Offense, defense in sync in Wisconsin’s victory

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first_imgEven as the rain came down in droves Wednesday night, no amount of water could put out the fires of competition and urgency in the Wisconsin men’s soccer team.With only five games remaining on Wisconsin’s regular season schedule before the night began, defender Paul Yonga and the rest of the Badgers knew they had to start stringing together some wins to make a run at an NCAA tournament bid. And that’s exactly what UW (5-6-3, 1-2-0 Big Ten) did, as it toppled UW-Green Bay (2-9-3, 0-3-2 Horizon) 3-0 at the McClimon Soccer Complex.“We want to keep building momentum as we get into our last three games of the Big Ten and also going into the Big Ten tournament,” Yonga said. “So it’s big for us to get our first two-game win streak, and hopefully we can keep it going into Michigan State this weekend.”So far this season, Wisconsin has had trouble playing consistently and building off momentum, so Wednesday night’s game was crucial in that the Badgers developed their first winning streak of the year.A big part of that victory was the Wisconsin defense, which controlled the ball for a large portion of the game and limited the Phoenix to only four shots on goal. That Badger defense has been the focus of coach John Trask’s game plan, making sure his team is strong in the back before worrying about transitioning upfield on offense. And not only was Wisconsin strong in the back, but it also recorded the shutout.“All around I think we just did what we knew what we had to do,” Yonga said. “[That’s] what we’ve been working on for the last couple weeks, trying to keep our line tight in the back. Today it was good to get a victory and a shutout.”Defense is the best offenseAlthough Wisconsin had a defense-first approach to the game and earned the shutout, the offense also put on a show Wednesday night, recording the most goals in a game since the first game of the season against Memphis. But it was the defense that played a critical role by jump-starting the offense and providing quality looks for Chris Prince and the rest of the Badgers’ forwards.“We’re not really an offensive mindset team,” Prince said. “We’re more of a defense first, strong at the back and even defensive in the attacking third, and that’s what helps us lead to our good attack. I think that really helped us out today.”Throughout the course of the game, Trask experimented with his lineup, the most notable of these changes being the usual defender Yonga starting in the midfield. Trask placed Yonga there to help set the tone early with his energy and ability to win balls, which proved to be important when the Badgers struck for the first goal 25 minutes into the game.Having the lead for the entire game allowed Trask to move Yonga and other players around in the hope of finding a lineup pattern that will be successful the rest of the year. This rotation of players in different positions included defender Kyle McCrudden, who played several positions on the defensive backline for the Badgers over the course of the game.Ultimately, Trask discovered a look he likes with Yonga in the midfield and McCrudden on defense, one he believes will lead to even more success for the defense in the critical games that remain for Wisconsin.“We got [McCrudden] back in late, too, and moved Paul back up [to the midfield], so we like that look,” Trask said. “It seems to make us a little bit more dominant in that middle to midfield and we’re still stout in the back.”More importantly, that defensive look was able to secure a shutout and help a struggling offense find the back of the net. And in an in-state rivalry game and a must-win situation, the Badgers could not have asked for a better time for the offense and defense to hit their strides simultaneously.The Badgers’ success on both sides of the ball was due in large part to the seniors stepping up and recognizing their time is quickly fading. On Wednesday night, McCrudden’s solid defensive play and forward Jerry Maddi’s goal and assist were the senior performances that guided Wisconsin to victory.“Sometimes when seniors realize that it’s getting close to the end they find something in themselves,” Trask said.Aided by a few key seniors and air-tight defensive play, Wisconsin kept its hopes alive for a postseason berth.last_img

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first_imgEngland midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been told to use team-mate Gylfi Sigurdsson as an example if he is to fulfil his potential at Swansea. But Swansea boss Garry Monk insists Shelvey, who won his solitary England cap in October 2012 but was part of Roy Hodgson’s squad this autumn for Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia, has “frightening ability” and could play for one of the country’s top six clubs again if he matures on the pitch. “I think we have only seen about 50 per cent of what Jonjo can do,” Monk said ahead of Aston Villa’s Boxing Day visit to the Liberty Stadium. “We need to get him in the right place physically and mentally to be able to do it. He is still very young, which a lot of people tend to forget because he has been around for so long. “He might just need to do a bit of growing up in terms of the maturity in his game and recognising certain things a bit more because that ability is frightening when you work closely with him. “If we get that right and work with him closely we will have a top-six player on our hands.” And Monk believes Shelvey does not have to look very far to see what can be achieved if he puts his mind to it. Icelandic playmaker Sigurdsson signed on for a second spell at Swansea last summer after two seasons at Tottenham where he often found life difficult. But Sigurdsson’s form since returning to Swansea has been nothing short of sensational and with eight assists he is second only to Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas in that particular Premier League list. Press Association Shelvey has had an up-and-down season at Swansea, impressing at times in the club’s rise to eighth position in the Barclays Premier League but also guilty of some below-par performances which have seen him lose his first-team place in recent weeks. The 22-year-old former Liverpool man was sent off against Everton at the beginning of November and his start against Hull on Saturday – in which his 25-yard drive deflected off Ki Sung-yueng for Swansea’s winner – was only his second since that Goodison Park red card. “Gylf is a perfect example for Jonjo,” Monk said. “He built himself up, went to a big club but it didn’t quite work out for him at Spurs. “He’s come here, worked extremely hard at his game and delivers that performance you’re looking for. “It’s something for Jonjo to look at because ability-wise he’s up there with Gylfi and can be as good, if not even better. He has to follow that lead.” Shelvey should get the chance to impress in the new year with Ki set to miss possibly as many as six Swansea games when he is away at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia leading South Korea. “We will want him to step up and if you get the opportunity you have to take it,” Monk said. “I speak to Jonjo a lot and he knows what I expect from him. “It is about pushing him to get him right mentally and physically and hopefully he will deliver.” last_img

Uber passenger run over by police while attempting to flee fight

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Syracuse women’s soccer opens season with 1-1 tie against Colgate

first_imgSyracuse (0-0-1) left Hamilton, New York after a 1-1 tie in 110 minutes of play against Colgate (0-0-1) despite outshooting the Raiders, 22-5, on Friday night.“On the attacking side we created a ton of chances,” SU head coach Phil Wheddon said, “22 shots to their five shots, so I’m very happy with that. We just need to execute.”The Orange started out hot, netting a goal off a header by Sheridan Street within the first minute. After the first goal though the first half went south as the Orange drifted to a more conservative style of play and the Raiders took advantage. The Orange recorded 10 shots in the first half but only managed three on goal. After Syracuse cooled down within the first few minutes, the Raiders began to dominate possession for the rest of the half. They struggled getting off shots, but kept the ball on SU’s side of the pitch for many of their possessions.It looked as though the Orange would extend its lead 37 minutes into the game as Alex Lamontagne raced around Colgate goalkeeper, Kelly Chiavaro. Lamontagne couldn’t get a shot off though, instead passing to freshman Carolin Bader who sent a shot straight into the arms of Chiavaro.Then with 1:20 until halftime, Sarah Coy sent a Raider corner kick flying into Syracuse territory and freshman Mara Cosentino was able to capitalize with a big right kick from just inside the box to even the match at 1-1.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange came out the second half more aggressive, quickly bringing the ball into Colgate territory and recording six shots, two of which were on goal. Despite some promising opportunities, the Orange could not make their chances count, failing to find the back of the Colgate net. SU goalie Courtney Brosnan did not see a single shot directed her way.During the first overtime period, Syracuse continued its strong play that it showcased in the second half, but the results were the same. The Orange took shots on goal, but failed to put any past Chiavaro. In the second overtime period, the Raiders took advantage of a few misplayed balls, a few Syracuse fouls but sent two balls sailing just wide and high of the net.Despite the disappointing score, the Orange received contributions from Bader, as well as three other freshmen who also started: Sydney Brackett, Taylor Bennett, and Opal Curless.“The athleticism is fantastic. They’re hungry,” Wheddon said of the four starting freshmen. “They’re willing to work and they’re willing to learn.”The Orange will face its next opponent, Delaware, in its home opener on Sunday at 1 p.m. at SU Soccer Stadium. Comments Published on August 19, 2016 at 11:29 pm Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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