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Di Maria will not quit Old Trafford

first_imgAngel Di Maria insists he does not want to leave Manchester United but admits he is at a loss as to why he has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford. The Argentinian joined the Red Devils for a British-record £59.7million in the summer but, after a promising start to his career in England, injury and a loss of form saw him finish the season on the bench. That has prompted some talk of a move away, with reports in Spain suggesting Barcelona are set to make an audacious move for the forward who only left arch-rivals Real Madrid 10 months ago. But Di Maria, currently at the Copa America with Argentina, has stressed he will stay and fight for his place, despite revealing he is in an “uncomfortable” position. “I started well with goals and assists,” he told Argentinian newspaper Ole. “I was having a good time, until I was outside (of the first team). “It’s a little hard to explain why I do not play.” Asked if he was uncomfortable, he added: “‘Yes, for me and my family. Because not everything goes as I want, because I don’t play. “I came with an intention and ended up on the bench. It’s hard to say how I feel there. “No (I will not leave) because I’m not thinking like that. “In Madrid there were times when I was whistled around the stadium but I faced it and then it turned around. I like to deal with things. “I’ve demonstrated what I do for several years.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Syracuse expecting to get Villanova’s best in return home

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Head coach John Desko has stated over and over again this season that his current squad hasn’t garnered the titles and the accolades of seasons past. But heading into each game, it doesn’t feel that way. The opponents always give a little more. The level of play goes up. Syracuse has seen every team’s best effort.‘I told the guys, ‘You are going to get the best out of every team you are going to play,” Desko said. ‘They elevated their games for us, playing Syracuse University, who won the championship last year. We are going to get that out of everybody.’And Desko expects much of the same when No. 3 Syracuse (5-1, 1-0 Big East) returns home after two straight road games to face Big East counterpart Villanova (5-2, 0-0) on Monday at 3 p.m. Though Villanova is unranked and was dismantled by SU, 21-6, two years ago, that is the last thing midfielder Joel White wants his team to think about. ‘We need to have a different mindset,’ White said. ‘We can’t go into the game thinking we are going to blow this team out because they have previous losses. We have to play every team as hard as we can.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe most recent example of this was the 9-8 overtime win against an unranked Hobart team last Tuesday night. Though Syracuse pulled off the victory, Hobart led 5-2 late in the third quarter. The Orange got off 56 shots but saw Statesmen goalie Max Silberlicht total a career-best 23 saves. It is efforts like these that opponents put up when Syracuse comes to town. For most teams, it is the biggest game on their schedule. At times, it is even a season-changing game that can be the catapult into the national rankings and possibly a postseason birth.The way teams raise their games against Syracuse was on full display against Hobart. ‘I watched Hobart on film and I got to tell you all the players on the team were a half step faster, a half step quicker, did better on ground balls, better on one-on-ones,’ Desko said. ‘We cannot take anyone lightly and certainly cannot take Villanova lightly coming up.’While Hobart is the most recent example, it is hardly the only time a team put forth a best effort against Syracuse. There is no question that the Orange has a big target on its back. In three tough wins this season against Army, No. 8 Georgetown and No. 12 Johns Hopkins, the Orange held leads but had to fight off comebacks by each team late in the game. Army came back from a three-goal deficit in the third to tie up the score. Georgetown was down four at halftime but cut the lead to one with seven and a half minutes to play. And Johns Hopkins was down 8-1 with eight minutes to play but stormed back and scored four straight goals. When a team is down late in a game, it is sometimes easy to fold and call it a day. Not when Syracuse is on the other sideline. This is a pattern Syracuse has seen time and time again this year and does not expect it to change any time soon.Especially against a much improved Villanova team.‘You look at Villanova, and they just beat a Drexel team who just got done beating Notre Dame,’ said goalie John Galloway. ‘So where do you put them in the national scene? They are one of the top teams right now.’While Villanova lacks the national prominence that a Virginia or a Johns Hopkins has, the Wildcats have come a long way in two years. They will bring a two-game winning streak into the Dome, with wins against Delaware and No. 14 Drexel.  Galloway was quick to point out the vast improvement the Wildcats have made.‘I think anyone who knows anything about lacrosse can see the improvement they have made in the past two years,’ Galloway said. ‘They are really becoming a good lacrosse team. This is a very good team who is on a hot streak right now.’And there is one thing Galloway and Syracuse can count on. Villanova will be ready to play its best lacrosse of the season come Tuesday. Just like every other team has done against the Orange.   restern@syr.edulast_img read more

Oklahoma State and Jaden Hobbs end SU’s season in NCAA Tournament, 84-57

first_img Published on March 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham STARKVILLE, Miss. — As Jaden Hobbs, an unsuspecting 5-foot-8 redshirt freshman wearing a bulky brace on her left leg, who prior to Saturday averaged four points a game, ran down the court, she looked at the SU bench and smiled.“I kind of wanted to prove myself to everyone watching but to them as well,” Hobbs said of her glance.There was just over a minute left in the third quarter and she had just buried her fourth-straight 3-pointer, this one a 25-foot heat check from the right wing to open up a 25-point lead for Oklahoma State. In two minutes, Hobbs put what was previously a close game out of reach and put a dagger in Syracuse’s season.Hobbs finished 8-of-9 from deep, scoring a career-high 27 — her previous high was 12 — and it was her offensive explosion that led No. 9 Oklahoma State (21-10, 11-7 Big 12) past No. 8 Syracuse (22-9, 10-6 Atlantic Coast), 84-57, in a back-and-forth contest turned blowout at Humphrey Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. The 27-point drubbing in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament was SU’s worst loss of the season.“They put the ball inside and collapsed us and put the ball outside and shot 3s,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBoth teams came to Starkville after late-season disappointment. OSU dropped three-straight late in the season, then was ousted in its first game of the Big 12 tournament. Syracuse fell to Virginia Tech in the Orange’s conference tournament opener, failing to make a shot in the fourth quarter.Saturday was a chance to get on track, to start a run. To exorcise any postseason demons that lay within. But if anything, SU’s demons manifested further.“It’s not a good feeling,” Tiana Mangakahia said. “Knowing they’re on a roll and you’re on the back foot. It’s hard to get back into that, it’s hard to get out of that mental low.”The Cowgirls burned SU early on when starting center Amaya Finklea-Guity appeared to bang knees with Kaylee Jensen and had to take a seat. The Cowgirls drove to the basket relentlessly to little resistance and after Loryn Goodwin hit an easy transition layup capping a 9-2 OSU run, Hillsman took a timeout.But then SU started running. OSU missed, SU sprinted down the court. OSU made a shot, SU inbounded and sprinted down the court. The pace started to wear on the Cowgirls and the Orange clawed back, eventually tying the game and briefly taking a lead.And that’s how it went. Every mini Syracuse run was followed by Oklahoma State re-establishing control and building a small lead. Then SU punched back, and so on.Sometimes it was minutes before a team took back momentum, sometimes it was seconds. With 4:30 left in the second quarter, Goodwin sprinted to jump a passing lane and trucked Mangakahia, laying the Australian out. Mangakahia picked up the foul, but 26 seconds later, she planted herself and took a charge as SU’s bench exploded.Courtesy of Devin Lawrence Wilber | The O’CollyIn the second half, Oklahoma State took a seemingly vulnerable eight-point lead and ballooned it to as much as 30. The Cowgirls had finally put a stranglehold on the game.“Obviously not very happy with the game,” Hillsman said. “Obviously at the end of the day, ultimately as a coach I’ve got to get us into a better position to win these games.”“That’s a tough swing,” he later said of the third quarter.Goodwin and Jensen did their parts as expected — the two combined for 38 points — by doing what they always do. Jensen played bully-ball down low, establishing position under the basket to get countless second- and third-shot opportunities.Postgame, Hillsman said that he knew Finklea-Guity would be overmatched and SU, in general, didn’t have the personnel to match Jensen’s physicality. OSU, he said, also ran plays to move the weakside help away from the post and free up Jensen for easy backdowns and putbacks.“It might come as a benefit to us to just stick to our rebounding and what we know best,” Jensen said at Friday’s press conference.Goodwin scored 19 without ever seeming to shoot the ball. She mostly took driving opportunities when they easily presented themselves or teammates were too closely guarded. But ultimately, it was Hobbs that singlehandedly provided the near-perfect 3-point onslaught that was too much for Syracuse, or probably any team, to overcome.“It’s frustrating when it comes from one player on the team,” Drummond said. “Number 23, 8-for-9. We just didn’t adjust against her.”Hobbs started her scoring early, hitting a 3 to make it 9-5 in the first quarter, coming within one point of her season average. Then she went quiet, scoring four points between her first make and the start of her barrage.It was a barrage hauntingly familiar to the drought Syracuse went on in the ACC Tournament, when an upstart Virginia Tech team poured in 29 points while SU’s offense fell silent for an entire quarter.While Hobbs hit shot after shot after shot, the basket froze over for SU. For every Hobbs make, there was an SU miss. Long or short, left or right. It didn’t matter. All that did was in a span of 2:02, OSU’s lead exploded from 13 to 25. “She did a very good job of hunting her shot and knocking them down,” Hillsman said.Coming out of halftime, it seemed SU could erase the Cowgirls’ eight-point lead and get back in the game — the Orange had done it already — but Goodwin and Jensen, and Hobbs, kept SU at arm’s length out of the break. Then Hobbs hit a catch-and-shoot 3 from the right side. Then she came off a middle screen and buried it. Then another the same way. She was able to hit the same look twice because Syracuse was flat switching, rather than hedging, Hillsman said.Finally, Goodwin found Hobbs on the right side and with a three that caught nothing but net and a grin from Hobbs, Syracuse’s season was wrapped up before the third quarter ended. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more