Published on September 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse freshman Megan Hunsberger was the hero for the Orange on Sunday. She scored the game-winner with a toe-poke goal past Villanova goalkeeper Jami Kranich. And she got all the high fives and hugs once the clock finally ran out.But while Hunsberger delivered the decisive strike for SU, junior Tina Romagnuolo was the difference-maker against the Wildcats.‘We needed someone in the midfield who could hold the ball and play it out,’ Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon said. ‘Tina likes to venture forward. She’s also a very, very good ball winner. I thought her ball-winning skills were great in the midfield, and that solidified things for us.’Romagnuolo started the game as a forward for the Orange but struggled to find room to maneuver throughout the first half. But Wheddon moved her back to her usual midfield position after halftime, and the junior controlled the middle of the field for much of the second half. She also provided the lead pass that set up Hunsberger’s game-winner in the 1-0 victory.‘When I was playing up top, I felt like there wasn’t a lot of space,’ Romagnuolo said. ‘I felt like they were clustering everybody up top. But as soon as I went in the middle, there was tons and tons of room.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the first 45 minutes, chances were few and far between for the junior, who is tied for seventh on SU’s all-time goal scoring list.Her first touch came nearly eight minutes into the action when Villanova defender Alexa Carugati whiffed on a clear attempt. The ball rolled to Romagnuolo, and she sent a low shot on target, but Kranich made the save.Romagnuolo, who just returned from playing with the Canadian women’s national team for Syracuse’s game against Georgetown on Friday, struggled to hook up with her teammates throughout the rest of the first half. And SU couldn’t capitalize on the chances it produced.‘I think the first half, we just came out, and we were a little down,’ junior forward Jenna Rickan said. ‘We didn’t have as much energy as we usually do. In the second half, we kind of regrouped and came together.’And that started with Romagnuolo in the midfield. Her first touch in the second half came on the opening kickoff and she was fouled less than 15 seconds after the opening whistle.The junior continued to make plays for the Orange throughout. With more room to operate in the midfield, she created opportunities for herself and her teammates.‘She brings so many assets to our game,’ Rickan said. ‘For her to see the whole entire field, as a forward, you see her looking up all the time. It’s easier to make runs (with Romagnuolo in the midfield) because you can tell where she’s going.’And finally, Romagnuolo helped SU break through.With Hunsberger making a run down the left sideline, Romagnuolo hit her in stride from the middle of the field. Hunsberger took one touch into the box and poked the ball into the upper right corner on a tough angle to give Syracuse a 1-0 lead.‘Tina sent me the ball down,’ Hunsberger said. ‘She was coming forward and I made my run wide. I had my first touch in and just hit it in.’Romagnuolo had a great scoring chance of her own but missed a wide-open header right in front later in the half. Still, that wasn’t enough to overshadow her performance in the midfield. Wheddon said her control of the game and ball-winning abilities were a key factor in SU getting the win.‘We put Tina back in the midfield because they were playing centrally and pushing numbers through the midfield, and we were having a problem with that,’ Wheddon said. ‘We wanted someone to win the ball and play out. And Tina’s very good at that.’[email protected] Comments
The controversial no-call stems from the play in which officials missed Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman interfering with Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis in the final minutes of the meeting. Because of the blown call, the game went into overtime, where the Rams kicked a field goal to win, 26-23, and punch their ticket to Atlanta for Super Bowl 53. Related News Bengals’ receiving corps takes another hit with John Ross hamstring injury It’s been six months since the infamous no-call in the NFC championship game, but the Saints still aren’t over it.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and three officials from January’s matchup have been called for questioning under oath by a Louisiana judge after attorney Antonio LeMon filed a lawsuit over the game, The Associated Press reported Monday. Le’Veon Bell tweets ‘overdue’ apology to fantasy football owners Jerry Jones says Cowboys could win Super Bowl without rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott However, other suits over the botched call haven’t exactly been successful and a petition started by fans demanding the NFC championship game be replayed was laughable, so it’s unlikely this will go over any different.Expect the league to file appeals that could delay or cancel the questioning altogether to avoid admitting once again what has already been stated: that a human error was made. The report noted the two sides will convene in September and “pick a mutually agreeable date for depositions in New Orleans.” The suit is seeking $75,000 in damages, which will be donated to charity.