Jecko gains confidence as Syracuse prepares for Duke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Since being named Syracuse’s starting goalkeeper prior to this season, sophomore Jess Jecko has stuck to a detailed pregame ritual.She can barely keep a straight face as she goes through all the necessary steps.“I have a certain headband I have to wear on game day, and assistant coach Allan (Law) always has to give me a high five before the game,” Jecko said. “And Adrian Chambers, I have to do a certain handshake with her.”Then she paused and burst into laughter as she remembered another important part.“Oh and coffee. I need my coffee before games,” she said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJust as she needs her caffeine to stay in focus, the No. 3 Orange (10-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) needs Jecko to be at her best when it travels to Durham, N.C., for a showdown with No. 7 Duke (10-2, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) on Friday at 6 p.m. Led by redshirt sophomore goalie Lauren Blazing, the Blue Devils enter the contest with the No. 5 scoring defense in the country. They have allowed only 1.12 goals per game this season.That means that Friday’s clash may very well turn into an old-fashioned goalie duel. However, Jecko doesn’t mind. She’s ready to take the field with guns blazing.“I like the pressure of a tough game. It keeps me awake, keeps me on my toes,” Jecko said. “Every ball that’s shot at me, I’m going to do my best to save it.”For the most part, she has kept that promise during the first half of the season. The former Sauquoit Valley (N.Y.) High School star has already notched three shutouts and boasts a goals-against average of 1.69, good enough to place her at No. 15 in the nation.But more important than her acrobatics between the pipes has been her vocal leadership on the field.Senior back Laura Hahnefeldt said Jecko isn’t afraid to take charge when the time is right.“She has really stepped up and gained a lot of confidence over the summer,” Hahnefeldt said. “She’s become a really big talker that keeps us calm on the defense.”But the Clinton, N.Y., native was not always that assertive. In fact, Jecko is the first to admit that she struggled to find her voice as a freshman.“I was very nervous, didn’t really know what I was doing and just trying to adapt to this style of hockey,” she said.Head coach Ange Bradley said the low point for Jecko came this past winter when she failed a fitness test at some point in January or February.The team was scheduled to make a trip days later. It did, but Jecko was not allowed to be a part of the experience.That was when everything began to change.“It’s what she did after that failure that gives me the confidence to believe in her every day,” Bradley said. “Jess’ preparation all summer and the work she put in.”Jecko understandably worked on her strength and conditioning during those months, but she also improved in a couple of other key areas.“My leadership. And confidence is probably the biggest area that I’ve grown in up to now,” she said.Still, Jecko’s transformation isn’t complete. She said she wants to drop her goals-against average below one by the end of the season and also increase her save percentage.As for Friday, she’ll need more than a coffee buzz to shut down the Blue Devils. In her eyes, it will take a complete defensive performance from the entire team to put the first ACC road victory in the Orange record books.“Not letting them inside the circle is going to be important for us,” Jecko said. “I really think that they execute two-on-ones nicely, but organizing the defense early will hopefully shut their offense down.” Comments Published on October 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm Contact Tyler: [email protected]last_img read more

NASA invites Stephen Curry to see moon rocks

first_imgDuring a wide-ranging discussion, Curry moved the conversation from dinosaurs to space exploration, asking: “We ever been to the moon?”After his fellow NBA players replied ‘”no,” the Warriors star added: “They’re going to come get us. Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.” Related News Stephen Curry doesn’t believe humans have been to moon NASA has invited Stephen Curry to see “hundreds of pounds of moon rocks” at the Johnson Space Center in Houston after the two-time NBA MVP suggested that lunar landings were faked.Speaking on The Ringer’s ‘Winging It’ podcast, Curry questioned whether man had ever landed on the moon, and he received support from Vince Carter, Kent Bazemore and Andre Iguodala. “We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the [Houston] Rockets,” NASA spokesman Allard Beutel told the New York Times.”We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo Mission Control.”During his visit, he can see first-hand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.” Curry went on to state his case for the landings having been faked, which prompted NASA to issue a statement inviting the three-time NBA champion to see the evidence for himself.last_img read more

Ligue One: PSG targets Nantes scalp

first_img Tags: Angel Di MariaEdison CavaniFrench Ligue OneKylian MbappeMarseilleMauro IcardiNantesNeymar JrPSGTomas Tuchel PSG currently holds a two-point lead at the top of Ligue One. (PHOTO/Courtesy)PSG have seen their eight-point lead at the top of Ligue One cut to just two points in the last four days by Marseille.None of it has been their own doing as their game at home to Monaco was postponed due to heavy rains in the Principality and then Marseille played a day before them on match-day 16.With Marseille defeating Angers 2-0 on Tuesday, PSG will feel they are obligated to defeat Nantes at the Parc de Princes on Wednesday.Even before the game starts, there will be anxiety among the PSG fans as they wait to see which team manager Tomas Tuchel puts out from the start.Tuchel made a brave decision 8 days ago as he left Neymar Jr out of the starting team in the 2-2 draw away to Real Madrid.Luckily for him, it did not prove costly as PSG mounted a comeback in the second half to get a point.Tuchel is again expected to make another big decision as PSG prepare to take on Nantes.With Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and Mauro Icardi all fit, the gaffer has to decide on the two that start on the bench in order to maintain the team’s shape in midfield.The Parisians are expected to field Marquinhos, Marco Verratti and Idrisa Gueye in the center of the park leaving only three slots upfront.While Neymar, who looks short of sharpness, retain his spot on the bench or it will be Di Maria or Icardi who sits this one out? All that will be answered a few minutes to kick-off.However, PSG will be looking to win a third consecutive Ligue One game and possibly, build a bigger gap at the top.After losing 2-1 at Dijon, Tuchel’s side has defeated Brest and Lille and as a consequence, sits 8 points clear at the top of the log.They are yet to look like the ruthless side they have been for the past two years but with the sick-bay clearing by the day, it is just a matter of time.Ahead of the game on Wednesday, only Ander Herrera and Presnel Kimpembe are certain absentees. Herrera is injured while Kimpembe is suspended.For Nantes, after losing two games on the trot, they have not lost in their last two.This past weekend, they defeated Toulouse 2-1, a result that followed a 1-1 draw away to Brest.Nantes have had an average season so far and will not be angry as they start the day in 7th, just three points off top three.They have been strong defensively but the issue is that they are not scoring enough. Ahead of the game, they have scored only 14 goals in 15 games despite letting in the same number at the other end.Nantes will be without the injured duo of Marcus Coco and Fabio for the trip to PSG.Last season, this fixture produced two home wins with PSG winning the reverse fixture 3-0.The other fixture to look out for on Wednesday will be Monaco’s trip to Toulouse.Leandro Jardim’s side are coming off a postponed fixture away to PSG and they will be hoping the extra rest works in their favour as they bid to return to winning ways following a 2-1 loss at Bordeaux in their last game.Monaco will be fancying their chances in this one as Toulouse have been woeful in the last few weeks.Toulouse are currently on a four-game losing streak and taking on a resurgent Monaco side cannot be a fixture they would want to play at this moment.Last season’s reverse fixture ended 1-1 before Monaco won their home tie 3-1.Tuesday’s Results-Bordeaux 6-0 Nimes-Angers 0-2 Marseille-Brest 5-0 Strasbourg-Lyon 0-1 LilleWednesday, 04-11-2019 Fixtures-Saint Etienne vs Nice @9pm-Dijon vs Montpellier @9pm-Amiens vs Reims @9pm-Toulouse vs Monaco @9pm-Metz vs Rennes @9pm-PSG vs Toulouse @11:05pmComments last_img read more