Tag: 上海夜网WZ

Syracuse hopes to get its season back on track starting with Cornell

first_img Published on April 10, 2013 at 1:10 am Contact Debbie: [email protected] | @debbietruong Nearly a year ago, Syracuse stood at the height of program history, setting records en route to the NCAA regionals, where it eventually fell to Arizona State.A little more than midway through this season, and about a month from the Big East tournament, SU is far from those heights. This season, it’s a young team struggling to find footing in Big East play after falling to powerhouse DePaul by at least nine runs in each of last weekend’s three games.Heading into Wednesday’s 3:30 p.m. doubleheader against Cornell (14-16, 4-4 Ivy) at Skytop Softball Stadium, Syracuse remains hopeful. Despite the disappointing start to conference play, which included an 11-0 blowout loss on Saturday, the Orange (13-20, 1-5 Big East) insists team morale remains high.“As weird as it sounds, I think we have better team morale this year than in the past,” Syracuse captain Veronica Grant said. “We all know the situation we’re in, the understanding of it and where we want to be and where we want to go is all the same. It’s just struggling to get there.”Grant likened this team to the one from her freshman season, when it would exit some weekends certain of its identity and others far less so. That team closed the 2010 season 32-26. Transitioning practice out of Manley Field House to the outdoor field has provided an additional lift to the team’s spirits, Grant said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor players who have witnessed the pinnacle of Syracuse softball, like Grant and senior shortstop Morgan Nandin, who played roles in the Orange’s deep trip into tournament play, the losses this season can be frustrating.“It’s never fun to lose,” Nandin said. “Coming off a record-setting season last year and going through the slump right now, it’s just a completely different team. We’ll get past it.”Tuesday’s outdoor practice, in which Nandin fielded at least 150 ground balls, was light, but focused. Gauging the team’s spirit and atmosphere of the practice, she’s confident the team can reverse course and make waves late in the season.“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people when it comes to Big East play,” Nandin said. “I think we’ll do something really special.”SU head coach Leigh Ross can’t attribute the mid-season slump to one factor, but said Syracuse faced difficult competition in its first two conference opponents, Louisville and DePaul.The team’s also suffered from injuries to pitcher Lindsay Taylor, who logged long innings on the mound earlier this season, and offensive powerhouse Julie Wambold, who bruised her wrist from a wayward pitch Saturday.“You’re going to have the ups and downs in the season. Once you understand that, it’s your job is to come here every day and work hard and get through it,” Ross said. “You’re going to get through the ups and downs.”For Grant, the key heading into Wednesday’s game and the final stretch of conference play lies in the team’s ability to put the losses behind them and forge on.“Try and forget what just happened to the effect of moving forward,” Grant said. “Don’t completely forget about it, remember how it feels, but just keep going.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

East Carolina’s Carden overcomes obstacles to become elite offensive star

first_imgShane Carden hadn’t yet played a full game of junior varsity football, and he was already faced with a tough decision.Injured while fielding a punt, Carden had to choose between competing in the final six games with a cast on his wrist, or playing it safe and letting the bone heal.He didn’t need to think twice.“The first thing going through my mind is, ‘How long until I can get back out there,’” Carden said. “I just hate being off the field. I don’t know how to describe it. I just hate not being out there with my teammates.”Now the starting quarterback at East Carolina, Carden has experienced a prolific beginning to his season, leading the offense to 83 points and two blowout wins.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe set an ECU record with 447 passing yards in the team’s 52-38 opening-week win over Old Dominion.Despite an overbearing father, being overlooked by coaches and more time than he wanted on the bench, Carden has become, statistically, one of the best quarterbacks in college football. His success stems from wanting to be the best athlete in a family full of them.“I was very competitive with my older brother,” Carden said. “He was two years older than me, and he was a very good athlete. I wanted to be as good as he was at that time, even though I was two years younger. Whether it was backyard basketball or whatever, it’d usually end up in a fight with him kicking my ass.”Along with his baseball-playing brothers, Carden lived in a household where playing sports was the norm. His father Jay had an eight-year professional baseball career playing in the farm systems of the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. His mother, a volleyball player, was the first female athlete ever to earn a scholarship to California Polytechnic State, and his uncle was the starting quarterback at Southern California.Carden’s attitude toward athletics didn’t deviate. He grew up playing many sports, but stuck with baseball and football more seriously in high school.So when Carden told his father that he was officially quitting baseball to focus full time on football, his father wasn’t happy.“I bet he had more ability than both of my other two boys that both played college baseball,” Jay Carden said. “When he said he wanted to concentrate full time on football, I didn’t know why necessarily. I hated to see him not playing a sport he was really good at.”Worried that his son might spend afternoons during the spring season at home on his couch, Jay Carden devised a daily workout schedule to help make sure he kept in shape for football season, said Shane’s mother, Scoti Carden.Although Carden wasn’t playing baseball, his father said he encouraged his son because he saw a lot of potential in him.“He would get the team out there working out in middle school in the summer in 100 degrees,” Jay Carden said. “He did the same thing all throughout high school. He always got better. You see a lot of kids in sports, they will reach a plateau, and they won’t ever get any better. I never saw that plateau in Shane.”Throughout Carden’s career, there were several moments that it appeared his plateau had been reached. In his sophomore year of high school, he was called up to the varsity team, but only to play cornerback. He finally earned an opportunity behind center when the starting quarterback got hurt for the year.“He never played (cornerback) before, but he wanted to do whatever it took to get on the field,” said Steven Leisz, his football coach at Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas. “He’s a gamer. That’s who he is.”At East Carolina, Carden was faced with a similar situation. He redshirted his freshman season and only appeared as a wide receiver once the next year. He lost the starting quarterback job before the start of his sophomore year.But when his competitor faltered, Carden stepped in. He completed 273-of-413 passes en route to 3,116 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was named the school’s offensive player of the year.Carden said even with the accolades and recognition he has been receiving since his ascent at ECU, there is still more to prove.“When you’re kind of underrated, to get over that and show people that you missed out on me, it’s always a good feeling,” Carden said. “There will always be people that say it’s lucky, but we’ve got to continue to prove those people wrong. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder.” Comments Published on September 12, 2013 at 1:00 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more