first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 27, 2013 at 1:12 am Contact Phil: [email protected] | @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