Allie Murray overcomes early mistake to help Syracuse crush Connecticut

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first_imgIt happened again.Syracuse goalie Allie Murray picked up the ground ball close to the goal after Mallory Vehar forced a turnover on Connecticut’s Carly Palmucci. Instead of trying to get rid of the ball quickly, she ran from left to right, nearly a full revolution around the goalie’s crease, at times holding the her stick straight out in front of her with one hand.As she got behind her own net, she tried to clear the ball to a nearby Orange defender. But the pass sailed wide and rolled out of bounds, giving the Huskies a prime opportunity to tie the game up at two a piece. Brooke Jensen did just that 22 seconds later. As UConn celebrated Murray put her head down and knocked the ball away.Murray’s high-risk, high-reward play is predicated on her stepping out far in the crease. Sometimes she’s made saves, like when she stuck her stick out across her body and dove from left to right to stop the a shot prior to allowing that second goal, drawing the loudest applause of the night. Other times, she’s made game-sealing mistakes, like when she ran too far out and turned the ball over against then-No. 3 Florida.Those kinds of big mistakes can shake a goalie’s confidence, but it didn’t affect Murray against Connecticut. She only gave up two more goals the rest of the way and her short memory was a key in No. 4 Syracuse’s (9-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) 17-7 blowout victory over Connecticut (7-2, 1-0 American Athletic) on Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The one thing that she did that we asked was get a save on the first shot, and she did,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “That hasn’t happened a lot this year, and it started her confidence and it gave her a great first half with seven saves in that half.”Connecticut came into the game with a shooting percentage of 51.6 on 26.6 shots per game. But the Huskies only scored three goals despite managing to get off 13 shot attempts in the half.Syracuse pulled away from Connecticut when it went on an 8-0 blitz in the final 12:11 of the first half to open up a monstrous lead. But SU’s offense, which struggled the first 15 minutes of the game, might not have had a chance to end the game so early were it not for Murray’s play.Six of her first-half saves came before the run even started and the seventh one came just before Syracuse’s sixth goal, and second of the run. Time after time she tapped her stick all over the goalposts, much like a hockey goalie, and stepped up to block a Connecticut shot attempt, drawing huge applause from her teammates while inducing confusion and frustration for the Huskies.“A goalie that plays that high in her crease, you have to be savy about it, you have to be smart, and you have to fake and shoot around her,” UConn head coach Katie Woods said. “Because of how far out she plays we just hit her (with our shots).”The Huskies hugged each other, jumped up and down and celebrated like a team that wasn’t down 11 after managing to score on Murray with 12:32 left in the game, UConn’s first goal in over thirty minutes.Murray got pulled after it, but only because the game was so far out of reach. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 29, 2016 at 10:02 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langerlast_img

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