first_imgCameron Morra patrolled the baseline, crossed her feet twice and dropped her right side of her hip back. The Tar Heel freshman eyed up Guzal Yusupova’s soft rally and fired a forehand toward Dina Hegab at the net. With limited time to set herself, Hegab raised her racket in defense, and as the ball bounced off the knob of Hegab’s racket, it hit the ground.The point gave the Tar Heels a 5-3 lead, and Syracuse’s third doubles pairing never recovered in their tiebreaker. Two points later, SU players, who had jumped up and down with smiles on their faces prior, hung their heads. Shoulders slumped. Their demeanor flipped from a potential early lead over the No. 2 team in the nation. SU head coach Younes Limam told his players doubles was just 15 percent of the match and that there’s still 85 percent of the points available.For a period of time, his messaged resonated. Three Syracuse singles slots won first sets, but then UNC recovered — the talent disparity showing. The Tar Heels used momentum from doubles to eventually overpower the Orange in singles, taking four of the six matches. No. 32 Syracuse (11-7, 4-5 Atlantic Coast) failed to capitalize on a chance for a monumental upset, and dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 2 North Carolina (21-1, 9-0) on Friday evening. The differences — a few bounces, a few calls, a few aggressive shots — distanced the Orange. Syracuse hung with North Carolina, until it couldn’t anymore.“We were right there,” Limam said. “We’re not satisfied by playing a close match against a team that was pretty highly ranked.”Over an hour before the match started, Syracuse players stretched with arm bands on the umpire chair, and hopped on one foot through an agility ladder.  When they were dragged back to the individual courts, the Orange had a chance to make history. They had never beaten North Carolina, and the last time they scored more than one point against the Tar Heels came in 1987, before anyone on the current SU roster was born. The Tar Heels had two doubles pairings in the top-10, and four singles players in the top-25. Syracuse had none.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDespite a four-game loss by Miranda Ramirez and Gabriela Knutson at first doubles, Syracuse had the opportunity to become the first program that defeated the Tar Heels in doubles this season. Trailing 6-5, Hegab held serve and sent it to a tiebreaker. Limam sprinted out onto the court and told Hegab and Yusupova to push Morra and Daavettila before they controlled the point. Wait for their shot, he said, but find it quickly. The ensuing point, Yusupova smashed a volley between the UNC pair. Then, a rally was returned into the net courtesy of Morra. But just like the other matches to come, SU couldn’t finish. “I like how we played to most of the points,” Limam said. “They just came up with some big shots in big moments.”In singles, three SU players won the first set, but only Hegab could win the next. When SU controlled the momentum after the first set of singles, it couldn’t find a way to maintain it. Knutson cruised in her first set against No. 5 Makenna Jones, but needed six straight wins in order to escape with a three set victory. In the second set, it was Knutson pinned her in the corners and sprawled across the baseline. Jones’ shoes squeaked across the floor in the first set, but in the second, they were Knutson’s.More “controlled aggression” from Morra allowed her to erase a Masha Tritou early lead, Limam said. Tritou watched as Morra sent winners down the lines, slices that couldn’t be reached and lobs that Tritou mishit. The SU senior won only one game in the final two sets. “We had a chance to win, we definitely did,” Knutson said. “But unfortunately today we just didn’t.”Golubovskaya and Ramirez never recovered from a lost first set, and after many points, they hung their heads, threw hands and hit rackets against the wall. Early in her second set, Golubovskaya’s left elbow flashed to her face as she wound up for a forehand. Her rally sailed out, and she lifted her head toward the ceiling. Two points later, Golubovskaya’s return couldn’t land on her court — it flew onto Knutson’s next to her.As the individual nets were dragged across the courts once singles matches wrapped up, UNC was all smiles. With the exception of a Knutson and Ramirez hug, SU stretched in silence. They lunged and reached to the ceiling but lacked the energy from the match’s peak points when they looked poised to test the Tar Heels. But as the last stretch ended, the same result showed on the scoreboard: another loss to a ranked opponent.“I think this is something we can learn from,” Hegab said. “We’re not far.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 29, 2019 at 9:34 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrewlast_img read more

first_imgARSENAL are reportedly considering making an offer for non-league striker Tyger Smalls to join their academy.The forward, still only 17, used to be on the books at Tottenham but left the set-up and came through the ranks in youth football elsewhere.1 Arsenal are considering offering an academy place to Tyger Smalls, who used to be with TottenhamCredit: https://www.instagram.com/tysmalls9/But as he smashes in the goals in the senior game this season, The Telegraph believe the Gunners are thinking about bringing him in.Smalls recently signed with International Agency TMG Football and would initially join the Gunners’ youngsters at Hale End where Per Mertesacker is now in charge.But after the success stories with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and others, the young striker would see the potential of a pathway to the first team.Smalls joined Norwich aged nine, just a year after kicking a football for the first time with Brandon Lads in Suffolk.And after switching to Spurs, he had almost 300 goals within three seasons.ARSENAL NEWS LIVE: Follow for the latest Gunners newsBut forced to leave the club along with his siblings Mydas and Magic for non-footballing reasons, the forward worked his way up through non-league clubs.Smalls – who impressed David Beckham with his free-kick quality and whose grandfather Harry Parr played alongside Sir Stanley Matthews – enjoyed spells with Red Lodge, Mundford, Whitton United, Felixstowe & Walton United, Billericay, Stowmarket Town and Needham Market.He then made the move into men’s football with Haverhill Rovers who play in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division – the ninth tier in the English football pyramid.After 12 goals in 24 appearances by December, he signed for Essex side Saffron Walden Town, who sit top of the Essex Senior League, although he is yet to bag in his four appearances thus far. View this post on Instagram ⚽️✅ A post shared by TYGER SMALLS (@tysmalls9) on Jan 24, 2020 at 10:36am PSTBut it was Smalls’ goal in August against Thetford Town that really put him back in the spotlight.After flicking the ball over his defender, he lashed home an emphatic volley and the video went viral.Smalls told the Newmarket Journal: “There was nothing else on really. When I flicked it over the defender’s head it felt like I had so much time.”When I saw the video on Twitter in the morning, I kept reloading it and the hits just kept going up and up. It was pretty surreal and I got a lot of messages. It was a crazy time.”It has been hard at times with all of the interest and not being able to go through with it, but I also would not change the route I have gone down. “It has worked out for the best. I could see myself getting bored going down the academy route and not enjoying it, whereas I have experienced a lot. In a way, players in academies are rivals going for the same thing but I have played with team-mates where winning cups and leagues has been important.”I wanted to move into men’s football at 16 to push myself. I felt comfortable in the Under-18s and needed to continue my development. Physically it has been a wake-up call. I get kicked a lot but I try to react in the right way and not let it affect me. I have matured a lot in men’s football already.”I have been aware people have been coming to watch me all season but I do not get nervous. I am confident and do what I can whenever the ball comes my way.Wow what a moment from the young @HaverhillRovers 16 year old Tyger Small, the winning goal from last nights 2-1 victory against @ThetfordTownFC last night @Culina_Group Hub @TheNewCroft pic.twitter.com/7dISSlu9fm— Haverhill Rovers (@HaverhillRovers) August 14, 2019 Latest Arsenal newsLive BlogGunners newsArsenal news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesCONT ME OUTArsenal’s Lacazette ‘not interested’ in joining Inter as Martinez’s replacementGossipINTERESTED PARTEYArsenal ‘most interested’ in Thomas Partey but coronavirus delays talksGUNNER GOLuiz ‘has to go’, Saliba ‘a concern’ and Mustafi not at right ‘level’, says KeownAT YOUR BOC AND CALLTorreira reveals ‘dream and desire’ to one day play for Boca JuniorsWRIGHTY’S OUTRAGEIan Wright says video of George Floyd’s death in US left him ‘drained’HOMECOMINGDavid Luiz confirms Benfica talks with Arsenal contract set to expire in JuneGossipBERN IT UPMan Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea on alert after Bernardeschi reveals Prem plans”I am now looking at a wide range of options, and not just in England. Whatever happens, though, I know there is a lot of hard work to do and a more professional structure will help me to improve.”I recently played in a friendly game against Crystal Palace Under-23s and felt comfortable against players that have professional contracts. Hopefully my performance carried some weight because of who the opposition was.”I felt comfortable because of my past experiences and the hard work I have put in. Leaving a professional club does not have to be the end.”Darren Gough argues over whether Arsenal’s Aubameyang can be considered World Classlast_img read more