WLAX : Syracuse prepares to play without top playmaker Tumolo following suspension

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1 Commentscenter_img As disheartening as it was, Michelle Tumolo’s impulsive eruption was at least timely for her and the Orange.Leading Connecticut 15-6 midway through the second half, Tumolo and midfielder Katie Webster aggressively double-teamed a Huskies player. Too aggressively, according to the referee.The official issued Tumolo a red card, causing her immediate ejection from the game and suspension from the Orange’s next matchup. Fortunately for SU, that opponent is one of the few unranked opponents on its nonconference schedule.‘She admitted to me after that she made a play that wasn’t a smart one,’ SU head coach Gary Gait said. ‘… Hopefully she’s learned her lesson, and I think it was a great lesson for her to learn as a young athlete that you can’t go around retaliating and expecting to get something good out of it.’The shorthanded No. 2 Orange (5-2, 1-0 Big East) travels to Foxborough, Mass., Saturday to take on Harvard (4-4, 1-2 Ivy League) at noon in the first-ever women’s collegiate game in Gillette Stadium history. Kailah Kempney will replace Tumolo in the starting lineup and another rookie, Gabby Jaquith, will see extended minutes playing above the crease.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKempney and Jaquith will be part of a joint effort to fill the void left by SU’s offensive captain. This will be Kempney’s first game since Feb. 29 after she suffered an injury in the second half of Syracuse’s game against Northwestern.So as one of Gait’s offensive components returns, another is relegated to the sidelines.‘Lacrosse is about making adjustments, and this is just as if it were an injury. We’re ready to make that adjustment,’ Gait said.Tumolo leads SU with 15 assists and 32 points on the season. But 10 other players have found the back of the net this season, and four of them have scored at least 10 times.Webster churned out three scores in SU’s overtime loss to the top-ranked Northwestern. Freshman Devon Collins is turning heads, tied for third on the team with 14 scores.And throughout the season, each member of the Orange offense has shown a willingness to move the ball and work to find open space.Sophomore attack Alyssa Murray is confident her teammates will find a way to compensate for their leader’s absence.‘Well, we definitely are going to miss her a lot on the field, her presence and just the energy that she brings,’ Murray said. ‘But I think that we’re going to just go around some of her strengths because we’re not going to be able to fill that void.’Webster may see a few more isolation sets, and the Orange might look to find Kempney cutting through the middle of the defense more often, Murray said.But Murray herself is arguably the Orange’s top offensive threat aside from Tumolo.She tallied a program-record eight goals against Boston College and seven goals against UConn – SU’s two highest single-game totals this season.But in the past two years, Murray said she’s only ever played up top with Tumolo. Their chemistry, give-and-go combinations and backdoor cuts won’t be options for the SU offense for a week.Instead, Murray plans to fill her mentor’s role as someone capable of both scoring and facilitating the ball.And with the left-handed Jaquith filling in for Tumolo, who’s one of the best lefties in college lacrosse, Gait said the Orange offense can operate in a similar fashion.‘We’re very fortunate that we’re one of the few teams in the country to have lefties at all,’ Gait said. ‘… The good thing is we do have people who can fill that in there and fill the lefty position, so we’re a lot better off than a lot of other teams would be in this situation.’Playing without Kempney against top-five opponents Florida and Maryland, the Orange flourished with a pair of one-goal victories.Without Tumolo, Gait envisions a similar result, believing the adversity will push the rest of the Orange to step up.‘Sometimes adversity helps your team rise to the occasion, and I think there’s going to be a lot of players playing out there that love Michelle’s leadership and what she brings to this team,’ Gait said. ‘They’re going to want to make sure that when she’s not playing that they step up their games a bit to help fill the void for her.’sebail01@syr.edulast_img read more

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JT Daniels’ youth aside, USC will have to find answers quick after loss to Stanford

first_imgAs the seconds ticked off in the fourth quarter, the minutes wound down and the game clock turned closer and closer to triple zeroes, two things became apparent at Stanford Stadium on Saturday. The first was that USC, trailing by two touchdowns, was playing with zero sense of urgency. The second? The man responsible for saving them was not Sam Darnold, but a true freshman.If JT Daniels is going to leap onto scene this year as the freshman phenom he is hyped to be, then he’s going to have to grow up quickly. Through no fault of his own, Daniels now has a mountain of pressure on his shoulders to replicate what Darnold did last year: save a USC offense that, despite being loaded with talent, seems inept at times and subject to questionable play-calling and execution.In Saturday’s 17-3 loss to Stanford, Daniels learned that the hard way. On his first series, which ended in a punt, he took a hard hit and bruised his hand. He came back two series later, but was swarmed by the Stanford defense. He looked rushed on his throws, never found a rhythm, never put a full drive together. For the first time in two years, USC failed to score a touchdown in a game. Stanford had not held USC to 3 points in a game since Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.“We didn’t play well the whole game,” Daniels said. “We left a lot of things on the board. There were plays that we should’ve made that we didn’t make.”He finished with 215 yards on 16-of-34 passing. He threw two interceptions, both coming on ill-advised throws late in the fourth.Part of that is youth. Daniels is 18 years of age. He was born in the year 2000, which is a scary thought. He is a true freshman, and he played like a true freshman facing a top-10 team on the road in his second-ever collegiate game.“He should be in high school still and not on the road facing Stanford,” offensive coordinator Tee Martin said.While true, that is hardly a valid excuse. USC entrusted Daniels with the starting job right off the bat, throwing him into the spotlight to lead a program with high expectations year after year. And to be fair, Daniels did his best. He hung in there for as long as he could. He made some decent throws, scrambled away from pressure and looked like a college quarterback.Where USC needs to find answers, though, is getting the ball in the hands of its best players. Freshman wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who clicked right away with his high school teammate Daniels last week, was targeted just four times for two catches. Head coach Clay Helton said there was a special package for St. Brown called the “Ocho package,” which entailed using him as a slot receiver as well as an outside target.“We’re trying to do everything possible to get it in our playmakers’ hands,” Helton said.Perhaps they should have tried a bit harder. St. Brown was a non-factor offensively, not recording a catch until the fourth quarter. Sophomore running back Stephen Carr, who led USC with 5.2 yards per carry, was handed the ball just 10 times.“They played a lot of snaps today,” Martin said, when asked about St. Brown and Carr’s lack of touches. “They played a lot of snaps.”When pressed further, a fed-up Martin responded: “Next question.”One can nitpick all that went wrong for the Trojans on Saturday, but what’s clear is that there is way too much talent on this program for it to put up 3 points on the board, to record no sacks and to give up four sacks on the other end.“They’re an amazing team, but I don’t ever think we could get shut down entering a game,” Carr said. “Ever.”USC, from the very start, was shut down. For all the four and five-star recruits up and down the roster, for all the preseason hype surrounding Daniels, this team did little to make any sort of first impression in the Pac-12.“I don’t care how much talent you have,” Martin said. “You’ve got to execute.”It starts with looking inward. JT Daniels is not Sam Darnold. Darnold was a special talent who did not look like a redshirt freshman when he took his first snaps as the starter. Daniels is a true freshman who played like one on Saturday. He won’t be pulling Darnold-type heroics right away, but a roster filled with talent shouldn’t need him to.“This is an early game in the season against a top-10 team,” Helton said, “and all our hopes and aspirations and dreams are still out there and our team understands that.”Sure, it is just one loss. But as Daniels will soon find out at USC, the honeymoon period won’t last very long.last_img read more

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Ghana’s AFCON opponents, Cameroon, open training camp in Spain

first_imgGhana’s second Group F opponents in the 2019 AFCON tournament, Cameroon, had their first training session  in Spain on Tuesday, June 4 ahead of the tournament in Egypt.The Indomitable Lions, who are defending African champions, have called up 34 players into their provisional team for the tournament and they trained for the first time at Real Madrid’s training base at Valdebebas in Madrid.The team will be there until June 10 and as part of their preparations, they will play against Zambia on June 9 and club side, Alcorcon, on June 10.They will then head to Qatar for training between the 11th and 16th of June. They will face Zambia in another pre-AFCON friendly on June 17.They will wrap up their training in Yaounde between June 18 and 20 before heading to their Ismaily base in Egypt for the tournament.Clarence Seedorf’s side will face Guinea-Bissau on June 25 before facing Ghana on June 29 and Benin on July 2.last_img read more

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