Gene Bickers, professor of physics and astronomy and vice provost for undergraduate programs, shared his thoughts about the evolution of scientific theory and its relevance to intelligent life during his “last lecture” hosted by the Torch and Tassel Chapter of USC Mortar Board on Wednesday night.Wise words · Gene Bickers receives a gift from the USC Mortar Board after his lecture, where he spoke about the importance of college. – Chloe Stepney | Daily Trojan The idea for the Last Lecture Series comes from the late Randy Pausch, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said Evan Snyder, vice president of Mortar Board.After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Pausch gave a speech at CMU announcing his diagnosis and sharing with the audience important life lessons and aspirations. He then wrote a book, The Last Lecture, which discussed similar sentiments.“The format became widely known through his book,” Snyder said. “That’s where Mortar Board got the idea for the event.”After entering the event and standing before the packed room in Seaver Science Library, Bickers joked, “This is so intimidating; I thought we would have a small group.”Bickers began his lecture by telling the audience that friendship was what he valued most about his experiences both in college and through teaching.“The thing that I have valued in being a faculty member is the lasting friendships I’ve been able to make with faculty, but particularly with students,” Bickers said.Max Reynolds, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, said he came to the event to learn more about Bickers.“I’m taking his class next semester,” he said. “I’ve heard all good things about him. He has a reputation as a really good teacher and I’m looking forward to getting a picture of who he is.”James Meiners, a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering, said he came to the lecture because of Bickers’ ability to engage students.“He could be talking about anything and it would be something you’d want to listen to just because of how good he is at speaking and relating things,” Meiners said.Bickers encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities they have to make lasting relationships.“Whether you go into industry, whether you go into business, or whether you teach, at some level, the thing you will value over time is the friends you make,” he said. “They will stay with you long after the experience is gone.”Bickers has taught at USC at a variety of levels, having joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1988. His research has focused on the physics of strongly correlated electrons in solids, and he has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching.Bickers discussed the importance of certain mathematical numbers in our understanding of the universe and intelligent life. He also addressed topics such as Einstein’s theory of relativity, the Big Bang theory, the dimensions of space, intelligent design and string theory.“If you look at physics, we have a beautiful, elaborate theory that describes most of the universe as we deserve it and it’s been incredibly successful in a number of ways,” Bickers said. “The more I’ve learned about it over the years, the more remarkable I thought it was.”Bickers said he wished he would have studied more philosophy in college to give himself a deeper meaning for the physical sciences.“I don’t know what the answer is. There is an intelligent force behind all of this and that is why things are how they are,” said Bickers, who mentioned that this concept is often the foundation for religion.Bickers concluded his lecture by referencing how far scientific thinking has come since the beginning of the 20th century, yet he said there is still more to discover.“I hope we figure out some more of the answers,” Bickers said. “The exciting thing is that all of you here, I bet you’re still alive at the end of the 21st century.”
Barry Alvarez and the Badgers play their final regular season game this Friday in Hawaii, ironically at Aloha Stadium. Wisconsin is looking to solidify a prestigious bowl berth with its ninth victory of the year. Many pundits have speculated the Badgers are headed to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando to play an SEC team.However, Alvarez is well aware of the importance of Friday’s matchup with Hawaii, despite the Warriors’ 4-6 record.”The Capital One Bowl [committee] would expect us to win, before they extend an invitation,” Alvarez said.A win at Hawaii would not only end Wisconsin’s current two-game losing streak, but also give it nine victories for the season, a mark that the team has reached in five previous seasons. This will be the third time Wisconsin plays in Hawaii during the Alvarez era, and the fourth overall meeting on the island.The Badgers lead the overall series 3-1, and while the matchup is far from a rivalry, the 1996 contest is renowned in UW’s football history. The 59-10 Badger conquest featured Ron Dayne’s school-record 339-yard rushing performance.Despite the Warriors struggles this year, and a bye week replete with rest, the Badgers are now thoroughly preparing for a competitive game against Hawaii. Lately conditioning is more intensive than usual, as the team attempts to acclimate itself to the Hawaiian heat. “There is no way we can simulate the heat … we started hydrating our players yesterday and we’ve been conditioning more,” Alvarez said. “We will land [in Hawaii] tomorrow night and go right to the stadium and get a light workout in.”According to weather reports, game day in Honolulu will reach a high of 82 degrees, and low of 70.A finale for Palermo as well: Just like Alvarez, defensive line coach John Palermo will be enjoying the beautiful Hawaiian weather for the last time as a Badger coach. His close relationship with Alvarez dates back to their coaching days at Notre Dame.”I think everybody recognizes how good a football coach he is particularly with the defensive line … he has had opportunities to leave here, but he chose to stay,” Alvarez said. “He has been very loyal, and very instrumental in our success.”Palermo’s contribution as a coach is unmistakable. Last year his entire defensive line was selected in the 2005 NFL draft. In addition, he has been on staff for 107 of Alvarez’s 108 victories at Wisconsin.Injury Report: Senior left guard Matt Lawrence practiced this week, and is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing the Iowa game with an aggravated ankle injury suffered in the fourth quarter against Penn State.On defense, freshman standout Matt Shaughnessy, who was carted off the field in the third quarter of last week’s game against Iowa, is out indefinitely.”He did not have a lot of swelling, which is good,” Alvarez said. “I have a feeling that he will be the type of person that will work very hard to rehabilitate.”The good news for the banged up defense is redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jason Chapman is scheduled to start after missing the entire Penn State game, and most of last week’s game against the Hawkeyes.
BEN CLASSON/Herald photoIn a season filled with high expectations for the team, defensive lineman Kirk DeCremer has found instant success.The former UW Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year and redshirt freshman has already made quite the splash in his first two games for the Badgers. In only his second play from scrimmage at the college level, DeCremer used his explosiveness off the line to make a terrific special teams play by blocking a Washington State punt. In his next outing against UNLV, he finished the game with two tackles and a sack for a 9-yard loss.Although many Badger fans have yet to become familiar with DeCremer, both coaches and players believe his decision to redshirt his freshman year will enhance his development as a player.”You have five years to play, and you are eligible to play four of those years,” defensive line coach Randall McCray said. “The three years in the middle are always the same. Is that first one or that fifth one better? The fifth year is always better because of the experience.”When asked about his redshirt experience, DeCremer acknowledges that taking a year off to learn the intricacies of the lineman position has given him a leg up on this season’s competition.”It was great,” DeCremer said. “Playing against the Outland Trophy winner (former UW left tackle Joe Thomas) on a daily basis definitely helped me out. Being around here for a year, you definitely get to know the guys.”Around Camp Randall, coach McCray’s intensity and passion for the game rubs off on his linemen. When asked about DeCremer, McCray was quick to point out the intensity and savvy pass-rushing skills he sees developing.”He is aggressive. He always attacks the ball off the line of scrimmage,” McCray said. “You can always calm a guy down, but it is hard to teach a guy to be aggressive.”DeCremer’s knack for being around the ball and speed off the line of scrimmage instantly drew the attention of the coaching staff.”That’s the first impression you get of the kid,” McCray said, “whether or not he is tough or aggressive.”Although he is excited at every opportunity to see the field, DeCremer remains humble about his play and understands that he must continue to make strides during practice to cement his spot on the line.”It definitely feels great; I was put in some great situations to make some plays,” DeCremer said. “I just tried to do the best I could when I was out there.”Coaches and players alike have been quick to praise DeCremer for his blue-collar work ethic and pass-rushing skills.”He has a lot of talent,” defensive tackle Nick Hayden said. “He uses the right technique and is a very sound player.”He brings a lot to the table and the more he plays in the game, the better he gets.” According to Hayden, DeCremer has a bright future ahead of him.”As long as he does the right things and watches film, he’s going to get better as a player,” Hayden said.McCray said he is impressed by DeCremer’s natural pass-rushing ability.When asked about what he considers his own strengths, DeCremer pointed to the football intangibles — football IQ and pass-rushing mentality — he developed during his illustrious career at Verona Area High School, just south of Madison.”I want to get [to the quarterback], and I won’t stop [until I do],” he said. “My motor is running full speed all the time.”However, DeCremer acknowledges there are improvements he must make to his game.”I need to work on my technique and knowing where I’m supposed to be when I’m supposed to be there,” DeCremer said. “I have a good feel for the ball, but I need to master the defense and know what’s happening all the time.”Although the defensive line hasn’t been as stable as the coaching staff hoped, as several key components have missed time — Jamal Cooper was kicked off the team for conduct detrimental to the team, Kurt Ware isn’t back to 100 percent following offseason knee surgery and Matt Shaughnessy had to attend to his ill brother — DeCremer has been a model of consistency in the early goings.As Wisconsin moves into Saturday’s game against The Citadel, one thing’s certain: DeCremer’s motor will keep running.
Absolute pandemonium.Tonight, hordes of people young and old will dress up and celebrate the spirit of Halloween.Some dress up for the laughs, others for the aesthetic appeal, and then there are those who truly want to be someone else. Whatever the case, measured by the pails of candy, clumsy stumbles or Facebook-worthy pictures, the transforming act is an overwhelming success.As is customary on game nights, UW goaltender Shane Connelly will go as Superman.It’s time he starts playing the part.Six straight games against Top 10 foes and the Badgers have gotten off to a 0-5-1 start.The defense is young, inexperienced and mistake-prone. Connelly is a veteran, savvy and… mistake-prone.No question — the defense has been out of position the numerous times the puck has zipped past Connelly.No question — Wisconsin players renting out and residing in the penalty box as their home away from home have put Connelly at a disadvantage.No question — one upperclassman blue-liner and a roster full of NHL-talent defensemen eyed for their open ice and scoring abilities, not the grind it out defense the WCHA plays, have metaphorically grayed Connelly’s hair.The defense is young, the opposition lethal, but the goaltender can still make plays. College hockey is tough. The WCHA is merciless.Connelly still lets in soft goals.No. 35 has been, bar a couple periods and smattering of plays, a sieve. Not in the “drain the water from the pot of noodles sense,” but in the water surging over a useless sandbag levee.Eighteen goals have scored under Connelly’s watch — that’s 4.45 goals per 60 minutes. Only Mercyhurst and Bemidji State — two of 58 Division 1 teams, yes teams — have allowed a higher clip per game. Nine have come in the third period, three times blowing a lead or tie. And Connelly hasn’t started every night. (More on that to come.)The WCHA is known for its defense — and goaltenders. What happened in Wisconsin?While the defense adjusts and slowly grows up, Connelly needs to be Superman. He wears the mask with the “S” shield decal on the back for a reason. Alone, Connelly stands between the enemy and glory.On the top shelf of his locker sits a journal. In it, he describes and recalls opposing player’s tendencies with the puck: where they shoot from, how — wrister, backhand, slap — and in what formation.The scribbling shouldn’t serve as a memento, a “Hey, look what I do during the games;” it should be put into practice on the ice. Time and time again.Not knowing what’s coming and getting beaten is poor scouting. Knowing what’s coming and not being able to stop it is an entirely separate matter.There doesn’t appear to be anyone else anytime soon either. Connelly’s it. UW coach Mike Eaves tried Scott Gudmandson. The results were horrifying.In two games, Gudmandson allowed 12 goals. Do the math. That’s 2003 Detroit Tigers bad. For his career, 3.66 GAA is the number to consider.Save percentage is a better indicator of talent, or lack thereof. The Akili Smith of WCHA goaltenders stops the puck 82.4 percent of the time. Really good teams shoot 10 percent against a variety of talent. More than 14 percent of shots on Gudmandson have scored during his short career.Again, 1976 Buccaneers bad.While superior to Gudmandson, Connelly will never be better than average. He’ll never rank among the Brian Elliotts, Curtis Josephs and Bernd Brucklers of Wisconsin hockey history. That much is true. But without support of the beams and pillars (and Superman preoccupied by Lex Luthor), so too will the hockey team crumble if Connelly gives in.Connelly must continue to fight, as futile as it may sometimes be.Because if Connelly can somehow find it in himself to play with the emotions and excitement of the North Dakota series last November, where he pitched a shutout one night and made an acrobatic save the next, maybe, just maybe, Average-Man will be super enough.Kevin is a former Badger Herald sports editor. Want to talk more Badgers hockey? He’s graduated now, but he can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manny Sevillano circled this date on the schedule. Before the season began, before the Syracuse men’s soccer team had even stepped out onto the field in 2010, he targeted Wednesday’s matchup with St. John’s as one he desperately wanted to win. ‘St. John’s is one of those teams,’ Sevillano, the SU senior midfielder, said. ‘When we step back and look at our schedule, this is one of those teams that we really, really want to beat.’ No one on the current Orange roster has experienced what it feels like to beat the Red Storm. In fact, no Syracuse player from this decade knows the feeling. It’s hasn’t been since 1996 that SU has come away with three points against St. John’s, when it defeated its in-state rival 2-0 at home. It was one of only two losses that season for the Red Storm, which went on to win the national championship. ‘On a soccer scene, they’ve really been the team to beat,’ SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. ‘They’re our benchmark. And we know we have a lot of work and a long way to go to try and replicate some of the respect that the St. John’s program has had.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text But perhaps Wednesday night will be different from the past 14 years. The Orange (2-5-4, 0-1-2 Big East) is coming off arguably its two best performances of the season in a win over then-No. 24 Colgate and a tie against DePaul. On the other hand, St. John’s (6-5-0, 0-3-0 Big East) has lost three straight and four of its last five games. Wednesday’s game provides Syracuse with an opportunity to turn the tables in this 28-year rivalry. The Orange has a chance to steal three points against a struggling St. John’s team and make a statement against a program that is widely considered the class of the conference. The Red Storm’s downfall came after it began the season 5-1. A preseason Top 25 team, St. John’s ascended to as high as No. 12 in the national polls after posting four shutout wins in its first six games. Since that start, it has lost all three of its Big East games to Cincinnati, Notre Dame and No. 2 Louisville. The Red Storm also lost to No. 15 Brown. One-third of the way through the conference schedule, St. John’s is still without a point in the Red Division. ‘Do I foresee St. John’s being down there at the end of the season? Absolutely not,’ McIntyre said. ‘They’re a quality program and one that most of us have penciled in for the playoffs. But if we can keep them down there for a little bit longer, we’ll certainly be trying to do that.’ If the Orange is successful in keeping St. John’s down in the standings, it will be a monumental win. Since 1990, the Red Storm has had seven Big East tournament titles and four Big East regular season titles and has won fewer than 10 games just twice. The rivalry between the two schools dates back to 1982, with the Red Storm dominating with a 17-7-5 record against SU. They’ve scored nearly twice as many goals as the Orange in that stretch. And just because St. John’s is in a bit of a slump right now, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a Top 25 caliber team, SU midfielder Geoff Lytle said. ‘Rankings always change,’ he said. ‘They’re always fluctuating, so if a team isn’t ranked, it doesn’t mean they aren’t better than a ranked team. So you can’t approach it differently.’ The Orange needs to approach Wednesday night’s game with the same level of intensity it had against Colgate and DePaul. For the first time all season, SU put together back-to-back games in which it avoided conceding the first goal to its opponent. Now that level of concentration and commitment has to be taken on the road. The Red Storm’s Belson Stadium is one of the more difficult venues at which to play, McIntyre said, and he will find out a lot about his team based on its performance in this game. ‘Playing well at home against DePaul is a good step forward for us,’ McIntyre said. ‘But ultimately trying to play the same kind of quality soccer at Belson Stadium will be a real kind of test for us. ‘We understand that we’ve got our hands full.’ Mjcohe02@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on October 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: email@example.com | @Michael_Cohen13
Quarterbacks Ryan Nassib came through in the clutch against South Florida last weekend, leading SU the length of the field to victory. Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri has been unable to post decent stats (a five-to-three touchdown-to-interception ratio) or wins. Advantage: Syracuse Running backs The Orange continued to use Antwon Bailey more last week, and that’s a good thing. He was the perfect complement to Delone Carter. Though Dion Lewis has been a disappointment for Pittsburgh, Ray Graham has been just as much of a pleasant surprise.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Advantage: Even Wide receivers SU’s receiver cast is too depleted to win this matchup. The Panthers have six players with nine catches or more. Jon Baldwin (24 catches) and Mike Shanahan (19 catches) are their two biggest threats. Advantage: Pittsburgh Tight ends Nick Provo is third on the Orange with 12 catches on the season. He has established himself as an option for Nassib. Mike Cruz leads Pittsburgh tight ends with only four receptions. Advantage: Syracuse Offensive line This SU line is still inexperienced, judging by the amount of silly mistakes and penalties it committed against USF. The unit is in for another tough test with Pittsburgh’s defensive line. But Pittsburgh’s line is shaky, too, already having allowed 11 sacks to SU’s 12. Advantage: Even Defensive line The Panthers have too much balance here, with three separate defensive linemen — Jabaal Sheard, Chas Alecxih and Brandon Lindsey — having four sacks or more. Sheard has eight tackles for loss on the season. Advantage: Pittsburgh Linebackers Derrell Smith, Doug Hogue and Marquis Spruill have been as good as anticipated for the Orange. Pittsburgh’s linebacking corps doesn’t have the same kind of presence. Advantage: Syracuse Secondary Pittsburgh’s pass defense has given up just over 40 more yards per game than has Syracuse’s, albeit against stronger competition. SU’s unit is riding the waves, coming off a dominating performance against USF. Advantage: Even Special teams Mike Holmes leads the Big East in punt return average by a wide margin. Holmes averages 18.7 yards per return, a huge advantage in the field-position game. Advantage: Syracuse Coaching Dave Wannstedt’s pedigree has to win out here. He has a proven track record of success, while Doug Marrone has a start with last week’s win. Advantage: Pittsburgh — Compiled by Asst. Sports Editor Brett LoGiurato Comments Published on October 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+
Derrell Smith doesn’t want to wake up from this dream. Instead of letting reality sink in Saturday, the senior defensive captain didn’t want to think too much about the significance of beating the No. 20 team in the country on the road. He figures that would lead to complacency. And with Syracuse playing its best football in years, he doesn’t want this to be the time SU starts finding satisfaction in just one win. ‘We’re already looking to the next one,’ the senior linebacker said Saturday. ‘We don’t want to be content with what we have. Not now.’ Smith wasn’t alone in his demeanor, either. Two weeks earlier, the Orange finally broke through and beat South Florida, an opponent it had never defeated. A week after that, the Orange was dismantled, 45-14, by a hungry Pittsburgh squad that already lost three games. That complacency, Smith said, was the reason. With the Orange (5-2, 2-1 Big East) now headed to Cincinnati (3-4, 1-1) for a noon start (ESPNU), Smith and his teammates made sure not to get too wrapped up in the significance of beating West Virginia. From the moment Syracuse emerged from the locker room, it made a point of not getting wrapped up in the moment. Instead, it was all about the next game, the next opponent and the next step.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The approach, Smith said, was different from what it had been two weeks earlier, after the Orange beat the Bulls in Tampa, Fla. This time, no tears were shed. No postgame hugs were seen outside the locker room. Smiles were hard to find. Emotions had been left inside the locker room. ‘To tell you the truth, it might sound cliché, but I’m thinking about Cincinnati right now,’ junior defensive end Chandler Jones added Saturday, adjacent to Smith outside SU’s locker room. When the Orange returned to practice this week, those sentiments remained. Syracuse hadn’t beaten West Virginia in nine years. Now the Orange will face a Bearcats squad it hasn’t defeated since 2004. And though SU is seeing a pattern, the approach to those games has changed this season. Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone doesn’t want his team to ride the ‘highs and lows’ of wins and losses. That’s why, Smith said, Marrone is trying to set the tone for this team to stay level-headed about the ups and downs SU has experienced thus far. That is the way Marrone believes Syracuse will ultimately find success. ‘Our goal is to be a consistent football team, and that’s what we are trying to get done,’ Marrone said Monday at his weekly press conference. ‘And the goal is to be a consistent coach in your demeanor and how you represent the game plan or represent your coaching style or yourself. Players will pick up on that.’ During the week, Smith and teammates Mikhail Marinovich and Antwon Bailey talked openly about that change in culture from previous SU teams. Bailey said SU’s approach this week is simply a byproduct of learning how to win. About having been there, done that. Marinovich reflected upon how the Orange responded from its loss to Pittsburgh, openly talking about how that helped SU realize it can’t ride the rollercoaster that comes with marquee victories. And with that, he emphasized the loss to the Panthers played a big roll in why Syracuse was all business following arguably its biggest win of the past few years. ‘After South Florida, Pitt kind of helped us stay grounded,’ Marinovich said. ‘That’s why we’re not looking at (West Virginia) too much, and we’re saying, ‘Fix the mistakes and move on.’ Because, as we’ve seen in the past, you can’t relish wins or losses. You’ve got to move forward.’ ‘It’s a great feeling,’ added Marinovich. ‘But you can’t get satisfied. When you get satisfied, that’s when you get beat.’ As the Orange began the season, the four-game stretch of South Florida-Pittsburgh-West Virginia-Cincinnati was seen as a make-or-break stretch. To SU left tackle Justin Pugh, it wasn’t difficult to tell why. ‘Cincinnati has won the Big East the past two years,’ Pugh said. ‘Pitt was the favorite this year, and they were ranked 15th in the country before. West Virginia was ranked when we played them. So it was definitely the hardest potential four to play.’ And now 2-1 through that stretch, SU doesn’t appear to be content with where it is heading into Saturday’s game at Cincinnati. Because of that, Smith refuses to let reality set in and dwell on what his squad has accomplished thus far. Instead, he prefers to stay grounded, realizing there’s still work to be done. That now is not the time to be content. ‘This has just been a dream come true for a senior season,’ Smith said Saturday. ‘I’m definitely living the dream right now. I’m on cloud nine. And it’s a great experience, and we want it to continue.’ firstname.lastname@example.org Comments Published on October 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+
Jovan Miller saw promise in Hakeem Lecky.Miller planned on taking the young midfielder under his wing. Talk him through some of the struggles a freshman may face playing on a college team, albeit a No. 1-ranked college team. But Miller wasn’t expecting to have to talk him through what Lecky now faces: an injury that will keep the freshman sidelined for most, if not all, of the season.‘I’ve been talking to him, he’s in positive sprits about it,’ Miller said. ‘He definitely did want to play with our senior class. … It’s disheartening.’Lecky stood out among Syracuse’s large group of freshmen, impressing his teammates and coaches with his all-around lacrosse abilities. So much so that there was going to be plenty of playing time for Lecky, a chance to play with a senior class motivated for a shot at a third national championship. On Jan. 19, though, Lecky’s playing time ended for the foreseeable future when he suffered an injury to his left wrist that required surgery.Lecky’s future went from the turf to the sidelines.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLecky was going to be playing alongside the team’s experienced midfielders. He would’ve gotten the chance to take the field with seniors Josh Amidon, Jeff Gilbert, Jeremy Thompson and Miller. As far as Miller was concerned, Lecky deserved the opportunity, even if Lecky hadn’t seen one minute in a collegiate game.‘He’s very coachable, but he has raw talent,’ Miller said. ‘He has a lot of things you can’t teach. But he’s very coachable, and he was learning things pretty fast.’Lecky’s speed and athleticism fit in well with the Orange’s offense. Freshman or not, Lecky’s playing time was solidified. And next season, when those four seniors are gone, Lecky could’ve put his freshman playing time to good use. At midfield, Lecky would have been the experienced one.SU head coach John Desko said Lecky didn’t have a definitive role, only that he would have been on one of the midfields. Now that he’s out, he will likely be replaced by someone with two or three years of experience. That only shows how much Lecky’s talent impressed Desko in the preseason.‘We’ve got enough depth at midfield where we didn’t have to rely on a freshman,’ Desko said. ‘He was one guy that had stepped up with his great athletic ability.’It’s also that athletic ability that made him a nationally ranked high school and prep school player. Lecky was rated the 30th overall prospect by Inside Lacrosse in 2009 and was an Under Armour and U.S. Lacrosse All-American at Duxbury High School in Massachusetts. He attended Avon Old Farms School for one year prior to Syracuse, where he helped lead his team to a 15-3 record.Lecky’s loss for the season is one Syracuse can make up for. There are plenty of players to help fill the void.But not having Lecky will still be a loss felt on the field.‘We could use him on certain sets. He’s very athletic, so he could definitely clear the ball, too,’ SU attack JoJo Marasco said. ‘He’s just another player we could use on the field, so not to have him right now kind of hurts.’Lecky’s injury will, in all likelihood, keep him out for the entire season. If he returns at all, it will only be for a few games toward the end of the season. Desko said it would be up to Lecky to decide if he wants to use an entire year of eligibility to only play in a couple of games.Whether he returns this season for a couple of games or at the start of next year, Lecky’s going to be a key part of Syracuse’s midfield. Miller’s going to have to get Lecky through the disappointment of not being ready for this season, but he already seems to know what to say.‘It’s a big loss for us,’ Miller said. ‘But everything happens for a reason.’email@example.com Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org | @chris_iseman
Syracuse was 1:43 away from an elusive signature win. But with one critical mistake, it all slipped away.SU held a lead with just under two minutes remaining in the game, when South Florida freshman midfielder Roberto Alterio took advantage of a missed clearing attempt by Orange defender Skylar Thomas. Alterio put the ball past SU goalkeeper Phil Boerger and sent the game into overtime.Thomas tried to kick the ball away from the goal but missed, and the ball stayed loose in the box. Alterio ran in from right in front of the cage and sent the ball into the lower right corner of the net, out of the reach of Boerger. The Bulls celebrated as if they had just won the game, not tied it.‘The surface was terrible. It was just unlucky,’ Boerger said. ‘Skylar played a good game, you can’t fault him there. Just unlucky.’In the fourth minute of overtime, South Florida’s leading scorer, Dom Dwyer, headed in the game-winning goal to give USF a comeback 3-2 victory over the Orange. And Syracuse (2-9-1, 0-4-1 Big East) was dealt another crushing defeat in front of 397 at the SU Soccer Stadium on Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe fact that the Orange was in complete command of the game for the entire first half only made the loss worse. Syracuse controlled possession against the No. 11 ranked Bulls (9-2-2, 4-0-1), but it all fell apart in the second half.The intensity the Orange played with in the first half didn’t carry over into the second stanza, and the Bulls started to attack more directly.After the game-tying goal, some of the Syracuse players stood around the box with their hands on their heads in shock, while others stared straight down at the ground with hands on hips.For one of the rare times this season, SU had a two-goal lead on an opponent. Both goals came from junior forward Louis Clark. But as the second half progressed, it all slipped away.‘Today, we got the start we wanted,’ senior midfielder Nick Roydhouse said. ‘We got the 2-0 lead. It was great. Everything was going the way we wanted.’SU also managed to limit Dwyer’s scoring opportunities by having both midfielder Nick Bibbs and Thomas mark him, while getting help when they needed it. Orange head coach Ian McIntyre said he didn’t want to just have one player try to stop the Bulls’ leading scorer.And it worked for a while, but not for long enough.In the 78th minute, Dwyer drew a foul in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. The junior found an opening at the left side of the net and Boerger couldn’t get to it, giving the Bulls their first goal of the game.After the game, McIntyre questioned the call and said he’d like to see the foul again on tape. Bibbs said the call was incorrect, considering he felt he had already been fouled and wasn’t given the call in SU’s favor.Either way, late-game defensive breakdowns plagued SU once gain.‘Breakdowns that shouldn’t have happened. Just simple mistakes,’ Bibbs said. ‘First of all, there never should’ve been a PK. I did foul the guy in the box, but it shouldn’t have gone to that point because the striker had fouled me before he even got me the ball to dribble at me.’Once the Bulls scored off that penalty kick, the momentum of the game clearly shifted in their direction. The Orange only had to keep USF from scoring for less than 13 minutes but couldn’t do it to hold on for the win.McIntyre said Syracuse started to play more to the clock than the game itself.‘A lot of times with our leads this season, we’ve kind of set off and let teams get on top of us,’ he said. ‘They had a good second half. They were on top of the game. We just tried to be smart, play good soccer, and it just didn’t pay off at the end.’By the time Dwyer headed home the game-winner in overtime, it was clear Syracuse gave the game away.The South Florida players had a celebratory pile at midfield after the game-winning goal. Once again, the Orange walked off the field defeated — still winless in conference play.‘To their credit, they were really up for it in the second half,’ Boerger said. ‘We just couldn’t close the game out.’email@example.com Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org | @chris_iseman Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on November 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: email@example.com | @nicktoneytweets Before her second-to-last home match at Syracuse, Erin Little couldn’t help but laugh at the loud crowd reaction when she was introduced. During her four-year career, the stands in the Women’s Building were rarely filled with about 30 of her biggest fans. Little’s high school volleyball team from Burnt Hills came to watch her play a day before the high school team’s state playoff match at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. High school teammates, friends, family members and former coaches made the match against DePaul on Friday special for Little.A few carried signs crafted with red glitter and glue that read, ‘I Love E-Little.’ The entire group cheered loudly when its hometown player was introduced before the match.‘The player introductions were a little crazy,’ Little said. ‘I’ve never heard cheers that loud.’Little, one of only two players from New York on the SU roster, dominated during her four years at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School and helped her school capture two straight state championships. With many of her former teammates and coaches in the stands Friday, it was a chance to look back at her entire career beginning as a freshman in high school and culminating this season at Syracuse.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBurnt Hills-Ballston Lake head coach Gary Bynon said she contributed to the school’s state title run as a freshman, and was a leader for the Spartans’ second straight state title. Little was honored as the New York State Gatorade Player of the Year during her senior year.‘We have a tradition at our school of winning games,’ Bynon said. ‘No player was bigger for us than Erin was during that span.’That’s high praise from Bynon, who has coached many talented players throughout the years.The Spartans team won its 300th consecutive game in the Suburban Council in September, and Little wasn’t the only big-name player to contribute to that streak. Former SU middle blocker Sarah Morton, a team co-captain in 2009, graduated from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, too.Bynon’s star player had to earn her way on the court throughout her SU career, though. Former head coach Jing Pu used Little sparingly this season, favoring other outside hitters Andrea Fisher and Ying Shen.But Kelly Morrisroe increased Little’s playing time when she took over as interim head coach in mid-October. Morrisroe said the playing time helped win her team more games. The Orange won six of its last nine games to earn the fourth seed in the Big East tournament, which begins Friday.‘Erin’s veteran leadership really helped our team, especially our team offense,’ Morrisroe said. ‘But just having her on the court helps.’Bynon had the same experience coaching Little in high school.Bynon said he took his team to watch Little play Friday because she does everything ‘the right way.’ He called Little a great role model both on and off the court.‘You couldn’t ask for a better representation of our program,’ Bynon said.Spartans libero Siena Wilder and setter Natalie Ziskin are two players who see Little the same way their coach does. Wilder said seeing Little play at the Division I level gives her reason to believe she can play in college, too.Ziskin recalled fond memories of playing with Little.‘I was just in eighth grade when I played with her, but she was our go-to player for everything,’ Ziskin said. ‘Not just for volleyball, either. We’d go to her for advice.’SU sophomore Amanda Kullman, who gave a pregame speech on Senior Day two days later about all three graduating players, couldn’t agree more. Kullman said she’s going to miss having players like Little around.Little finished with seven kills and three blocks against DePaul on Friday and helped SU defeat Notre Dame in the regular-season finale on Sunday. For the senior, her final weekend playing at home at Syracuse was a memorable one.‘It’s great to see old coaches and new players before the last game,’ Little said. ‘Especially when they’re cheering that loudly.’firstname.lastname@example.org