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September 21, 2020

Hughes pleased with Fulham character

first_imgFulham defender Aaron Hughes hailed his side’s dream start to the new Barclays Premier League season as the Cottagers’ smash-and-grab raid on the Stadium of Light dealt Sunderland’s summer revolution a blow. But clear chances went begging up front for Jozy Altidore, who was fresh from a midweek hat-trick for the United States but was twice denied at close-range, first by a Duff interception then by a brave save by Stekelenburg. Altidore came closest to an equaliser in the 65th minute when he was picked out by John O’Shea in the box and swivelled past Hughes before firing narrowly wide of target. Altidore admitted on Sunderland’s official website: “We just have to do better mentally at not giving away the game. It’s difficult but also we have to create even more chances. “This is the best league in the world and that’s why it can be so cruel but at the same time we have to take the positives away and look forward to the next match and try to get some points.” Sunderland’s last chance to claim a share of the points fell to Ji Dong-won in final minute of normal time, but the South Korean substitute headed a fine chance wide. Fulham’s celebrations were dampened by injuries to Kieran Richardson, who hobbled off after 19 minutes with a hamstring complaint, and new keeper Stekelenburg. The Dutchman suffered a shoulder injury when saving from Altidore in the 75th minute and had to be replaced. Although tests did not show a dislocation, the injury is likely to keep Stekelenburg out for the rest of the month. Jol admitted: “We have to do better in future to get results. You have to play your football and get out from the back and we didn’t do that – but I was very pleased to get the points.” Hughes’ rock-solid central defensive partnership with captain Brede Hangeland was the main reason the visitors managed to soak up the waves of attacks by the home side. Boss Paolo Di Canio started with five of his summer signings and each impressed, with midfielder Cabral twice drilling just wide from long range, and right-back Ondrej Celustka bringing a stunning save out of Maarten Stekelenburg in the first half. Kasami, a junior Swiss international who spent much of last season on loan at Luzern and only started at the Stadium of Light because Bryan Ruiz was jet-lagged after international duty, stole the show with the simplest of headers. Hughes told Fulham’s official website: “It wasn’t vintage from us and I wouldn’t put it down as one of our best performances but in terms of being resolute and strong and showing lots of character it is up there. “To come up here in the first game of the season and come away with the three points is a big achievement. It’s a confidence-booster for us and we look forward to doing it again next week.” Di Canio cut an increasingly frustrated figure on the touchline as his side did everything but discover the crucial cutting edge. His new boys bedded in quicker than might have been expected, with Cabral and Celustka particularly impressing and Emanuele Giaccherini linking up well with Jack Colback down the left. Pajtim Kasami headed home a Damien Duff corner five minutes into the second half to snatch the points in a 1-0 win in what was the visitors’ only clear chance of the match. But despite their evident relief at securing an unlikely victory, both Hughes and Fulham boss Martin Jol insisted much improvement is necessary in order to sustain their early momentum. Press Associationlast_img read more

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September 16, 2020

Goaltending position ‘wide open’ 6 games into the season

first_img Published on October 24, 2018 at 11:20 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmerman Facebook Twitter Google+ Heading into the season, Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan had “no idea” who his starting goalie would be. “We had two girls (Ady Cohen and Maddi Welch) that didn’t play last year, so basically, from our viewpoint, it’s very much wide open,” Flanagan said. “I’d give Maddi, being a senior, with more experience, maybe a slight edge.”Flanagan also referenced former goalie Edith D’Astous-Moreau, who played in the team’s final game last season — a 3-2 loss to Mercyhurst in the CHA semifinal. D’Astous-Moreau was Flanagan’s projected starter, but she left the team for personal reasons and now studies urban planning at Université de Montréal, she said. Without D’Astous-Moreau, Syracuse (2-4-0, 2-2-0 College Hockey America) has not settled on a starting goaltender, six games into the season. Both goalies, Cohen and Welch, have started three games, each winning once and losing twice. Cohen has the slight edge in save percentage (.889 to .852) and has conceded eight goals to Welch’s 12. Welch has 69 saves overall and Cohen has 64. Cohen, 5-foot-6, has a smaller frame, but she is more agile than the 5-foot-7 Welch, Flanagan said. A year after then-senior Abbey Miller, the former CHA goaltending trophy winner, started 29 of SU’s 36 games, the Orange has faced a goalie competition. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCohen grew up in Boynton Beach, Florida, and fell in love with hockey after seeing the Florida Panthers mascot on television. Welch, on the other hand, was born into a hockey family in the hockey hub of East Amherst. Her dad played goalie at The College at Brockport, and her three sisters also play hockey. Last weekend, both goalies picked up wins against Lindenwood University, with Cohen conceding four goals on 16 shots and Welch allowing three goals on 20 shots. Both goalies played well over the weekend, Flanagan said, but “surrendered a couple goals they’d like to have back.”“That’s a position I’m going to fight for until the end of the year,” Welch said. “Regardless of whether I’m the starter or not, I’m still going to fight, I’m still going to practice as hard as I can every day.”Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorOn Tuesday, Cohen started against No. 7 Cornell, allowing three goals and making 29 saves in the 4-1 loss. Cohen and Welch push each other in practice by supporting each other, often with gestures as simple as fist bumps after drills, Cohen said.“We learn a lot from each other,” Cohen said. “We support each other always, and it’s good to just watch each other in practice. We take notes from each other, and it’s just a good relationship to have.”Welch and Cohen both spent years under Miller’s tutelage. Miller, SU’s leader in career goals against average (2.02) and shutouts (11), has kept in touch with both goalies. She has given advice to Welch after games via text and chatted with Cohen outside the team bus after the Orange’s 5-1 loss to No. 6 Boston College on Oct. 6. Miller said most of her advice pertains to the mental side of goaltending, especially as Welch and Cohen fight for playing time. “Keeping your head in it ,and don’t let coach’s decision on who’s going to play affect you too much, because if you let that get in your head, you’re not going to be as successful,” Miller said. Flanagan said he’s flexible in his approach to the goalies. In the past, he’s ridden one “hot hand” for most of the season, but he’s also played tandems in net. He is open to continuing to platoon the goaltenders and believes the skaters support both goalies. “Maybe someone will emerge as a starter,” Flanagan said, “or we might be in a situation where we’re just kind of rotating, alternating.” Commentslast_img read more

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