After turning some heads with its first playoff win in program history in March, Syracuse had hoped to build off its successful run to start this season. But after a 4-4 tie against Northeastern Friday, Syracuse realizes a season-opening tie won’t define its season. Instead, it’s just a place to start. ‘I told the kids this is my 29th opening night,’ SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. ‘So I’ve had a lot of them, and it doesn’t determine how your season’s going to go. I think as a team and individually, we know where our players have to go from here. It gives us something to gauge now.’ Despite outshooting Northeastern 38-19, the Orange had to settle for a tie in front of a crowd of 511 at Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion Friday. For Flanagan and the Orange, the game was about getting out on the ice and seeing where it needs to go after weeks of practicing against each other. ‘We’re just sick of looking at each other these past couple weeks,’ Flanagan joked. ‘Until you play, you just don’t know. Until you have someone in a different color sweater chasing you around, (then) you know what you really have to work on.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Just entering its third season of existence, Syracuse has been picked to finish second in the College Hockey America (CHA) preseason coaches’ poll and is now starting to realize the direction in which it is moving. For perhaps the first time this early into a season, there is legitimate excitement around how talented the team can really be. This year’s version of Flanagan’s long line of season openers featured an SU team that fielded seven freshmen and one senior transfer. One of those important newcomers is starting goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater, one of three stoppers competing for the job. With 15 saves on the night, the freshman goalie looked particularly poised, especially for someone who didn’t know whether or not she was even going to play. ‘I got told last night,’ Drinkwater said of the roster move. Before the 15-minute mark in the first period, SU had already jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Stefanie Marty and Megan Skelly. But seconds later, Northeastern was quick to respond on a Rachel Llanes score. After the close of the opening period, when Northeastern began to cherry-pick the neutral zone, momentum began to shift away from the Orange, and the Huskies were on their way to three unanswered goals to pull ahead 4-3 halfway through the third period. ‘It was a little nerve-racking,’ Drinkwater said. ‘But I had to play my best. Obviously I had to try and pick some out, but some got by. I just had to stay focused and keep my mind on the game and not drift off to anything else.’ Skelly, one of the team’s five returning juniors, was disappointed SU relinquished the pressure it set up in the first half. ‘They were getting a lot of breakaways, and I think that sort of threw us off in the second and third period,’ Skelly said. ‘We got away from our game. The first period, we were all over them, forechecking them like crazy. And then we just sort of got away from our game plan.’ Nevertheless, SU kept blasting shots toward Northeastern’s Florence Schelling, forcing her to 34 saves on the night. With just more than seven minutes to play, the Orange found its power-play opportunity when Husky defender Stephanie Gavronski received two minutes for tripping. With 5:10 to play, Syracuse sophomore Isabel Menard found the back of the net from 15 feet out to force overtime. Although neither team could take advantage in the extra period, both schools can find reasons to be happy with how they played Friday night. And in Skelly’s eyes, SU looks hungry. There will be no reason to expect a hangover from last season’s success. ‘It’s nice to come out the first game of the season to be at home, relax and breathe into it,’ Skelly said. ‘I think it just shows the age of the program. You know, we’re getting more seasoned and teams are coming to us, whereas last year, we were going all over the countryside trying to find teams to play. We have (33) more games in the (regular) season. We can only get better from here.’ [email protected] Published on October 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments
The defending champions were comfortable for long periods, with McKennie getting on the end of a Christian Pulisic cross for the game’s only goal.The result saw the US reach the semifinals of the tournament for the 10th straight time.USA started well as Pulisic went close twice in the opening four minutes.The attacker fired wide after a driving run before then being denied by Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room, who made a superb save to tip over a Pulisic effort from close range after Paul Arriola’s cross from the left.Curacao managed to settle after the early scares, but the US found a deserved opener through McKennie’s second international goal.Pulisic cut in from the left before clipping a cross to the back post, where McKennie headed in.With his 1st goal of the 2019 @GoldCup, @WMckennie secures the lead for the #USMNT! pic.twitter.com/Kj4STneecC— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) July 1, 2019While USA appeared to be in control, Curacao threatened at different times, with defender Darryl Lachman heading a corner over three minutes before half-time.The US made a slow start to the second half before Pulisic almost doubled their lead, shooting just wide from the edge of the area.However, Curacao looked the more dangerous of the two teams throughout the second half, while Gyasi Zardes blazed over the crossbar for USA in the 79th minute.Curacao continued to enjoy periods in possession late on, with Leandro Bacuna almost scoring a stunning equalizer in the 84th minute, his 25-yard effort wonderfully saved by Zack Steffen.What does it mean? Repeat of 2017 decider setJamaica have been runners-up at the past two editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and shape as a threat to the US in the last four. Jordan Morris scored a late winner in the 2017 final between the nations.Pulisic shines in home stateThe Chelsea attacker was bright from the outset in his home state of Pennsylvania. Pulisic set up McKennie’s goal and was a constant threat for USA, going close on numerous occasions. The United States edged into the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals after a 1-0 win over Curacao in Philadelphia on Sunday.Weston McKennie’s first-half header lifted USA past the minnows in their quarter-final clash at Lincoln Financial Field. The math checks out- @cpulisic_10 + @WMckennie = 1:0 pic.twitter.com/YB6r1wN20r— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) July 1, 2019USA continue to stand up defensivelyThe team’s defensive work could be what makes them CONCACAF Gold Cup favorites, given Mexico’s struggles in the past two games. The US have yet to concede in four games at the tournament while scoring 12 times.What’s next?USA will face Jamaica in a semifinal in Nashville on Wednesday, while Curacao can look forward to the CONCACAF Nations League starting in September.