Little Lawler has big game

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoErika Lawler may be the smallest person on the ice, but she often has the biggest impact.Listed generously at an even five feet, Lawler has consistently made her presence felt on the ice, despite her small stature. “If you watch us play, you will notice her,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “And that is a good thing.”Even though Lawler often plays against opponents who are more than a foot taller than her, she hardly notices the difference.”I never think about how much shorter I am than someone else,” Lawler said. “Although on a faceoff it can be kind of funny when I am lining up against someone a lot bigger than me and I am at their stick length. But usually, I really never think about it, and if I did think about it, it would probably just hurt me rather than help me.”Though she was never the tallest kid growing up, Lawler has been destined to play hockey from a young age.”I come from a family that plays a lot of hockey,” Lawler said. “My dad played hockey in college, and my aunt played hockey in college, so it is just a family thing I guess. My dad coached me when I was younger, and I have just loved playing hockey ever since I can remember.”The Badgers were lucky Lawler committed to Wisconsin. Originally from Fitchburg, Mass., Lawler never thought she would come to UW. However, she visited Madison by chance when she came to watch the Badgers play the Gophers and figured she should give Wisconsin a look.”Wisconsin was my fifth choice originally,” Lawler said. “When I came here I was like, ‘Wow. This place is amazing.’ Whether it is the coaching staff, the facilities or the campus, everything about this place had a great feel to it.”Ever since coming to UW, the junior has experienced plenty of success. During her freshman campaign, Lawler scored 32 points, sixth best on the team. The next season, she led all sophomores with 38 points. But perhaps best of all, her team won the NCAA Championship both years.Despite her success, Lawler is not concerned with her point totals.”I am not thinking about how many stats I am putting up,” Lawler said. “As long as I can look myself in the mirror after the game and know that I tried my hardest, I consider it a good game. I try not to let points scored define me as a player.””She always seems to be in attack mode,” Johnson said. “She is a very good skater. She likes to have the puck, and when she doesn’t have the puck, she will go and get it.”Equally important has been Lawler’s leadership on and off the ice. As a junior and one of the team’s more experienced players, Lawler has embraced the increased responsibility.”Erika is definitely a leader,” fellow linemate Meghan Duggan said. “Not only is she an upperclassman, but she is a really vocal person on the ice. She knows hockey probably better than anyone on this team. Often times before coach comes in the locker room, she will say ‘Guys, we really need to do this,’ and then Coach (Johnson) will come in and say the exact same thing.””If you look at our forwards, she has probably been our most consistent forward since the beginning of the year,” Johnson said. “She plays every game like it is her last one and she plays tenaciously. I think that rubs off on the other players and helps them learn.”Besides her play on the ice and her leadership off it, Lawler may have helped UW with a little recruiting of her own. Duggan, a sophomore and last year’s WCHA Rookie of the Year, went to the same boarding school as Lawler — Cushing Academy — and roomed with Lawler during high school.”Just because I am here, it does not mean that [Meghan] decided to come here,” Lawler said. “However, I would always talk to her about how much I loved it. So when she is talking to someone who keeps raving about their school, she might have thought that it was worth checking out.”Once you get here and see how amazing this place is, it is an easy decision.”last_img read more

Korab Syla’s injury stalls Syracuse offense in 1-1 tie with Louisville

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 12, 2015 at 12:17 am Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus Korab Syla sat on the field with his knees to his chest, eight minutes left in the first half. He shifted onto his back and trainers examined his leg. After a few minutes, Syla limped from the far side of the field to the sideline, grimacing slightly with a hamstring injury.“It’s a very big loss,” Syracuse defender Liam Callahan said. “… For him to go out was a little bit of a shot to us.”Syla was playing the most aggressive he had all season, pushing the ball down the sideline and stretching the field for an Orange team that was running a 4-3-3 formation instead of its normal 3-5-2. After Syla’s injury, however, the offense stalled and could never find the back of the net as the Orange tied No. 23 Louisville, 1-1, at SU Soccer Stadium on Friday.“You can’t explain to a new guy what an ACC game is,” head coach Ian McIntyre said. “It’s an absolute war. It’s a battle. … We’ll be a better team because of tonight.“That’s a point won tonight, not two points lost.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPlaying with four defenders matches up better with Louisville’s three forwards than Syracuse’s usual backline of three players, McIntyre said. With Louisville expecting a 3-5-2, Syracuse was hoping to catch it off guard, defender Louis Cross said.Just eight minutes into the game, Oyvind Alseth poked the ball forward past a defender to Julian Buescher, who one touched it back to Alseth as he ran into the box. Alseth fired a low shot to the right of that net that tipped off Louisville goalie Nick Jeffs’ gloves and found the back of the net.Alseth held his right fist in the air as he ran up to the fans sitting to the right of the net on the hill.“When you get that goal early in the game you get a little momentum,” Callahan said.Syla was carrying the ball through the midfield and pushing it forward down the sideline, using his speed to run past defenders. He sent crosses into the box and was able to set up offensive chances.But then he went down near the end of the first half and minutes later Louisville tied the game.Cardinals midfielder Tim Kubel sent a corner kick into the box from the left side. A crowd of players, including SU goalie Austin Aviza, knocked the ball into the air and right to Louisville midfielder Daniel Johnson. He kicked a bouncing shot to the right side of the net that beat a sliding Callahan with just 1:03 left in the half.“We played a very average game,” Alseth said. “We started off well, but weren’t able to keep it up after the goal so that’s disappointing.”Before the start of the second half, Syla jogged along the sideline, testing his leg. But he didn’t come back out to start the half or come in for the rest of the game.Without Syla to move the ball down the sideline, the Orange chipped through balls down the field and constantly sent passes for Ben Polk, Chris Nanco or Noah Rhynhart. Andreas Jenssen even came in, moving Alseth over to right wing.Without Syla to dribble the ball down the field, the Orange launched through balls for the forwards to run to, occasionally leading to corner kicks.“Both teams were not really playing good soccer,” Alseth said. “A lot of long balls. Pretty much just a big fight out there.”The crowd stomped on the bleachers with every Syracuse corner kick. And when Juuso Pasanen’s shot scraped the netting the 2,237-person crowd erupted into cheers. They thought he had scored, but Pasanen’s shot hit the outside of the net.He and Alseth put their heads in their hands.For the last 65 minutes of the game, no one scored. Syracuse managed the lone shot of the two overtime periods. The Orange lacked the spark that Syla was providing early in the game and could never find the game-winning goal. Commentslast_img read more