Luke Rafferty | Design EditorIce Hockey
Ferrara scores on Syracuse’s final power-play opportunity to push Orange past Robert Morris
It took 10 tries, but Syracuse finally broke through.
All weekend, SU struggled to make plays on special teams, failing to score on nine power-play opportunities in two games against Robert Morris.
On the 10th power play, though, the Orange scored the goal that mattered the most. Nicole Ferrara scored with less than two minutes remaining in the game to give the Orange a 4-3 victory.
“Kallie (Goodnough) was up at the top and made a nice pass to me on the side boards,” Ferrara said. “I just had a bunch of time to walk in and find the open spot.”
Syracuse has only scored on 11 of 70 power-play opportunities this season. Flanagan said it is something stressed in practice every week, but the team just needs to be able to execute better.
“We’re working on it all the time,” Flanagan said. “We need to be able to execute. They know what to do; now it’s just about being able to execute and make plays. We need to be able to make plays and be confident.”
On that last power play of the game, SU executed just like Flanagan had hoped. Goodnough made a pass to Ferrara, and as the final seconds ticked off the clock, she waited a few seconds and got a little closer before taking the shot. The patience Ferrara showed on the play is what pleased her coach.
“If Nicole had shot when she first got it, good chance it would have been blocked,” Flanagan said. “But what does she do. Kind of faked, walked to the inside a little bit, and then there was actually a perfect screen for her and she picked the corner. Just being patient and real good shot selection.”
Flanagan knew before that final power play that converting on that opportunity would be the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why he called a timeout before the power play started and tried to relax the team.
“We told them to relax, to show some composure,” Flanagan said. “At that point in time, there’s all that emotion running around, there’s no time to start diagraming stuff. They know the power play; they know what they’re supposed to do. Just relax and make a play.”
Jacquie Greco, who played a huge role in the team’s victory on Saturday, was on the bench during the game-winning power-play possession. She had played a vital role in the team’s win, as she was moved from her usual spot on defense to a forward’s role and scored two goals.
She said that even seeing the play from the bench, the team had a different feeling about how the play would go.
“We had a lot of faith in them,” Greco said. “Maybe in the past we might not have had faith in them, because it wasn’t really going our way, but everyone on the bench had so much faith in them. We knew we were going to score. We knew they could get it done.”
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