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Goalie platoon of Richardson, Costantino continues improvement heading into Boston College

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 27, 2013 at 1:12 am Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb After allowing 14 goals combined in Syracuse’s loss to Florida on March 2, Alyssa Costantino and Kelsey Richardson both needed to redeem themselves.On March 9 against Towson, they responded, allowing just three goals combined, then turning in another strong performance against Connecticut on Friday.“I’d say it was definitely necessary,” Richardson said. “Obviously, we struggled in the Florida game. It was really important for me to get my confidence back and be able to make saves when my team needed them.”As the Orange’s two-goalie platoon, Costantino and Richardson struggled when Syracuse played three consecutive top-10 teams from Feb. 17 to March 2. But head coach Gary Gait switched up the system against Towson, starting Richardson in Costantino’s place with the latter coming off of the bench. The goalies have enjoyed success since.Regardless of who is starting – something Gait doesn’t tell the players until game day – the pair looks to maintain their improved play when No. 6 Syracuse (4-2, 1-0 Big East) plays Boston College (4-5, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Newton, Mass.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe goaltenders hit their low point of the season against the Gators, allowing seven goals each as Florida dropped the Orange to 2-2.At Towson a week later, Richardson allowed just three goals in the first half and earned the win in her first career start. But Costantino was even better – making four saves and not allowing a goal in her confidence-boosting 30 minutes in the cage.“She played awesome that game,” Richardson said. “She was definitely focused in that game and I could tell that right from when she was getting warmed up. I think that she was just determined to save everything and she did.”But even with Costantino’s stellar outing, Richardson earned the start at home against Connecticut and put in her best game of the year. In more than 44 minutes, Richardson made six stops and allowed just one goal.“She’s playing great. I don’t know what she’s doing (specifically),” Costantino said with a laugh. “But she’s doing awesome. It’s really great to see her doing that well.”In Costantino’s 15-plus minutes in the cage against UConn, however, the Huskies came away with six goals. Gait said the coaching staff is partially at fault for Costantino’s difficulties against Connecticut because Syracuse emptied its bench and played almost every single player on the roster. Surrounded by inexperienced teammates, Costantino faced too many one-on-one situations against the Huskies’ starters.“Those are tough to stop,” Gait said. “We kind of hung her out to dry last game.”But the junior refused to blame her teammates.“I take responsibility,” Costantino said. “I could’ve had a few saves, but it’s a team effort and we all could’ve done better as a group. It’s not one person’s fault.”Considering the Orange prevailed by 11 goals against UConn, Costantino’s six allowed goals are only a slight drop-off from an otherwise encouraging two-game stretch for SU’s goalies.Gait’s goalies are playing as well as they are, he said, partially due to the Orange’s defensive adjustments. Syracuse’s style of defense, he said, has evolved from a man-to-man scheme to a zone.With SU defenders playing a zone now, they’re able to collapse on opponents who work the ball into the middle. The shooter then faces additional pressure and doesn’t have time to focus and pick her corners of the cage.“We’re not giving them open shots, and that’s helped the goalies get in their rhythm,” Gait said.As of Monday, Gait and his assistants had not yet decided which goalie would start against the Eagles on Wednesday.To win back the starting job, Costantino needs to continue working hard in practice and maintain her confidence, she said. For Richardson to keep her job, she said, she has to stay focused on the ball and simply make the saves she’s supposed to.“We have two goalies, and we’ve said that’s the way it’ll go,” Gait said. “And it’s kind of gone that way. One game, one goalie will step up and play great and in other games, someone else will. We’re looking to get some consistent play from them.” Commentslast_img read more

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UW shifts into 2nd gear with playoffs approaching

first_imgSophomore goaltender Joel Rumpel (front) and Co. will look to extend their season when they open up the first round of the WCHA playoffs at home Friday at the Kohl Center.[/media-credit]It feels like a completely different season.Looking back on the Badgers’ atrocious 1-7-2 start to the 2012-13 season, it’s hard to imagine how quickly things can change. Sure, October and November don’t seem so far away in retrospect, but now, by mid-March, that 10-game streak started about five months ago.It’s been 26 games since that fateful 4-2 home loss to Minnesota State capped one of the most heart-wrenching starts to a season. Twenty-six games. That’s 13 weekends of hockey, plus two weeks off for break. It’s been three and a half months since the Badgers essentially hit rock bottom.“Regardless of where they end up in the season, you always have storms that appear on your journey,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “Our storms just came right out of the gate and they were big storms. Our ship could have sunk then, but with the leadership we had in the locker room and the coaches and that leadership working together, we persevered through that tough time and picked up a very precious commodity: resilience.”Since it’s end, no. 14 Wisconsin turned that ugly start into a 17-12-7, 13-8-7 WCHA season. With that record, they finished fourth in the conference and will host their first playoff series in three years.Looking back on Nov. 24, 2012 after their seventh loss, the Badgers weren’t sure they would be able to be where they are today – in fact junior forward Michael Mersch admitted they probably didn’t think they could at all, at the time.But with a little perseverance, persistence and resiliency Wisconsin started to win – and won big going on an impressive 11-game unbeaten streak and an 11-game conference unbeaten streak, ultimately claiming the fourth place finish they were expected to have in preseason predictions.“We never really lost hope and we just kept on battling,” sophomore goaltender Joel Rumpel said. “We knew that it was going to be a tough road ahead of us, but we all knew that we could do it. I think that’s what attributed to us being able to be in the position we are right now, from second-to-last in the league at the start of the year to finishing in fourth place – which is pretty special on our part.”It wasn’t just resiliency that helped the Badgers finish the regular season sitting fourth in the WCHA. At the beginning of the season, Wisconsin implemented a new forecheck and different offensive system.While these aspects certainly took some time getting comfortable with, both the offense and defense have found their groove – leading to UW’s recent success.“Both have gotten so much better since the start of the season,” Rumpel said. “At the start, both our defense and offense, and myself, struggled a little bit. Towards midseason our defense started getting a lot stronger -which helped me out – and coming into the home stretch here our offense has picked up quite a bit.“Coming into playoffs is when you want your team to be at your best and I think we’re at that right now.”Over the course of those streaks and the push toward the post season over the final games of the season, the Badgers have admittedly been playing desperate. Every weekend has had some sort of impact on their postseason hopes and keeping those hopes alive – whether it was a potential boost in the PairWise rankings or a much needed three-point weekend from a conference opponent.That being said, Wisconsin started fighting for its season Nov. 30 at Denver and has played with a playoff mentality ever since.Now, with the playoffs finally upon them, Wisconsin isn’t changing pace.“We’ve been rolling, we just have to keep rolling,” Eaves said.But where the Badgers had room to lose a game in the regular season, there isn’t leeway this weekend – something Mersch was keen to point out.“We’ve lost a few games, obviously,” Mersch said. “Now it’s coming down to the time of the season where you can’t lose. We have to take those out of our repertoire and keep winning.”Kicking off their postseason, the Badgers host the UMD Bulldogs (14-17-5, 10-13-5 WCHA) – a team they have only seen once this season. When the Badgers squared off with the Bulldogs, it was the second week of the season, Oct. 26-27, 2012. UW took game one 2-0 – its only win in its 1-7-2 stretch – and tied game two, 2-2.Four and half months later Wisconsin considers Minnesota-Duluth to be just as different as it is.“It’s two different teams at this point,” Eaves said. “They have a young team that’s grown up a lot. The guys that are the most of an offensive threat are their young kids. They’re not freshmen anymore. They’ve played in all key situations, and they have talent. We need to be ready for that.”While the Badgers prepare to host UMD for the first time this year in only their second meeting of the season – in the playoffs no less – UW is just happy to return home for postseason play, a luxury which a majority of the team has never experienced.“It’s a little bit of a relief to the point that we haven’t done it before,” Mersch said. “It’s a good feeling after the 1-7-2 start that we had, but it doesn’t mean much unless we play well and have a couple wins this weekend.”last_img read more

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Britt man pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

first_imgMANLY — A Britt man accused of sexual abuse has pleaded not guilty. 21-year-old Devonta Hinton is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the early morning hours of July 30th. Manly police say in a criminal complaint that an officer saw video evidence of a sexual act on a cell phone that the girl owned. Police say that Hinton told them they were both high on marijuana at the time and that it was not the first time they had gotten together to have sex. An officer says the girl admitted that she and Hinton had sex a few days earlier. Hinton has been charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony punishable by up to ten years in prison. Hinton pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday. His trial is scheduled to start on December 11th.last_img read more