Orange leans on 2 captains in program’s 1st-ever win

For Paul Flanagan, the scenario fit perfectly. The two captains of his Syracuse women’s ice hockey team – forwards Stefanie Marty and Julie Rising – propelling the Orange to the program’s first victory.

Each scored a goal in Syracuse’s 2-0 win over Quinnipiac in the final game of a two-game set at the TD Banknorth Center in Hamden, Conn., Saturday.

‘I thought it was very ironic that the two that were selected by their teammates to lead the team as captains were the ones to score the two goals for our first win,’ Flanagan said.

Sophomores like Rising and Marty – first-year transfers – usually aren’t selected to wear the captain’s ‘C’ on their jerseys. But on a team full of other first-year players, it was a necessity.

‘I think it’s kind of neat, with a young team, when you have two players who are still young selected like that,’ Flanagan said. ‘Sophomores normally don’t have to play that role, to go out there, lead the team and score in the first-ever win.’

Rising, the team-leader in shots, with 19, finally had a bounce of the puck go her way when she scored at the 2:51 mark of the first period. Marty sealed the game for the Orange (1-6) in the fourth minute of the third period.

While the attack had a breakthrough game, junior goaltender Lucy Schoedel had her first shutout of the season. Schoedel tallied 19 saves in the contest – a low figure which reflects SU’s improvement in front of her.

‘Our defensemen really stepped it up and broke up the puck well,’ Rising said.

After Friday night’s 4-2 loss to Quinnipiac (1-5), Flanagan told his team that it could not leave Connecticut without a win.

‘Immediately after Friday’s game I told the players that we are not going anywhere,’ Flanagan said. ‘Leave your equipment here, you know you’re coming back here, you know your opponent, let’s start preparing right now, because we have a game tomorrow.’

Marty added, ‘After the Friday game we were like, no this isn’t happening to us again, going home without another win, we can beat this team, today is going to be the day.’

And Saturday was certainly ‘the day.’ Syracuse played its best all-around game, Flanagan said.

‘Probably to date it was our most complete game,’ Flanagan said. ‘We played pretty well in the previous three games, but we couldn’t put three solid periods together from the opening face off to the final buzzer. All in all, the whole team played well as a group.’

Maintaining possession of the puck was the key difference in Syracuse’s two games against Quinnipiac. Control of the puck enabled the Orange to have a 29-19 shot advantage over the Bobcats, a statistic Flanagan connected with faceoffs as well.

‘There is a correlation there,’ he said. ‘If you win a lot of faceoffs, you’re going to control the puck and get shots on net.’

Heading into Syracuse’s next game, its first-ever home game, Rising has a new goal n mind.

‘Now that we have our first win, we might as well get started on our first winning streak as well,’ Rising said.

aolivero@syr.edu

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