Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh will be reunited when Tidal Bay tackles the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday. Press Association Walsh became available after his intended mount, the Willie Mullins-trained Rubi Ball, was a surprising absentee from the five-day declarations for the Grade One feature, returning lame from a schooling session at Punchestown. With Boston Bob, owned like Tidal Bay by Graham Wylie, also taken out, Mullins was left without a runner and Walsh was suddenly hot property. His former boss Nicholls, who until this season had shared Walsh’s services with Mullins, was first to snap him up for the veteran Tidal Bay. The 13-year-old ran a blinder in the Welsh Grand National to show he has lost none of his ability and on his only previous visit to Leopardstown he won the Lexus Chase. “We’ve decided to go to Ireland with Tidal. It’s a small field, good prize money, he’s one from one at the track and he’ll get his ground. Of course Ruby being available also helps, so it has worked out for us. Mr Wylie will have some other runners on the card as well so it made sense to run really,” said Nicholls.
A small group of Syracuse players looked at one another, deciding who would be the spokesman for the latest historic event in a long line of them for the Syracuse men’s lacrosse program.The Orange had just captured the 800th victory in program history, a feat only duplicated by Johns Hopkins — a school that currently sits at 896 wins. Finally, the oldest at the podium took the microphone. SU’s crew of juniors at the table — Jovan Miller, Josh Amidon and Stephen Keogh — deferred to senior Max Bartig.‘Eight-hundred wins for any team is a huge feat,’ Bartig said. ‘That can go toward Coach Desko, toward the players, toward the coaches in the past. It’s just a number. Like Jovan (Miller) was saying, it’s all about the team for us.’Most of the players said they weren’t aware of the impending mark before the game. For SU head coach John Desko, though, it was a different story.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDesko has been with the Orange as a player, assistant coach and head coach for more than 405 of the team’s 800 wins. And he took time after the game to revel in the accomplishment of his program.‘To be part of that tradition as an assistant coach and as a head coach, and to see it all, it’s important,’ Desko said. ‘ … To have this consistency and to be part of so many national championships and final fours and other championship games, I just feel I have a great appreciation of where it is and where it’s been. To be part of it is very important to me.’Faceoffs from the other sideSyracuse’s faceoff specialists haven’t been kind to their opponents so far this season. Jeremy Thompson and Gavin Jenkinson have each used different techniques to get the Orange possession and win the faceoff battle consistently. Thompson and Jenkinson have dominated in the X and have been most of the reason SU has gained possession on 59.1 percent of the draws so far this season. On Saturday, Albany’s Matt Mackenzie welcomed the challenge. He didn’t win the faceoff battle, but he had the most faceoff wins of any individual the Orange has faced so far this season. After the game, Mackenzie said the key to his success on the day started with his positive mindset going into each faceoff.‘I needed to go in there regardless of who I’m facing, whether it was Thompson or it was (Jenkinson),’ Mackenzie said. ‘You just need to go in there and have that mindset of, ‘You know what, I’m going to get this ball.’ I felt that I did a good job.’Before Saturday, the most faceoff wins an individual opponent had against came from Virginia’s Ryan Benincasa on March 7, when he had 10 wins on the draw in SU’s only loss of the season. And Mackenzie knew he would have to have similar success to give the Great Danes a chance. ‘Jeremy Thompson has like, five or six goals in under six seconds (this season),’ Mackenzie said. ‘I went into the game thinking I had to cut down on the fast break. I can’t let that happen, and I thought I did a pretty good job of tying them up.’Learning from last year When Albany came to the Dome last season, Syracuse seemed to have a stranglehold on the game by halftime. The Orange took a 10-2 lead over the Great Danes into the break. But in the third, Albany came roaring back. The Great Danes outscored SU 8-1 in that quarter to pull within one goal. Although the Orange did pull out the 15-13 win a year ago, head coach John Desko made sure his players did not forget about that game when they took a 9-3 lead into the break Saturday. ‘In between the periods it was all about talking about what could happen and making sure that we valued our possessions and that we stayed out of the penalty box and didn’t make mental errors,’ Desko said. Albany did score the first goal in the third quarter, but Bartig and senior attack Chris Daniello quickly abolished the Great Danes’ comeback hopes. Just 12 seconds into a man-up opportunity, Daniello hit Bartig on the left side of the goal, and he fired a shot perfectly into the top corner of the cage. Two minutes later, Daniello breezed by Albany defenseman Brendan Gleason on a restart and scored from just outside the crease to extend the Orange lead to 11-4. Albany head coach Scott Marr said his team had an opportunity to go on a run with the performance of faceoff man Matt Mackenzie. But unlike last year, it never materialized. ‘We pieced a couple (goals) in there again, but they sprinkled some in so we never really could close the gap,’ Marr said. ‘In years past, we’ve gone on five-, six-, seven-goal runs, and unfortunately today, we didn’t have that same run.’ [email protected] [email protected] Published on April 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments
The USC women’s soccer team (5-8-3, 2-4-2 Pac-12) stayed home to play at McAlister Field for the first time in more than a month and ended a pair of streaks. The Women of Troy pulled out a 1-0 win over Utah (8-5-2, 3-4-0 Pac-12) on Friday, but fell to Colorado (7-7-3, 1-6-1 Pac-12) 1-0 in double overtime. The win ends a five-game losing streak on the road, all against Pac-12 competition.USC played a close, hard-fought game against Colorado, with both teams taking three shots in the first half, as possession of the ball kept going back and forth. Both teams got more opportunities in the second half, as USC outshot the Buffaloes 9-7, with junior Elizabeth Eddy leading the team with four shots, including two on goal. But despite an aggressive second half, both teams combined for only one shot in both overtime periods. Colorado’s Amy Barczuk redirected a throw by Anne Stuller in the 105th minute to give the Buffaloes the win.When asked about the game-winning goal, goalkeeper Caroline Stanley said, “The ball goes through 11 people to get to the back of the net, so it’s an entire team effort to score as well as to get scored on. We can’t point fingers, we just have to stay together through it.”The Women of Troy outshot Colorado 12-11, although the Buffaloes had more shots on goal (6-5). Colorado also beat USC 15-13 in fouls and 9-2 in corner kicks.Against Utah, junior Jordan Marada scored the lone goal on a cross by Eddy in the 34th minute, ending a 258-minute scoreless streak. The Women of Troy then used tough defense by junior Autumn Altamirano, redshirt sophomore Mia Bruno and freshmen Erin Owen and Marlee Carrillo to keep the Utah offense in check. Goalkeeper Caroline Stanley finished with five saves on the day, and the Utes didn’t get their first shot on goal until the 30th minute.USC held possession of the ball for a majority of the first half, outshooting the Utes 7-3. Utah, however, became more aggressive in the second half, outshooting USC 9-2 and generating more offensive opportunities. But the Women of Troy were able to keep the Utes off the scoreboard and preserve the one-goal win.When asked about the team’s performance this weekend, coach Ali Khosroshahin said, “I thought we played well on Friday. I thought today we were very inconsistent. The moments we were able to connect our passes, we were able to get in. We just weren’t real consistent about that today.”USC remains home for the remainder of the regular season, taking on Stanford at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:00 p.m. PT and California at McAlister Field on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1:00 p.m.