USC returns home hoping to end streak

first_imgMaybe some home cooking will do the Women of Troy good.After games on the road up north at California and Stanford and a trip to Westwood against their crosstown rival, the Women of Troy return home to the Galen Center for two games.Tough stretch · Sophomore guard Briana Gilbreath was below her season average 13.4 points per game during the four-game losing streak. – Tim Tran | Daily TrojanWating for the Women of Troy at home are two visiting squads which could afford USC a chance to get back to its winning ways.“It’ll be good to get our feet back under us,” said sophomore guard Ashley Corral. “Washington State and Washington are two very beatable teams, so we’re just going to have to come out and play hard.”Next on tap for the Women of Troy (13-10, 7-5) are the Washington State Cougars (6-18, 1-12), who occupy last place in the Pac-10 conference.Despite the Cougars’ record, the Women of Troy know they cannot overlook any opponent with their recent stretch of play.“All the things that we haven’t been doing in the past have finally caught up to us,” Corral said. “Those are all things we can change and fix, but we just need to go out and do it.”One specific thing the Women of Troy can fix is their effort on the defensive glass. They rank last in the Pac-10 in rebound margin, allowing their opponents to outrebound them by six boards per game.“Rebounding has been our Achilles’ heel all season,” USC coach Michael Cooper said.  “Rebounding is just heart and desire and who wants it more, and other teams seem to want it more than us, but we got to find some people who want to do it.”In the first meeting between the USC and Washington State, the Women of Troy managed to pull out a come-from-behind victory with a strong second half.Playing hard, however, from the opening tip-off is one thing the coaching staff has continually been stressing to the team.“[Coach Cooper] always stresses to play hard. We always have a tendency not to come out strong in the first half, but I think we need to come out strong at home and play hard the whole game to put [the Cougars] away early,” Corral said.One player who can give the Women of Troy a boost is redshirt junior guard Jacki Gemelos, who was heralded as the top recruit in the nation upon entering USC.After suffering numerous knee injuries the past three years, Gemelos has provided the Women of Troy with solid play off the bench in their three games. She will be making her season debut at the Galen Center against the Cougars.“I’ve been waiting to play here so it’ll be nice to finally play in front of the USC crowd,” Gemelos said.  “It’s going to be exciting.”With the Women of Troy returning home and Gemelos finally healthy, the team hopes to get back on the winning track.“I think we’re all mad and we’re ready to take it out on our next opponent, and I think we’ll respond in a very positive way,” Gemelos said.Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.last_img read more

Dom Madonna takes over in net for SU in his final season

first_img Published on February 12, 2018 at 9:47 pm Contact Matt: Facebook Twitter Google+ It should have been an easy goal. The net was practically empty and the attack was closing in on the crease. He turned his body, cocked his stick back and rifled a shot for the top corner of the net. In just about any other situation, he had a goal. But this time, the attack ran into a brick wall.Liverpool (New York) High School goalie Dom Madonna had raced several yards out of the cage to scoop a loose ground ball, but he whiffed. As the opposing attack scooped the ball, Madonna sprinted back in front of the cage. Without time to plant himself and face the shot, Madonna dove cross-cage, nearly parallel to the ground, knocking the sure-fire goal out of the air.“As coaches we just looked at each other like, ‘Oh wow,’” Liverpool head coach Mike Felice said. “We were like ‘OK, here’s a goal.’ And then Dom comes flying across the cage.”Madonna made that miraculous save as a junior at Liverpool High School, just a few miles from the Carrier Dome. Now a redshirt senior, Madonna looks to do the same as the starting goalie for No. 7 Syracuse (1-0). On a roster that lost nearly 60 percent of its offense from last season, SU will need its defense to hold against top offensive powers like No. 4 Albany and No. 1 Duke. Madonna knows he will have to be the leader of that unit, and for him, earning the starting goalie position at Syracuse has been a long time coming.“That was always the dream,” Madonna said of playing at Syracuse.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt 5 years old, Madonna was forced into the cage by his two uncles, Anthony and Michael Grizanti, both of whom played college lacrosse. When Madonna first stood between the pipes, he “bawled his eyes out,” he said, afraid of getting hit with the ball. To get their nephew over his fear of playing goalie, Michael and Anthony tossed the ball off of Madonna’s helmets until he stopped crying.“They were like ‘See, it doesn’t hurt,’” Madonna remembers his uncles saying. “After that was when I accepted the role of playing goalie.”And Madonna became one of the most important ones in the history of LHS. Originally from Liverpool, Madonna’s family moved to Texas for five years before returning prior to his sophomore year of high school. Liverpool, at the time, was one of the top teams in New York but could never win the elusive sectional title.“We had every single piece to win a championship except for goalie,” Felice said.Madonna proved to be the missing link.During the summer before Madonna’s sophomore year, Liverpool held summer practices for the upcoming year. Immediately Felice noticed something special in Madonna.“We were like ‘this kid is the real deal. And we have him for three years. Holy cow,’” Felice said.Madonna was one of the smartest and quickest players on the field, Felice said, with a special knack for making the saves he had no business making. That year — Madonna’s sophomore season — Liverpool fell in triple overtime in the sectional finals to a West Genesee (New York) High School team led by future Syracuse greats Dylan Donahue and Tim Barber.During Madonna’s junior year, Liverpool was a special team, Felice said, and LHS downed West Genesee en route to that elusive title. Every part of the team was strong and deep.But Madonna’s real test came the following year. Nearly the entire starting lineup had graduated, and he had to anchor an inexperienced defense with “huge holes,” Felice said.Still, Liverpool returned to the sectional semifinals, entirely on Madonna’s shoulders.“We always used to laugh and say ‘Thank God Dom came,’” Felice said.For many Division I lacrosse teams, Felice said, recruiting classes are nearly finalized by the time prospects are sophomores. Former Syracuse midfielder Jordan Evans was promised the fabled No. 22 in the eighth grade. Madonna, who didn’t return to New York until the 10th grade, didn’t have similar exposure.Instead of attending his dream school of Syracuse, Madonna wound up at Merrimack, a small, Division II lacrosse powerhouse. After a Northeast-10 All-Rookie freshman season and second-team All-American sophomore season, Madonna wanted to make a change. He didn’t mesh as well with the team as he had hoped and his mechanical engineering major was not accredited at Merrimack.“I wanted to see if I could compete at the next level,” Madonna said.Madonna returned home to central New York and found a spot on the Syracuse roster, where, after two years as a backup, he has now earned his way into the starting goalie position.In his first game as a starter against Binghamton, Madonna allowed four goals in a 21-4 blowout win to open the 2018 season. The first shot he faced sailed high toward the top right corner and Madonna snatched it out of the air before firing an outlet pass.Before Saturday, few people in Syracuse had ever seen Madonna make a save, but SU defenseman Nick Mellen sees it on a daily basis. The preseason All-American Mellen knows that if he ever gets beat by someone, that person still has to beat Madonna.“I’m always in awe every day at practice,” Mellen said. “He’s our general.” Commentslast_img read more

Nenagh and Cashel encounter tough afternoons

first_imgMunster have the chance to go second in the  Pro 12 table this evening. Nenaghs Donnacha Ryan, Keith Earls,  and Conor Murray are all in Anthony Foley’s side for their trip to Edinburgh at 5.15. The Northern team led 18 to 3 at half time and after a tough encounter were defeated in the end on a 47 points to 10 scorelineCashel were up against Queens at Spafield. Cashel led by 13 points to 7 at half time but Queens have responded and got a try at the death to run out 26 to 23 winners.last_img read more