Heather Schwarz finds comfortability on power-play unit for Syracuse

first_imgHeather Schwarz admitted she was nervous the first couple times she lined up to practice the power play at the beginning of the season. She said she would “choke up” on the puck when pressure came at her. She wasn’t quite sure when to get rid of the puck and when to hold onto it. Schwarz’s nerves on the power play dulled her confidence, but she’s hit a turning point.“After a couple practices,” Schwarz said, “(I’m) just having more confidence with it and just getting control of the puck, seeing what’s around me.”Schwarz, a junior, is enjoying a new experience this season as the point of Syracuse’s (2-3) power play, where she has been forced to adjust to something she wasn’t expecting to participate in.She notched her first goal of the season on a power play against New Hampshire on Oct. 10 and will continue to refine her role as a scoring threat heading into Wednesday’s matchup against conference rival RIT (1-3) at 7 p.m. at Tennity Ice Pavilion. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s actually really exciting,” Schwarz said. “It’s a whole new light and I definitely enjoy being on it, that’s for sure.” Schwarz dabbled on the power play during the final few games of last season, but her role wasn’t as official as it is now. This season, the forward holds her position near the blue line — because she has the most powerful shot — when Syracuse has a man-up opportunity.Still, Schwarz’s job is to shoot, and Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan is hoping Schwarz can develop into her role as a “trigger person” on the power play.“She’s got a quick shot,” Flanagan said. “It’s not a heavy shot … she can get it and shoot quick. She’s got a quick release.”Schwarz’s physical ability and technical fundamentals made her an intriguing piece when Flanagan was analyzing whom he would put on the power play and how he wanted it to run it, he said. By playing back on the blue line, Schwarz will have more time to look for and unload her shot.“That probably is the one thing that can maybe separate her from a lot of girls on our team,” Flanagan said. “We have some defensemen that shoot the puck well but we don’t have anybody that’s got a bomb from back there that you like on a power play. So I think Heather gives us that element.”Still, her adjustment to the position took some time.The nerves that bothered her in those first practices translated into Syracuse’s second game against Northeastern, she said.While her job to score remained the same, she also had to balance controlling the puck, reading situations and making quick decisions.“It’s definitely hard as a forward … being last man back, it’s hard,” sophomore defender Megan Quinn said. “And you have pressure on you to decide what to do with (the puck). I think she does a really good job taking her time.”The progression came full circle against New Hampshire, when Schwarz said the net opened up perfectly and she was able to punch in the goal.The move to place Schwarz on the power play was strategic, Flanagan said that it was also a result of the personnel he had on the ice. Syracuse already had the players it wanted on its power play, and Schwarz proved to be the final piece.Heading into the sixth game of the season, she’s finally starting to get more comfortable in her new role. “I wouldn’t say we just took a stab at it,” Flanagan said. “We said ‘let’s try Heather there’ … and she’s done a pretty good job so far. It’s still evolving.” Comments Published on October 20, 2015 at 10:55 pm Contact Matt: mralex01@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Football: Wisconsin run game finally shows signs of life

first_imgFinally, Corey Clement broke one.The senior running back for the University of Wisconsin football team streaked down the Badger sideline for 68 yards, relieving his team from the pressure of being backed up on its own five-yard line.It was the Badgers’ longest single gain of the season, and the first time the team reeled off a play for more than 50 yards. Entering Saturday, UW was just one of five FBS teams to be in that category.But the run was symbolic for Clement. He had finally broken through, not just on that run, but Saturday night during No. 10 Wisconsin’s 30-23 overtime loss to No. 2 Ohio State University. Clement rushed for 164 yards, tying his career high, on 25 carries. When asked whether the outburst was enough to get his confidence going, Clement said it was that and much more.Football: Big Ten heavyweights duke it out in Madison Saturday nightSaturday night’s matchup between then-No. 8 University of Wisconsin and No. 2 Ohio State University was a thriller that ended in Read…“I felt like I needed that game for everything,” Clement said Tuesday. “I was wondering when the time was going to come. Definitely, coming against Ohio State, a very tough opponent, just trying to do what I could.”Clement went on to give credit to his offensive line, which had a solid effort Saturday, and the receivers for securing the edges on his rushing attempts. Clement said the team knows the running game must keep improving if the Badgers want to win the Big Ten West and have a shot at a conference title.If Clement’s 68-yarder is erased from the record books, however, he would have rushed for 96 yards on 24 attempts — an average of four yards per carry. That’s nothing to slouch at, but it’s not nearly as impressive as the 6.6 yards per carry he ended up with.“Being a running back, you really have to learn to make your linemen right,” Clement said. “Everything isn’t going to be perfect up front. If you allow the play to set up and really take ownership of your craft and being patient to it, great things can happen. I don’t want to put the blame on anyone else. I’m pretty sure everybody had an edge, being that it was a night game at home, so everybody had a little more fire under them.”The last time Wisconsin played the University of Iowa, a 10-6 loss on Oct. 3, 2015, Clement was in Germany following surgery to repair a hernia that hampered him for most of last season.Football: No. 10 Badgers look to reclaim Heartland Trophy from IowaThe proximity of fans to the sidelines at Kinnick Stadium, the home of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, makes it Read…Redshirt junior left tackle Ryan Ramczyk said the Badgers success in the running game on Saturday came partly because the offensive line’s double teams were effective, allowing lineman to move up to the linebackers. He said he felt the confidence in the running game grow throughout the game.“I think we’ve always had confidence,” Ramczyk said. “It definitely helps to run the way we did against Ohio State.”Offensive line coach Joe Rudolph mixed and matched on the line throughout the game. Micah Kapoi came in to play left guard, Michael Deiter slid inside to center, replacing Brett Connors and David Edwards replaced Jacob Maxwell at right tackle.Ramczyk said it’s nice to have the cohesiveness of the same five guys out there every play. The way the Badgers practice makes for a smooth transition during games.Ramcyzk also said the line needs to clean things up as a unit to give redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook more time and a cleaner pocket.“I think we’ve been improving week to week, honestly,” Ramczyk said.Football: Ramczyk, Cichy, Watt named to Sports Illustrated’s Midseason All-America TeamThe University of Wisconsin football team’s Ryan Ramczyk, Jack Cichy and T.J. Watt earn national recognition Tuesday after being named Read…last_img read more