O’Connor makes halfpipe semis

first_img O’Connor, who can compete for Ireland through his grandparents, was fourth after the first run, despite suffering a slip, with a score of 54.00. He looked on course for a bigger score but failed to land his final trick properly, which marked him down, and was gradually overhauled. “It was my hope that if I had landed that run, that I could have made it (to the final),” he told Press Association Sport. Nevertheless, O’Connor, who also competed in the slopestyle event, was happy he fulfilled his wish of making it past the heats stage. “That was originally my goal – to make the semi-finals and I got in there,” he said. “Once I was here I was kind of wanting more. Wanting to land my run, which I was hoping would put me through to the final. “Just that I made it here is great but it would have been nice pass to through again.” British duo Ben Kilner and Dom Harington struggled in the heats and were eliminated, with both admitting the controversial halfpipe course played a factor in crashing out of the event. The pair could not come through the first heat of qualifiers, with Kilner finishing 16th and Harington finishing bottom of all 20 competitors at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. The halfpipe course has come in for some criticism of late, with the warmer weather appearing to make the track bumpy and hinder the competitors. Kilner, whose top score was 43.50, admitted the conditions of the course had played its part in him under-performing. “It didn’t quite go how I planned,” he said. “I was really trying to push it but everything got the better of me. “I only just kept it together on the first run but the conditions are bumpy and it was tough to hang on.” His team-mate Harington made similar comments, but refused to use it as an excuse after failing to land a clean run in either of his two attempts, falling over on both occasions. “I didn’t do as well as I hoped,” the 29-year-old said. “I was really nervous on my first run and my legs were like jelly. “The second was going really well but then I hit a bump and went down and that was it – game over. “The conditions are the same for everyone so you can’t complain.” Irish snowboarder Seamus O’Connor failed to qualify for the Winter Olympics halfpipe final, but was pleased with his efforts. Press Association Having reached the semi-final by finishing eighth in the first heat, American-born O’Connor could not advance any further after coming ninth, with the top six qualifying for the showpiece event. He would have been, at 16, the second youngest competitor in the final behind 15-year-old Japanese prodigy Ayumu Hirano, who topped the standings in the first heat of qualifying. last_img read more

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Syracuse’s top-ranked offense fueled by scoring throughout the lineup

first_img Published on February 26, 2018 at 9:28 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Riley Donahue often brushes off opportunities to talk up her scoring abilities. Coming into the season, she was supposed to be a problem for opposing defenses. After Donahue led the Orange in goals a season ago, many expected 2018 to bring much of the same. But, in the preseason, all she could talk about was her team.“Offense is everywhere,” she said of her team more than two weeks prior to SU’s season-opening matchup against Connecticut.To this point, her team-first tendencies have proven to be right. Donahue, with three goals so far this season, ranks ninth on her team in scoring. But, the number is not a result of Donahue’s struggles.No. 7 Syracuse (3-0) continues to get scoring throughout its lineup to power its top-ranked offense. The Orange are tied with Vanderbilt with an NCAA-leading 19.67 goals per game. Many on Syracuse expect the scoring to be a common thread as the depth and constant substitutions by SU have consistently provided the opportunities for players to score.“We definitely are a threat,” attack Nicole Levy said. “We will have a long list of scorers.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange has had no trouble with scoring in the early going. In SU’s first three games of the season, the fewest number of players to score in a game was nine against Oregon. In Syracuse’s other two matchups — versus Connecticut and Albany — SU had 12 different goal scorers in each game.Syracuse’s diverse attack features many multi-goal scorers. Against the Huskies, the Orange had six players score two or more goals, with four of those players registering three or more goals in the game. The output was similar against Oregon, when Syracuse had six two-plus goal scorers and two three-plus goal scorers.That is in slight contrast to some of the Orange’s season opener last year. In the 2017 debut against eventual-national champion Boston College, SU only had four players score more than two goals with eight of its 18 total goals coming from two players.Levy cautioned that the high-scoring games won’t necessarily continue as Syracuse’s schedule becomes tougher, but she still thinks the Orange will get contributions from many different players.When asked if the high scoring numbers are a result of the multitude of lineups the Orange use, SU head coach Gary Gait grinned.“Yeah,” Gait quipped, “we play a lot of players.”But Gait doesn’t attribute the scoring to any new game plan. He instead has noticed that the attacking style of his midfielders is creating a more “balanced” scoring group.“I think we’re almost even for the first time in a long time,” Gait said “Our middies and attack are scoring almost at the same pace.”This year, the Orange has gotten 28 goals from its midfield compared to 31 from the attack. That’s 9.33 goals per game from the midfield. Comparatively, last season the Orange only got 4.81 goals per game from its midfield as three attacks dominated SU’s goals leaderboard.The midfielders are starting to notice the difference. With the quick lineup changes and free movement, it’s easier for midfielders to make it up and down the field, which creates for more opportunities, junior midfielder Neena Merola said.Freshman Sam Swart is seeing the opportunities early in her SU career, as well. Tied with three people for fifth on SU’s scoring list, the midfielder went as far to make a prediction that “everyone will evenly play, evenly score.” While it remains to be seen whether or not that will hold true, Gait seems to be keen on the idea of having midfielders contribute more to Syracuse’s offensive production.“We’ve been, in the past, attack-driven,” Gait said. “Now, I think the middies are really coming into their own and starting to step it up.”As SU’s scoring evolves, it’s finding the win column frequently. SU’s presumed scoring leader in the preseason, Donahue, isn’t dominating the way she did last year, but so far she hasn’t had to.She’s just glad to see her preseason prediction come full circle.“It’s great to see,” Donahue said. “It’s great to go out there and really put everything together.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Late Quaresma Header Lifts Portugal over Croatia

first_imgStar midfielder Luka Modric returned from injury for a matchup with his Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo, but both he and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic struggled to sparkle as they had earlier in the tournament. It was another Real Madrid player who had the best chance of the first-half when Pepe nodded Raphael Guerreiro’s dangerous free-kick over.Ivan Perisic was Croatia’s hero with the winning goal against Spain, but he pulled their best chance of the opening 45 minutes into the side-netting from a narrow angle.Croatia upped the pace at the start of the second period having enjoyed a day’s more rest than Portugal and Marcelo Brozovic should have done better when he blazed over from a quickly taken corner.Santos looked to inject some life into the Portugal midfield by introducing wonderkid Renato Sanches and the 18-year-old, who Bayern Munich paid Benfica €35 million for last month, nearly made an instant impact. After a lovely series of one-twos with Nani, Sanches took aim from the edge of the area only to drag his weak shot wide.Domagoj Vida headed a great chance wide for Croatia from Rakitic’s fine cross as the game began to come to life in the final quarter. Nani then had strong claims for a penalty waived away by Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo when he appeared to be kicked in the chest by Ivan Strinic as he burst into the box.However, unlike so often at Euro 2016, there was no late drama as both sides settled for the stalemate to take the game into extra-time. Croatian boss Ante Cacic replaced ineffectual Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic with Nikola Kalinic, but the Fiorentina forward fired the only chance of the opening period of extra time wildly wide.Vida had another golden chance when he headed wide with the Portuguese goal gaping after Rui Patricio failed to collect Brozovic’s corner seven minutes from time. However, Patricio made himself a hero seconds later when he turned Ivan Perisic’s header onto the post.And Portugal then snatched their first victory of the tournament at the death as Subasic’s reflex save to keep out Ronaldo went unrewarded as Quaresma jubilantly nodded the ball in to the gaping net.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ricardo Quaresma headed Portugal into the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 three minutes before the end of extra-time to break Croatian hearts with the only goal in Lens. Ronaldo was denied matching Michel Platini’s record of nine goals in European championship finals by a fine save from Danijel Subasic, but the ball fell kindly to Quaresma to head into an empty net. He sprinted to the corner flag where he was mobbed by his teammates.Portugal will face Poland in the quarterfinals in Marseille on Thursday after the Poles beat Switzerland 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw earlier on Saturday.Ronaldo had been kept extremely quiet for the vast majority of the game as the dull encounter became the first match in European championship history where neither team managed a shot on target during the regulation 90 minutes.Portugal were the only side to progress to the last 16 despite not winning any of their three group games and coach Fernando Santos took an extremely cautious approach.Ronaldo did not even touch the ball in the Croatia box during the first-half, but Portugal were doing enough to limit a Croatia side that had thrilled in beating defending champions Spain 2-1 in midweek to precious few chances.last_img read more

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