Missed offensive opportunities cost Syracuse in 3-1 loss to No. 7 Robert Morris

first_imgSenior forward Heather Schwarz held the puck at the bottom of the faceoff circle to RMU goaltender Jessica Dodds’ right. Her fellow senior forward and captain Jessica Sibley stood all alone on Dodds left. Schwarz fed Sibley with a clean saucer pass over a sprawled out Colonial defender but Sibley took one second too long to gather and shoot, and Dodds pushed over and kicked Sibley’s try away.The puck made its way to the stick of Robert Morris’ Maeve Garvey, who skated calmly out of the defensive zone and dumped the puck into Syracuse’s empty net.With 90 seconds left, Syracuse had a chance to be tied for first place in the conference with Robert Morris. If Sibley’s shot went in, the game would have been tied with the possibility of overtime. But the opportunity slipped right through.“Sibley was all alone on the backdoor,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said, “and the next thing you know it’s in the back of our net and it’s 3-1.”As the puck crossed the goal line for the final time Friday night, Sibley skated along the boards and bashed her stick into wall. It was just another in a long line of missed opportunities for the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Syracuse (9-11-5, 8-3-2 College Hockey America) failed repeatedly to bury the puck in the net, No. 7 Robert Morris (17-2-6, 10-1-2) cashed in on several mistakes by the Orange leading to a 3-1 Colonials win on Friday night. The night was particularly difficult for Sibley and junior forward Stephanie Grossi, who had multiple “grade A” scoring bids throughout the course of 60 minutes.“Like coach Paul (Flanagan) said,” Grossi said, “we all gotta go home and think about what we did wrong today and how can come back.”One of the best chances of the game came when Grossi was in on the forecheck with about 13 minutes remaining in the first period. The puck got caught up in Grossi’s skates mere feet from the RMU net. All alone with the puck, Grossi was able to gather, take aim, and fire.She missed. High and to Dodds’ left.Grossi missed out again in the second period. As she skated in from the left faceoff circle, she fired it low and Dodds easily kicked it away, but right back to the SU junior. While Dodds was out of position, Grossi moved the puck to her backhand and took three quick strides across the crease before flipping a backhand shot into a wide open net.Dodds was able to recover just in time to send it right over the crossbar with the paddle of her stick. As the puck sailed into the glass Grossi tilted her head back in exasperation and the Syracuse bench — sure of the impending goal and on their feet to celebrate — slowly sank back to its seats.“The one open net on the power play is definitely haunting me a little.” Grossi said. “Would’ve liked to put that one in.”Sibley, the team leader in assists, struggled to find the net on a couple of fine chances. With 12:22 left in the second period, the captain found herself on a partial breakaway. But the pass was getting away from her and as she attempted to corral the wayward puck, she stepped on it.With the chance now wasted, the Colonials pounced. Two quick passes and suddenly junior defender Megan Quinn was left to defend a two-on-one chance. Garvey flew towards goalie Abbey Miller with the puck, and Quinn opted to lay out and defend the pass.The second Garvey recognized Quinn was going down, she shot. A dart high and to Miller’s glove side beat the junior and gave Robert Morris the lead. RMU’s second goal was an almost carbon copy of the first, except this time it was Jessica Gazzola burning senior defender Larissa Martyniuk and Miller. Only 1:53 separated the goals.“Getting the puck deep,” Quinn said, “that’s our main concern. There’s a couple times where we had the chance to get the puck deep and we kind of messed around with it on the blue line. Caused us some issues.”Syracuse outperformed Robert Morris in most statistical categories including shots (28-23) and faceoff wins (26-22). But, it seemed for every open net or turnover SU failed to capitalize on, RMU went for the finish move, and got it.“Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield.” Flanagan said. Comments Published on January 27, 2017 at 11:13 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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