of an effort to build awareness for cancer survivors and the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball. The 13 life-sized cows are on display at locations including Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. The cows carry a message: “For a World With Less Cancer and More Birthdays.” (AP Photo/Detroit News, Daniel Mears)Cancer society spokeswoman Tara Peters says there’s no easy way to calculate the real value of putting that message in front of the audience that NFL games offer, which should be well north of 150 million viewers by the end of the month. There are sponsorship analysts who measure the impact of similar campaigns, and a few say there are better and perhaps more impactful opportunities out there.October also happens to be “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” though you’d be hard-pressed to find its symbolic purple ribbons amid the avalanche of pink. It’s also an effort that could benefit greatly from the NFL’s outsized reach, and in turn, restore some of the luster to the league’s image.“The fight against breast cancer is obviously a very well-supported cause. Just look at how many events coalesce around the pink ribbon,” said Jim Andrews, senior vice president for the sponsorship firm IEG. “That makes the NFL just one of many corporations that are part of the effort. … But domestic violence is a cause that needs help, both in terms of organization and financial backing.“Given the recent issues the league’s been dealing with, in terms of enlightened self-interest, that’s a cause the NFL could get behind and actually make a difference — imagine PSAs (public-service announcements) by some well-known players, a campaign to raise funds for local programs and shelters … If the NFL is serious about broadening their appeal to women, it’s an opportunity well worth looking into.”NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seems to be doing just that. Two weeks ago, he named three outside consultants to help shape league policies on domestic violence and sexual assault. Last weekend, he spent three hours at the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, following up on the league’s multiyear, multimillion-dollar pledge of assistance.Be wary, though, any time the words “NFL” and “enlightened self-interest” appear in the same sentence. This is the same league, after all, that’s plowed plenty of money into a program designed to convince mothers, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, that there’s a way to tackle that makes football safer for their kids.___Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at and follow him at read more