UW blanks MSU in 1st round of playoffs

first_imgBrooke Ammerman powered the Badgers offense in their opening round of the playoffs scoring a total of five goals and one assist. Friday night Ammerman notched four goals for Wisconsin in its 7-0 victory. Ammerman scored the weekends only special teams goals notching a shorthanded goal Friday night and the weekend’s lone power play goal Saturday.[/media-credit]A dominant offense and strong defensive play led the Wisconsin women’s hockey team to a sweep over Minnesota State this past weekend in the first round of the WCHA tournament.In a best-of-three series, the Badgers (31-3-2, 23-3-2 WCHA) were able to shut down the Mavericks (7-28-1, 3-24-1 WCHA) in just two games. UW recorded shutouts in both games and scored 11 goals, winning game one 7-0 and game two 4-0.The two decisive wins Friday and Saturday night advanced the top-seeded Badgers to the WCHA Final Face-Off next weekend, where they will take on fourth seed Minnesota-Duluth (20-13-1) in the semi-finals. Head coach Mark Johnson was satisfied with his team’s performance in this first round.“It was good we can talk about a lot of things,” Johnson said. “You look at both games and you don’t give up a goal, we like that, and it gave the young players a chance to gain some experience. I was happy with their effort. … A lot of good things come out of it.”Freshman forward Katy Josephs put UW on the board just 1:02 into the game Saturday night. After receiving a pass up the ice by freshman forward Blayre Turnbull, Josephs shot the puck through MSU defensemen from inside the right circle and hit the back of the net.Josephs’ early goal helped set the pace for Wisconsin.“Every time we score right away, it gets our girls up and that much more energetic on the bench,” sophomore goaltender Alex Rigsby said. “I think it was huge for her to get that early goal, and it was a nice goal, so we took the momentum from that.”UW found the net two more times in the first period. Senior forward Carolyne Prevost scored off a rebound shot after senior forward Brooke Ammerman sent the puck into the crease from the left side. Ammerman scored the team’s third goal on a power play with just 1:01 remaining in the first period, sending UW into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.In an attempt to save their season, the Mavericks did not let down throughout the remainder of the game. They were able to hold the Badgers to just one goal in the second period and keep them off the scoreboard in the third. Junior forward Brianna Decker scored the Badger’s final goal of the game during a four-on-four match-up at 5:26 in the second period.Saturday’s game remained a battle with a total of 15 penalties assessed in the game; eight for the Mavericks and seven for the Badgers. UW was able to remain composed and kept MSU scoreless.“It’s competitive. [The Mavericks] are playing for their lives and we’re trying to figure out how to win the game and getting competitive,” Johnson said. “In the back of everybody’s mind is that if you lose a game your season is over so when you’re eliminating a team it creates the environment and you saw that tonight.”Game one of the series proved to be a more consistent offensive effort by Wisconsin as they scored multiple goals in all three periods. Ammerman put four of the team’s seven goals in the net including the team’s first at 3:20 in the first period.Decker also notched in two goals for UW, and sophomore forward Brittany Ammerman scored one of her own.With a solid defensive effort by both Rigsby and the entire Wisconsin defensive unit, the team was proud of its effort and believes the confidence gain this weekend will carry them though the rest of the WCHA tournament.“We are happy with where we are right now, with 11 goals we have a lot of energy going into Friday against Duluth,” senior forward and captain Hillary Knight said. “Where ever they are in the standings it really doesn’t matter now because it is a one-game season.”last_img read more

Syracuse forced to adjust as the season shifts outdoors

first_imgInside Drumlins Country Club, it can be difficult to remember that Syracuse is among the snowiest cities in the United States.The seven courts, situated under an airplane hangar-type roof, remain dry year round as Syracuse is barraged with snow, rain and wind, allowing tennis players to enjoy controlled conditions.But, through April, SU balances two different schedules: the home, indoor circuit and its southern, outdoor destinations.The Orange enters the outdoor-heavy portion of its season Friday with a matchup at No. 19 Florida State (12-7, 4-5 Atlantic Coast), where Syracuse (14-3, 6-3) must adjust to the different pace of outdoor courts down south. Three of SU’s final five matches will be outdoors, including the ACC championships in Cary, North Carolina. Playing in Syracuse, SU has had little opportunity to practice outside due to unfavorable conditions.The adaptations players make for the wind and sun, combined with the differences in court speed, make the adjustment to southern play difficult, SU head coach Younes Limam said. Limam intended to practice outdoors starting April 2, but the rain, wind and cold forced SU to remain indoors. Syracuse is the only ACC school that doesn’t have outdoor courts available for matches.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen SU arrives in Tallahassee, Florida, on Thursday, it will have light practice to acclimate to the differences of the outdoor courts. Because of Syracuse’s outdoor restrictions, the Orange hasn’t played outside since March 13, when it defeated Florida Atlantic 6-1.Against FAU, the wind frustrated Gabriela Knutson, forcing her to adjust her ball toss on her serve, she said, opting to toss the ball lower than usual, which sacrifices power for placement. Knutson lost to the nation’s No. 6 player, her only singles loss of the season.“When I toss it high, the wind and the sun bugs me,” Knutson said. “I’m not saying it’s why I lost, but it was difficult.”Most of SU’s players, including Knutson, Dina Hegab and Miranda Ramirez, grew up playing on outdoor hard and clay courts. They prefer playing outdoors, they said. Adjusting to faster indoor hard courts isn’t the tough part, Limam said.“There is quite an adjustment you have to make going from indoors to outdoors,” Limam said. “It’s a lot easier to come from outdoors to indoors.”Players like freshman Sofya Golubovskaya, who hits a flat ball with little spin and a lot of pace, face a bigger adjustment to outdoors where the wind messes with the ball before and after it makes contact the racket, making timing shots hard, Limam said.Hegab counters the wind and higher bounce by playing more conservatively, she said. Instead of trying to hit winners from all over the court, she uses improved fitness and consistency to force opponents into errors. Ramirez uses her footwork to prepare for potential late deviations to the ball’s path.“We try to remind them to put more spin on the ball, be a little more patient,” Limam said. “When you play indoors, you can finish points in two or three shots, outdoors the ball comes back.”Last season, the Orange finished 1-4 in outdoor matches. Limam is hoping that this year, his team is ready to deal with leaving Drumlins.“Being outdoors in the wind can be difficult,” Limam said. “We have to be ready to dig in and make a few extra shots.” Comments Published on April 5, 2018 at 10:25 am Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more