MLAX : Wardwell endures tough 2nd half to pick up win in net for Syracuse

first_imgGENEVA, N.Y. – The sense of relief went coursing through the entire Syracuse sideline as the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard.No player felt the pressure lifted more than Bobby Wardwell.A six-goal SU halftime lead deteriorated to one with nine seconds left in the game, but Wardwell evaded disaster. Despite a sharp performance by the Hobart offense in the second half, Syracuse’s freshman goalkeeper was able to hold on and survive. Wardwell and the No. 14 Orange escaped Boswell Field with a 13-12 victory over Hobart on Tuesday. After an imminent Orange blowout became a near defeat, the Syracuse goaltender did just enough to preserve the lead. Teammates swarmed Wardwell in front of the net to break the tension.‘It was pretty nerve-racking,’ Wardwell said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWardwell stood tall in the first half, making seven saves on 11 shots to help the Orange (7-5, 3-1 Big East) jump out to a 10-4 lead at halftime. But that confidence quickly diminished as Hobart (3-8, 1-3 Eastern College Athletic Conference)forced the issue on offense to begin the third quarter.Hobart turned its first possession of the second half into immediate results. Statesmen attack Cam Stone found Jake McHenry on the left doorstep 35 seconds into the third quarter to cut SU’s lead to 10-5.‘We had a stop, but they were able to feed it into the crease and score, and I think that started the momentum,’ SU defender Brian Megill said. ‘As soon as a team gets energy and a little bit of confidence, they’re going to make runs, and we have to stop those runs and keep playing composed.’The Statesmen began to beat Wardwell in ways that they could not in the first half.In the first quarter, Wardwell made back-to-back saves on Stone and midfielder Taylor Vanderbeek as both Hobart players tiptoed the right hash mark and ripped tight shots toward the right post. Wardwell hugged the post and blocked down both shots with ease.Wardwell said he lacked the same strong body positioning in the third quarter that he had in the first half. With about five minutes left in the third quarter, Stone squeezed a shot between Wardwell and the left post for a goal. It was the second of a three-goal run for Hobart at the end of the third quarter to cut SU’s lead to 11-9.‘In the second half I just wasn’t seeing the ball as well, but it happens,’ Wardwell said. ‘It’s an up-and-down game. It’s a game of runs, and they got their run in the third quarter.’The Syracuse goaltender made just four saves on 12 shots in the second half as the Statesmen threatened SU’s lead. Hobart pushed through three more goals in the fourth quarter, getting within one with nine seconds left.‘We got up by a lot of goals. We were up by six goals at the end of the half, and I think we came out a little bit flat in the second,’ Wardwell said. ‘I know I was kind of relaxed.’The Syracuse offense struggled to provide any relief for the SU goalie in the second half. Hobart goaltender Peter Zonino transformed into a force, making 10 second-half saves to keep the Statesmen within striking distance.And the shaky performance in net in the second half continued for Wardwell. A costly turnover behind the net with less than four minutes to play left Wardwell stranded out of the net. Sam Miller dove in front to connect with an empty net.Attack Alex Love fired a shot into the net with time winding down, and Hobart ran out of time.Wardwell did just enough to earn his third win of the season in four starts.‘He’s seen every different kind of game thus far, and he’s learning and growing from that,’ SU head coach John Desko said. ‘He’s pretty courageous, and when he doesn’t see it, he tries to get his body in front of it, and he’ll get better from this.’[email protected] Comments Published on April 17, 2012 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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