Syracuse looks to forget late-game heroics of last year, handle Florida in NCAA third round

first_imgIt’s a great memory for Syracuse. But the players insist it only sits in the backs of their minds.With an impending playoff matchup against Florida, the Orange refuses to get carried away reflecting on SU’s seven-goal comeback to beat the Gators in last season’s final four.“It’s always going to be a game that I will remember,” junior attack Alyssa Murray said. “But I think you can’t dwell on memories like that. Because if you do, then you’re just going to sit back and just wait for something like that to happen.“A seven-goal comeback doesn’t come around often so rather than playing from behind like we did last year, we’re going to try and get out to a quick lead and really keep it there.”A year removed from a triumphant 14-13 double-overtime victory over UF to reach the national championship game, the Orange meets the Gators once again in the postseason. Fourth-seeded Syracuse (17-3) will face No. 5 Florida (18-2) for the second time this year, but this, at the Carrier Dome on Saturday at 2 p.m. with a trip to this season’s final four on the line.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe new season has brought change to both sidelines, altering the matchups and forcing the coaches to devise new game plans.Syracuse’s players won’t pride themselves on their resurgence over such a deficit in last year’s national semifinals. Both teams are completely different teams, the players said. The feat means little to SU now.Eyes are focused on this weekend, when the Gators will travel to the Carrier Dome for the very first time.“And the Dome isn’t exactly a friendly atmosphere for the opposing team,” said Syracuse midfielder Bridget Daley. “And that charges us up even more.”The two national powerhouses met on March 2 in Miami, where the Gators prevailed 14-10. But in the two and a half months since that contest, the two squads have evolved.“We’re just at a point in our season that we’ve really come together as a group and we’re just really confident playing with each other,” said senior Becca Block, Synapse Sports’ defender of the year. “Our attack and defense have grown so much that we’re just totally different the way we’re playing.”In SU’s last two meetings with UF, Michelle Tumolo carried Syracuse’s offense. She burned the Gators for five points in the final four and then spearheaded SU’s attack with four goals and an assist on March 2. But the Orange no longer has her skills at its disposal, as the senior went down with a torn left ACL on April 16.In her absence emerged freshman Kayla Treanor. In the eight games since the senior’s injury, Treanor exceeded her collective production from the previous 12 games.Simultaneously, Murray was just as dynamic and finished fourth in the nation with 100 points. The duo of Murray and Treanor has been “phenomenal” down the stretch, Daley said.Syracuse believes the pair’s dominance will translate against a Florida team that poses a more competitive threat than SU’s most recent opponent, Dartmouth.SU head coach Gary Gait said he was happy with Murray and Treanor’s performance against DC, but stressed that Florida represents an entirely new challenge.The Orange knows it has no time or reason for reminiscing old memories.“You hear a lot about (Florida having) 13 seniors and they’ve been there for four years,” Daley said. “You got to remember that we have seniors who have been here for four years, and every class that we have wants to win a national championship just as bad as they do.” Comments Published on May 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Related Stories Florida’s first-ever senior class leaving legacy in final NCAA tournament runcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

UConn on verge of return to Big East, per reports; football future uncertain

first_imgUConn is on the verge of returning to its roots.According to several reports on Saturday — including from The Athletic and Hartford (Conn.) Courant — the University of Connecticut is expected to be announced as the latest member of the Big East, joining the conference in all the sports it sponsors.  The move not only would grant the Huskies better security and opportunity for its men’s and women’s basketball programs, it would help renew some storied rivalries with old Big East basketball foes, including DePaul, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Georgetown, Seton Hall and Villanova.MORE: SN’s way-too-early top 25 for 2019-20If UConn is announced as a full member of the Big East — the Huskies are associate members in field hockey — it does leave questions as to the future of the Huskies’ football program. The Big East has not sponsored football since its seven non-FBS programs separated from their in-conference football counterparts in 2012. Many of the football schools went on to form the American Athletic Conference, of which UConn has been a member since 2013, with additions like Houston, Memphis and UCF, among others.According to a report from the Courant, UConn is not considering dropping its football program, though sources told Yahoo! Sports the ACC likely won’t keep Huskies on as a football-only member. Even if UConn does move to the Big East, it is expected to compete in the AAC for the 2019 season. That would mean that, starting in 2020, UConn would either have to go independent or find a new conference to join as a football-only member.The UConn athletics department, when reached for comment by the Courant, said in a statement that “it is our responsibility to always be mindful of what is in the best interest of our student athletes, our fans and our future. With that being said we have been and remain proud members of the American Athletic Conference.”The Big East declined comment to the Courant.last_img read more