Syracuse unable to stop Boston College’s top player, Sam Apuzzo

first_img Published on February 16, 2019 at 4:35 pm Contact Kaci: klwasile@syr.edu Comments Syracuse knew going into the game against Boston College, it was going to be challenged. Not just because the Eagles are the No. 1 ranked team in the country but because of reigning Tewaaraton Award winner Sam Apuzzo.Apuzzo’s last-second goal against the Orange last season handed SU a 13-12 loss. Two years ago, it was Apuzzo’s five goals and two assists that led Boston College over SU in the first round of the NCAA tournament. She’s an offensive weapon the Orange have seen multiple times before, and one they still haven’t figured out how to stop. In what could be the last time No. 11 Syracuse (2-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) faces a No. 1 Boston College (2-0, 1-0) team led by Apuzzo, the Orange allowed seven goals to the senior attacker, as well as two assists. She helped BC dominate in draw controls —18-10 over SU — and accounted for a third of the won draws. While the defense was successful in the opening 20 minutes, it was unable to contain Apuzzo for the full 60 minutes. “Basically everything about her makes her dangerous,” SU goalie Asa Goldstock said. “She’s so creative.” Syracuse was the first on the board but Apuzzo responded during the Eagles ensuing possession. The defense worked to shut her down for the first 15 minutes of the game as the Orange went on a 7-2 scoring run. Apuzzo didn’t record a shot during the run before she put another goal on the board for the Eagles. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGait gave the defense credit after the game for its performance in the first half, holding the top-ranked team to two goals in the opening 20 minutes. Goldstock recorded seven saves in the first half, more than double the three saves per game she averaged in SU’s first two matchups. Once Apuzzo scored her second goal, BC was able to go on a three-goal run to end the half and a 6-1 run through most of the second half. “As a player, she’s very shifty.” Alexa Radziewicz said. “We as a unit did very well against her,” Apuzzo’s first goal of the second frame gave BC its first lead, one it would maintain for the final 24 minutes of the game. Dancing the crease near SU’s goal, the attacker swung her stick around her body and shot the ball past Goldstock and into the net.  She hit two more before SU was able to retaliate. It was Apuzzo’s ability to catch and shoot that made her a threat to SU’s defense. There were times when she’d be open and a teammate would pass her the ball before anyone in Orange could tell Apuzzo had possession.“We needed to talk a little more,” Radziewicz said. “In that second half they obviously made an adjustment. I think we did really well in the defense we were in but if we had just made a bit of an adjustment then we’d be fine.”Apuzzo dominated in draw control, too. Junior Emily Hawryschuk started the game in the center, lining up against Apuzzo. When the whistle blew, Apuzzo flicked her stick, knocking the ball toward her teammate, giving BC the opening possession. Based on how the draw control is set, players can figure out which direction the ball is most likely going, Hawryschuk said,  something Apuzzo was able to take advantage of. Apuzzo won six of BC’s 18 draw controls and helped in the majority of the team’s other 12 controls. The three players that lined up at the draw for SU against her combined for one draw control. After she scored BC’s 14th goal, Syracuse was able to get in two more goals and cut BC’s lead to two with 40 seconds left. It was Apuzzo’s skill during the final draw control that sealed the victory for the Eagles. The whistle blew and she reached her stick up quicky, tipping the ball toward a teammate. BC won its final possession, and held onto the ball to win. “She has the ability to completely fake me out or be everywhere on the field at once,” Goldstock said. “We were trying to find her. She scored seven goals on us. It was really important for us to find her on the field but once we’d find her, two seconds later she’d be on the other side of the field.”center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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