Kelsey Richardson looks to continue late-season success against No. 1 Maryland

first_imgKelsey Richardson has struggled at times this season. A four-save performance in a loss against Boston College and a three-save effort in a defeat to Duke stand out. But since the Orange began postseason play almost a month ago, she’s been playing some of the best lacrosse of her career.“My confidence is really high right now,” Richardson said. “I’m seeing the ball well and I’m just really excited to play in the tournament.”Richardson started out the season adjusting to full games and a new defense in front of her, but has blossomed into a saving grace for SU recently, often making crucial stops late in games to preserve victories. She’ll be called on again as No. 4 seed Syracuse (16-7, 3-4 Atlantic Coast) prepares to face No. 1 seed Maryland (18-1, 5-0 Big Ten) in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.“She’s improved dramatically and has come on long way,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. “In her leadership, in her confidence, she’s just developed and become a senior goalie that’s going to lead our defense.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor her first three years at SU, Richardson split time in net with Alyssa Costantino. She only had to focus on one half and shooters didn’t have as much time to adjust to her tendencies.But this season, Richardson had to get used to full games and shooters adjusting to what she does.“As a goalie, you’re kind of at a disadvantage, anyway, because they already know where they’re going to shoot,” Richardson said. “Being able to react quick and make them second guess where they’re going to shoot is just a great thing.”In the past six games, she has saved 47.7 percent of shots she’s faced, which would be good enough for 11th in the country for the year. In the quarterfinals against Loyola (Maryland) on Saturday, Richardson stopped Greyhounds midfielder Sydney Thomas’ point-blank shot attempt with less than six minutes remaining that would have tied the game. Against UNC in the ACC championship game, Richardson made a save with two seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.“She does a lot better under pressure,” draw specialist Kailah Kempney said. “She’s our last resort, the only person we’d want there, and she really comes up with some huge plays for us.”Against Pennsylvania in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Richardson rebounded from a poor first half where she only made one save to make six in the second half.For Gait, the difference this year and the end of this season is the amount of time Richardson spends practicing and watching film. For Richardson, it comes down to communication with her teammates and even the smallest details, including her eye black that resembles fives on her cheeks — blue this year at the suggestion of Gait — and reduces glare, she said, helping her see the ball better.Despite her ability to perform in SU’s biggest games, Richardson is still working toward the goal of playing her best for an entire game, Gait said. The Orange’s game on Friday against Maryland, a team she posted a career-high 16 saves against in March, could be her last chance.“Hopefully you’ll see her dialed in,” Gait said. “She doesn’t want to go home. She’s a senior. She wants to play again, move on to the next round.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 20, 2015 at 12:38 am Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuslast_img read more

Hoornstra: Baseball Hall of Fame adding two more DHs, but it isn’t that easy

first_imgMichel compared DH-ing to pitching by its nature.“A starting pitcher only gets to throw once every five days,” he said. “If you’re a starting pitcher, you have a poor outing, you have to wait five days? That’s an eternity. That’s a lot of time to be optioned, time for the media to write stories before your next start. It can be brutal. If you’re a reliever, expected to get one or two hitters out, who knows when you’re going to get your next opportunity?”At least pitchers are developed as pitchers in the minor leagues. They get practice filling in the down time between their appearances in a smaller setting, where the stakes are relatively low. The same goes for players at every position – catchers, infielders, outfielders. Once they’re drafted, teams have a reasonable idea of what to expect because scouts have already identified their strengths and weaknesses at that position. A robust player development department can address those weaknesses and help a prospect climb the minor-league ladder.The role you play upon making your big league debut is a role you’ve rehearsed for years – unless you’re a designated hitter.“Nobody’s drafting a DH,” Michel said.“You’re never going to get an organization to do this because you’re minimizing value,” he said, “but it’s probably in the best interest of the organization to develop DHs. All the time that would be spent fielding … it would be such a risk because there’s so much value defensively. If I went to somebody in the organization and brought up that thought, I’d probably get laughed at – and rightly so, because we’re trying to maximize value.”A designated hitter must hone his routine in the best league in the world, having already honed a different routine just to get there. Baines was primarily a right fielder until he turned 28. Thomas was primarily a first baseman until age 30. Albert Pujols made 12 starts as a DH during his time with the St. Louis Cardinals; as an Angel, he’s made 535 starts at DH since he turned 32.“There’s no written way on how to DH,” said Shaun Larkin, the Dodgers’ coordinator of skill development. “Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines, it took them a long time to get to their process: what they go through physical prep-wise to get to their at-bat. And how Edgar Martinez did it is going to be different from how guys today do it. It’s a skill you work on by trial and error, finding your own individual process. Finding that right routine in a new position – really, a new role – is something guys need to work through. The gravity is heavier than people think.”Perhaps if the National League adopts the designated hitter rule too, it will spur more innovation for drafting or at least developing players to fit the position. It’s a fairly uncharted frontier. On a weekend when Cooperstown will triple its DH membership, there are still few role models for what an elite DH looks like. “I don’t know if a lot of people think about that, but it does take a lot of work,” Martinez said. “As a DH, something that can affect the performance is that you have so much more time to think when you’re not doing well. That really makes it even worse. It really hurts the performance. When things are going bad, you just have to find a way to change your mentality and stay positive. You have to work on hitting even more to make sure that you’re consistent.”Martinez devoted an entire chapter of his autobiography (“Edgar,” co-authored with Larry Stone, was released in June) to the mental side of baseball. He became obsessed with it after he committed four errors at third base in a game against the Orioles in 1990. He visited the self-help section of a bookstore. He practiced visualization techniques. He recited mantras. “I learned how to harness the power of the mind and put it to work for you in a positive way,” Martinez writes, “rather than letting negativity and doubt fester and bring you down.”Martinez had already undergone the intense mental preparation he needed to thrive as a DH before it became his primary position. When injuries to both knees had sabotaged his mobility in the field, in 1995, Martinez transitioned off third base. He had been a defensive dynamo in the minor leagues, but at age 32 he became a full-time hitter. Martinez amassed 46 of his 68 career Wins Above Replacement after that.The stories of Martinez, Baines, Thomas and Ortiz are instructive for explaining how a DH succeeds. They cannot tell us why so many fail, why being merely an “average” DH guarantees you won’t last long in the major leagues. To get a better sense for the everyday struggle of the position, I asked a pair of experts in sports psychology.“It’s definitely like a double-edged sword,” said Dr. Jesse Michel, the Houston Astros’ mental skills coordinator. “When you’re going well, it’s great. You just can’t wait for your next at-bat. If you’re a DH and that’s the only way you can contribute to your team, if it’s not going well it’s anguish. It’s just a mental grind. That’s the only way you can contribute. And if you’re not living up to your expectations, if you have a rough couple games, it’s like everyone’s looking at me and the one thing I’m being expected to do, I’m not producing.” From the time the American League first allowed designated hitters in 1973, another 41 years passed before the first DH was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Frank Thomas will finally get some company this weekend when Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines join him in Cooperstown, New York.Three Hall of Famers in 46 years is a powerful testament to the challenge of DH-ing. Here’s another: Only 20 men have batted 1,000 times in their career with more than half coming as a DH. Shohei Ohtani might join the club sometime next year. Play two full seasons as a DH, retire, and you’ve done something only 20 major leaguers have done. Only four have done it at a Hall of Fame level; David Ortiz can begin writing his induction speech for the summer of 2022.“Obviously it’s a position,” Martinez said via telephone on the day he learned of his Hall of Fame induction in January. “The DH can help the team like any other position.”Yet even closers have historically enjoyed longer shelf lives than designated hitters. If DH-ing is as simple as it seems, why haven’t more players made a career of it?center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Vietjet announces Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta route launch

first_imgVietjet announces Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta route launchVietjet announces Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta route launchVietjet today announced the launch of a new international route connecting Ho Chi Minh City with the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. The announcement ceremony was witnessed by high-ranking dignitaries from Vietnam and Indonesia on the official visit of His Excellency Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam to Indonesia. The new route will meet the increasing demand for travels between the two countries and boost regional trading and integration.The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)-Jakarta route, a three-hour journey, will operate daily from December 20, 2017. The HCMC-Jakarta flight departs from HCMC at 20:40 and arrives in Jakarta at 23:40 (local time). The return flight takes off at 01:40 (local time) and lands in HCMC at 04:40.Mr. Dinh Viet Phuong, Vietjet’s Vice President, said: “Since its inception, Vietjet has been developing friendly and professional flight services in operating key international routes, helping connect Vietnam’s main business and tourism hubs with foreign destinations, including Jakarta. With its mission of making air travel approachable and possible for everyone and building a future in the air, Vietjet’s new route from HCMC to Jakarta will boost ties between these two economic, cultural and financial hubs, thus helping to boost regional trading and integration.”Jakarta is famous for its own distinctive multicultural style, amazing cuisine and colorful tourism attractions. It also serves as a gateway to the country, which offers the world “Consistency in Diversity”. The Indonesian archipelago boasts UNESCO-listed world heritages such as Borobudur and Prambanan, Komodo National Park, Ujung Kulon National Park and Sumatra rainforest and, of course, breathtaking ‘paradise’ islands, such as Bali, one of the world’s most incredible beach destinations.In turn, Ho Chi Minh City will be the country’s doors to Indonesian visitors travelling in Vietnam, which also boasts UNESCO-listed world heritages and incredible beaches. The capital city of Hanoi is an incredible historic city with a rich culture and unique atmosphere. Other cities and destinations include the former imperial capital, Hue, a wonderful, romantic destination, the city of Da Nang, where there are stunning beaches and the wonderland of Quang Binh province, home to the largest caves in the world. As the country’s largest economic, financial and modern tourism hub, Ho Chi Minh City is a destination in its own right, one that visitors will find is as sweet and charming as it is dynamic and entertaining.With its high-quality services, special low-fare tickets and diverse ticket classes, Vietjet offers its passengers enjoyable flights with a dynamic and friendly flight crew, comfy seats, delicious hot meals, special surprises as part of the inflight activities and amazing ticket fares during the daily “12 pm, It’s time to Vietjet” promotion.About Vietjet:Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline with low-cost and diversified services to meet customers’ demands. It provides not only transport services but also uses the latest e-commerce technologies to offer various products and services for consumers. Vietjet is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. The airline was also named as one of the Top 500 Brands in Asia 2016 by global marketing research company Nielsen, the “Best Asian Low Cost Carrier” at the TTG Travel Awards 2015, which compiles votes from travelers, travel agencies and tour operators in throughout Asia and Asia’s Best Employer Brand by the Employer Branding Institute and World HRD Congress for many years. The airline was also rated as one of the top three fastest growing airline brands on Facebook in the world by Socialbakers.Currently, the airline boasts a fleet of 45 aircraft, including A320s and A321s, and operates 350 flights each day. It has already opened 73 routes in Vietnam and across the region to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia. It has carried nearly 40 million passengers to date.Looking ahead, the airline plans to expand its network across the Asia Pacific region. To prepare for this plan, Vietjet has signed agreements with the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers to purchase more brand-new and modern aircraft.Like Vietjet on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/VietjetHongKong, follow us on Twitter, @Vietjetvietnam, and watch our videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/Vietjetvietnam.Source = Vietjetlast_img read more