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first_img Published on April 6, 2016 at 12:54 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ Gary Gait said he saw a team that lacked hustle, energy and failed to adapt to the situation the Orange faced as a team trailing on the road. But for the Syracuse head coach and junior defender Haley McDonnell, the one prevailing thing that doomed the team most was a lack of communication. That led to a 13-8 upset loss on the road for then-No. 3 Syracuse during Spring Break to then-No. 16 Boston College. “Even while the game was going on, we knew we needed to reconvene and (figure it out),” McDonnell said. “… We weren’t as focused as we needed to be and it showed on the field. (Our team) didn’t prepare as well as we needed to for that game.” Since Boston College, No. 4 Syracuse’s (10-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) lowest point this season, it has returned the level of play befitting of its No. 2 preseason ranking. The SU defense has shut down two of the conference’s best scorers, held one team to half its average scoring output and spurred a three-game winning streak. It’s all because of one fix that increased talking and decreased goals allowed. “I think they’ve responded really well (to the Boston College game),” Gait said. “A lot of it is with energy and hustle (picking) up … but the number one thing is communication.” AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat’s keyed the winning streak that began on the road against No. 4 Notre Dame and continued in the Carrier Dome against No. 14 Duke and unranked Connecticut. The Orange defense held each of those teams under their averages for shots and goals in each game. Against Duke, attacks Kyra Harney and Kelci Smesko, two of the ACC’s top five goal-scorers, combined for only one shot. In those games after BC, Gait said there’s been a noticeable difference in communication on defense. He said the lack of talk before contributed to being unable to anticipate groundballs, losing speed on defenders with bad angles and those things put SU in tough situations. The communication, according to McDonnell, could be as simple as saying, “Hey, I’m on your right,” when running back in the defensive zone. Or it could be about rotation in Syracuse’s zone ‘backer defense. Whatever it need be, McDonnell said, the team just needs to talk. That’s largely because the importance of defensive communication extends beyond the defenders. SU goalkeeper Allie Murray’s unusual aggression in net puts SU at risk of allowing open-netters, which assistant coach Regy Thorpe said he’s OK with in February, but to limit those opportunities the defense needed to talk. Gait particularly saw that against Connecticut, when the defense was “dialed in.” He said they were pressuring shooters, allowed no easy shots which, in turn, allowed Murray to make easy saves. “Getting that first save (against UConn) is huge to building her confidence,” Gait said. “She got seven saves in that first half and a lot of it is because there was pressure on the shooters (through communication).” In the first win of the streak, against Notre Dame, Murray saved one shot and two were forced wide of the net by the defense in the last 24 seconds to preserve a one-goal lead. It’s a run that’s sprung from team dissatisfaction one afternoon in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, over Spring Break, a day when McDonnell said the team knew it was much better than what it showed. “We just talked about the way it was (in the locker room),” Gait said of the BC postgame team talk. “’You got outhustled and you got outworked. Remember this, learn from it and let’s move forward.’” Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgBetway Ghana, has launched a talent search to discover the best of local talent. With Stephen Appiah as the search ambassador, many more Ghanaians are expected to participate.Opportunities to discover rising talent always bring about excitement, both to organisers and beneficiaries. Betway Ghana, one of the country’s most popular sports betting platforms, has announced the launch of their very own talent search programme.This brilliant initiative holds promise for many aspirational footballers across the country. The Betway Talent Search promises to give Ghanaians between the ages of 18 and 25 the chance to play in front of the top football scouts across the country, and the chance for them to be signed to a football club if they prove themselves.Entrants must bring a copy of their ID or Passport to one of the scheduled registration venues across Ghana.To add to the excitement, Ghana’s football legend Stephen Appiah will lead the seasoned team of football scouts which includes, Eben Sefah, Maxwell Konadu, David Accam and a few others. These scouts will be present during the try-outs and camping session.Stephen is excited about the Betway Talent Search and has expressed his hope that a talent, even more skilled than he was, be discovered during the search. He said, “The Betway Talent Search gives me the opportunity to touch base with the many talents whose cheers, support and hope has shaped us. It is now time to inspire them and I look forward to seeing each and every champion that will step up to the challenge at the try-outs,” he added. Footballers around the country are growing increasingly expectant and excited for the try-outs, particularly those in informal football clubs who have been training regularly for such a fine opportunity.Marketing Manager for Betway Ghana, Kwabena Oppong Nkrumah, said “the initiative was to inspire fresh, uncut Ghanaian football talent to pursue their dreams of becoming champions. The top sixteen (16) players would be camped, and this will give them an experience of what it means playing at top level football. They would get to understand grit, focus and perseverance both on and off the field.”The registration for the Betway Talent Search will be on the following dates:Takoradi•          Registration: 4th – 7th July 2017 at Spice FM Koforidua•          Registration: 11th – Friday 14th July 2017 at Green FMKumasi•          Registration: 18th – 21st July 2017 at Luv FM & KessBen FMAccra •          Registration: 25th – 28th July 2017 at Asempa FM & Citi FMThe first 500 entrants to apply for the initial round in each region will be accepted – so those looking to secure their spots should enter as soon as registrations open. Betway will contact the successful entrants, inviting them to the Betway Talent Search itself which will be held on the following days:•          Takoradi – Betway Talent Search: 8th July 2017•          Koforidua – Betway Talent Search: 15th July 2017•          Kumasi – Betway Talent Search: 22nd July 2017 •          Accra – Betway Talent Search 29th July 2017The Betway Talent Search sits alongside the Betway sponsorship of Ashanti Gold S.C as part of Betway’s commitment to driving interest and support in Ghanaian football.last_img read more

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