Women’s soccer: Wilkins impressed with team’s energy

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team and head coach Paula Wilkins have grown more confident as the season has progressed.The Badgers (10-4-3, 7-1-1 Big Ten) are coming off some big wins: one against Michigan, in which the Badgers came back in the last half to score all three winning goals to win 3-2, and the other against Michigan State, which ended in a 1-0 victory for the Badgers.These big wins are helping to instill confidence in the team, Wilkins said during her weekly news conference Monday, and that is what is going to help to carry them through the next few matches.After sustaining the Badgers’ last loss, which came at the hands of Penn State Sept. 17, Wilkins told the team to focus on the games ahead instead of the losses that should be left behind them.Those words helped Wisconsin push to do better, and they came back to produce three shutout matches against Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota.The Badgers will need this new-found confidence as they head into the next few weeks. Following this week’s match against Maryland and next week’s match against Northwestern, the Badgers will begin their playoff season, and they hope to win the Big Ten Conference for the second year in a row.Wisconsin will play Maryland (5-10-1, 0-7-1 Big Ten) Saturday, and even though Maryland is currently last in the Big Ten, Wilkins believes that they are still a team to be concerned about.“Maryland is the best last-place team,” Wilkins said.Wilkins said while Maryland might be winless in conference play, they also haven’t lost a game to a Big Ten team by less than a goal in the last few weeks, which makes them just as competitive as any other Big Ten team.Maryland’s last three losses have come in double overtime, something the Badgers haven’t seen since they played Ohio State a month ago.Wilkins said the Badgers’ seniors, who have scored all of Wisconsin’s six goals in the last three games, will have to keep the team’s energy level up.“All we talk about is getting better in each game,” Wilkins said. “They have, and there’s an energy about them right now.”last_img read more

Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about Duke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 15, 2019 at 7:29 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Syracuse (3-6, 0-5 Atlantic Coast) visits Durham, North Carolina for a 4 p.m. kickoff with conference foe Duke (4-5, 2-3). The Orange and Blue Devils have barely played in the history of the two programs, with three matchups ever and the last coming in 2014. If Syracuse is to make a bowl, Duke is the first of three teams — Louisville and Wake Forest — that SU must beat in order to become bowl eligible. Here’s everything to know about the Blue Devils, the Orange’s first stop on their must-win path to the postseason.Gambling Odds: As of Friday night, Duke is a 10.5-point favorite, with a total of 54, per Pinnacle.All-time series: Duke leads, 3-0.The last time they played: The Blue Devils triumphed over the Orange, 27-10, in the Carrier Dome in 2014. It was the two teams’ first meeting in the modern era — the first two came prior to World War II, in 1938-39 — and first as conference opponents. Syracuse, hamstrung by injury, played reserve quarterbacks Austin Wilson and Mitch Kimble and could only muster 10 points while Duke got two touchdowns from wideout Issac Blakeney and a punt return touchdown from Jamison Crowder. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Duke report: The Blue Devils feature dual-threat quarterback Quentin Harris at the helm of their offense. Syracuse defensive tackle Kenneth Ruff said film on Harris brought him flashbacks of Lamar Jackson in 2016. While Harris might not be Heisman-caliber, he’s certainly going to pose a problem for a Syracuse defense that’s prone to biting on play-fakes and getting fooled by run-pass options. To date, Harris is the Blue Devils second-leading rusher behind running back Deon Jackson. He leads the team with 224.4 yards per game and has had a hand in 20 of Duke’s 30 touchdowns this season.Currently, the Blue Devils are sliding, losers of four of their last five. Harris is the best bet to get back in the win column at home.How Syracuse wins: Limit Harris’ ability to run and establish your own run game. Coming off the idle week, a rested and coached up offensive line and some clever play calling could get SU’s running attack going against a relatively soft Blue Devils front. The Orange have barely run the ball consistently this season, but if they can use Moe Neal, Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard — Tommy DeVito, too? — effectively and get going down hill, they can hopefully open up the rest of the offense.The defense is, by far, Syracuse’s biggest question mark coming into this game after Dino Babers fired defensive coordinator Brian Ward. What will interim coordinator and former defensive ends coach Steve Stanard have cooked up? Players spoke all week of increased effort and Babers on Monday said he wanted to see “something different.” Whatever it might be from Stanard and the defense, it’ll likely center around erasing Harris’ ability to escape the pocket and make the defense pay on the ground. If they can contain him, it’ll force Duke to look outside the box to move the ball.Player to watch: Harris, redshirt senior quarterback, No. 18The Blue Devils successor to Daniel Jones — the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft — has put together an impressive campaign running and throwing the football. Besides accounting for two-third of Duke’s touchdowns, Harris has completed his passes at a 60.6% rate and rushed for more than 400 yards to date.  Commentslast_img read more