Syracuse hangs on for tie against PSU despite defensive struggles

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first_img Related Stories Inconsistent Syracuse offense battles Penn State to 1-1 tie The second period ended and almost all of the Syracuse players had already retreated to the locker room. Sophomore Megan Quinn and junior Larissa Martyniuk — two of the top defenders on the team — stayed behind, talking with their coaches on the team bench.After giving up the game-tying goal – and very nearly the lead – the Orange defense had to regroup.“There were a couple of miscommunications between Gilly (goalkeeper Jenn Gilligan) and Marty and I,” Quinn said.Syracuse’s (8-9-2, 5-1-2 College Hockey America) lack of communication and execution on defense prevented it from beating Penn State (4-10-4, 1-3-4), but Gilligan’s timely saves prevented it from losing. The game ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon at Tennity Ice Pavilion after the Orange beat PSU on Friday night, 3-1.After limiting the Nittany Lions to just five first-period shots, the SU defense collapsed in the second period, allowing 12 shots in the frame. Penn State averages nearly 26 shot attempts per game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith nearly 13 minutes to go in the second period, Nittany Lions junior forward Laura Bowman skated down the left side with only Gilligan to beat. She stayed low to the ground and then rifled a shot into the top right corner for a goal.The Penn State bench, which was quiet for most of the match, erupted. A visibly frustrated Gilligan banged her stick on the goalposts. Later, Gilligan lingered on the ice for a few seconds after the period ended before putting her head down and skating away.“That’s kind of Penn States’ M.O., to spring that person on the backside and get by us, spring somebody and get a breakaway,” Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan saidFor the second straight game, the Orange had relinquished a 1-0 lead late in the second period. For the second straight game, PSU managed to sneak a player behind the defensive line to create a scoring opportunity. But this time, SU wasn’t able to pull back out in front.“Both times were pretty much them just making a cross-ice pass to the person that they were flying on the far side,” said a dejected Martyniuk. “It’s just catching our defense (off guard) and losing foot races.”Gilligan, though, made a handful of saves that negated Penn State’s scoring opportunities and limited the Nittany Lions to only one goal.In the second period she gloved a deflected puck out from midair — drawing some “oohs” and “ahs” in the process. In the third period she stopped a shot that came off a one-on-one after the Orange turned it over in the middle of the rink. While the bench applauded Gilligan for her efforts, Flanagan turned his head away in disgust, upset that Penn State even had the opportunity in the first place.Neither Flanagan nor Syracuse’s players seemed surprised at the kind of attacking style that Penn State brought at them. Rather, they cited playing with a lack of crispness and even some laziness as the culprits for lapses on the ice.Flanagan said that all in all, he’ll take the three points this weekend and move on. Still, he was disappointed with his defense’s play on a night when the Orange had a chance to win three games in a row for the first time all year.“Overall, I don’t think it was horrible,” said Quinn about the defensive performance this weekend. “But, it definitely needs some work.” Comments Published on December 5, 2015 at 8:48 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langercenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more