Syracuse falls to Northeastern 5-2 thanks to slow start

first_img Published on October 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Northeastern goaltender Chloe Desjardins stood alone beneath the bleachers just outside the visitors’ locker room, hunched over and staring at the Tennity Ice Pavilion floor before the puck dropped Saturday.Just more than 10 minutes into the first period, Desjardins looked set for an easy evening as her team led by three goals. Her teammates started the game playing Syracuse off the ice with a wide-open, quick-hitting attack and two power-play goals in the first period.“Clean ice, fresh legs and they were freewheeling, and that’s when they won the game, the first 10 minutes,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said.Though the Orange (0-2) went on to regroup for two very competitive final periods, a poor start and lack of fine-tuning doomed SU to a 5-2 defeat. The home team that played the final 40 minutes of the game was nearly unrecognizable from that of the first period, going on to outshoot the No. 10 Huskies (2-0) 37-25 on the night. Yet for as many chances as the Orange ultimately created, the poor start and loose play kept the result out of doubt.Northeastern’s early dominance came in front of no lack of effort from Flanagan’s players. Time and again, Holly Carrie-Mattimoe or Melissa Piacentini picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated around a series of NU defenders only to find themselves stranded past the blue line.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPart of the issue was the Huskies’ overwhelming team speed that frustrated the Orange on both sides of the puck. SU’s inability to make the transition from defense to attack crippled any chances for the Orange to control the game.The breakout speed of NU and Kendall Coyne, a member of Team USA, badly exposed the SU defense on the game’s first goal just 3:05 into the game. In failing to respond to the early goal, SU let the Huskies return to dominating possession.“When it’s quick transition, you got a loose puck breakout pass coming out of your zone, sometimes if you’ve been playing a lot of defense you’re tired,” Flanagan said. “Maybe the lead player has the puck and waiting for support.”Flanagan pointed toward a lack of experience in key positions on the ice. Losing regular forward Shiann Darkangelo to a hand injury before the game only highlighted the team’s youth.As the ice slowed down and SU fought its way back into the game in the second and third periods, the Orange had more chances to attack Desjardins’ goal in a more structured offensive set. Freshman Nicole Renault displayed the most passing poise in trying to unlock the visitors’ defense, but simple errors like passing to the wrong side of left winger Caitlin Roach’s body meant NU had time to adjust before SU could string together a series of threatening passes.Renault was hardly alone in that respect.“Sometimes you don’t make all the passes you want to and I think it’s just more of a matter of getting through it, trying to be consistent and getting that pass next shift,” SU forward Margot Scharfe said. “So it didn’t work out for us, but it became more consistent through the second and third periods.”In the last 40 minutes alone, SU recorded more shots, 28, than Northeastern did the entire game, 25. After the game, Flanagan went as far as to question how his team didn’t score five or six goals before giving credit to Desjardins.The team hoped to pounce on rebounds from its various long and mid-range shots, but the NU netminder hardly spilled any. Those left for the SU forwards were repeatedly sprayed wide of the net. SU sophomore forward Nicole Ferrara’s miss after a breakaway and rebound on a power play in the middle of the second period epitomized the Orange’s troubles in front of the goal.After the game, the SU players largely took solace in outscoring a nationally ranked opponent 2-1 for the last two periods of play. Yet the team knows that it must finish what opportunities are given to it in the future. The comeback was encouraging, but for now, at least, it’s not enough.“She was a good goalie, to give her credit, but we’re going to face a lot more good goalies down the stretch,” Carrie-Mattimoe said. “So we have to figure out how to put it in.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more