Facebook Twitter Google+ Lisa Rogers would think about her leg instead of lacrosse.She’d think about it while running. She’d think about it in between the 30-yard lines. She’d think — and then hesitate — when there was no reason to.Rogers was part of a second-line midfield that was still learning how to play together. She was fully recovered physically from an ACL injury, but still wasn’t playing her best.“I was more of a support player (last year) because it was more of a mental block than a physical block,” Rogers said.Now, a year later, Rogers is at the peak of her game. She’s not afraid to take risks and instead of thinking, she’s just playing.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRogers missed her entire freshman season due to the ACL injury and spent her sophomore year learning on the job as part of the second line with Kelly Cross and Erica Bodt. Now on the first line, Rogers will continue to play a prominent role for the No. 2 Orange (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) when it takes on Connecticut (1-2) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.After four of Syracuse’s contributing midfielders graduated, the three juniors have moved up to the first line this season.The trio was in a rut last year, Cross said. They struggled with communication on the field and Rogers’ hesitancy didn’t help. Everyone knew what they were capable of, but they weren’t performing that way.The turning point came during fall ball.Syracuse hosted a tournament and scrimmaged against other colleges. That’s when Rogers first exuded the conviction to fit into SU’s starting lineup as the midfielders started to spark the offense.“It was kind of a question of whether she would gain that confidence in the offseason,” Cross said, “but she came in in the fall and you could just tell she was ready to prove something.”Through four games, the starting middies have combined for 17 points, which is already nearly half of what they totaled last year. While Rogers only has four of those, it’s her intangibles that have opened the offense up for Cross and Bodt.Rogers said she’s at her best in between each restraining line. On rides, she slides to the ball-carrier and provides pressure. On clears, she has the ability to fly past the other team without even passing the ball.“She’s confident and the game’s slowed down for her a bit,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. “She understands what she’s doing and she’s in a good position as a starter to go out and make plays.”Against Canisius on Feb. 15, Rogers got the ball in her own end off a turnover, charged through the center of the field and raced past two Canisius defenders. To avoid losing the ball, she extended her stick out with one hand as they both tumbled to the turf unable to keep up. The crowd roared after she executed the clear all by herself and then she dumped the ball off to SU’s highly touted attack.When Syracuse trailed Virginia 4-1 on Monday, the Orange’s offense was stagnant. After Gait called timeout 15 minutes into the game, it was Rogers who scored SU’s second goal, beginning a 5-0 run to take the lead and UVA never got it back.Rogers embraces the role as a go-to player. She says that having teammates rely on her forces her to raise her level of play.She got a tally in the box score, something she doesn’t normally do, but it’s not the first new thing she’s doing this season.“She held her own, but she wasn’t back at that level that everyone kind of knew she could play at,” Cross said. “That’s why it’s really exciting this year, she’s just stepped up her game tremendously.“She’s better than ever now.” Comments Published on February 25, 2015 at 12:07 am Contact Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org | @pschweds
While the Summer Olympics officially ended over two months ago, repercussions from one game in particular in the women’s soccer competition still haven’t faded away.The game, played between the U.S. women’s national soccer team and Canada’s women’s team in the semifinal of the Olympic competition, would not be decided until stoppage time on a last-second goal by forward Alex Morgan.Earlier in the game, this ending never would have seemed possible. Canada had taken the lead three different times throughout the game, but referee Christiana Pederson made two questionable calls in the second half. The second was a disputed penalty kick given for a handball in the box that gave U.S. forward Abby Wambach a chance to tie the score at three, and both went against Canada and ultimately aided the U.S. in its comeback bid.After their semifinal matchup, the Americans would eventually go on to win the gold medal, while Canada had to settle with bronze.In a close game decided by a referee’s less-than-perfect calls, it seems reasonable that the Canadian players would be frustrated by the result, especially after leading for most of the game. After all, how many chances do you get at an Olympic gold medal?Unfortunately for Canadian forward Christine Sinclair, FIFA’s governing body decided Friday they didn’t see things quite the same way.Quotes from Sinclair in postgame press conferences expressed obvious discontent with the refereeing in the critical semifinal game and quickly went viral across the globe.“We feel like we didn’t lose, we feel like it was taken from us,” Sinclair said. “It’s a shame in a game like that, that was so important, the referee decided the result before it started.”Certainly not a scathing, personal attack on the referee by any means, Sinclair’s harsh words for the referee were enough to earn her a four-game ban from the Canadian national team and a reported $3,500 fine from FIFA’s international governing body in what FIFA called “unsporting behavior towards match officials.”The incident poured gasoline on an already intensifying debate as pressure on soccer referees has increased in recent years.Over time, as the game continued to speed up with each successive generation of players to rise through the ranks, referees have been forced to handle the growing task that is regulating a professional soccer game.Many different proposals have surfaced in response to the growing strain put on the referees to make the right call, including instant replay, goal line technology and using more referees in the game.Unfortunately, most of these proposals have remained just that – proposals – as FIFA has made it clear in the last several years they think changing the way games are officiated would destroy the “beautiful game.”While this portion of the argument is understandable – more referees and video replay would slow down a game that is famous for its fluid play – when FIFA chose to forgo most of these ideas to solve the refereeing problems (they have experimented with replay for very specific cases), they also made a decision to increase the likelihood that referees will continue to make poor calls.So when Pederson’s iffy calls didn’t go Canada’s way and ultimately cost them the game, it seems only fair that Sinclair should have the right to protest. She did, after all, single-handedly keep her team in the game.Instead, by punishing Sinclair for her comments, FIFA essentially chose to support, if not promote, mediocrity in its sport.After all, aren’t referees paid to make those calls correctly?Just look at the situation in reverse.Had Sinclair played poorly in the semifinal game, missing key goal scoring opportunities or playing bad passes, it is likely that she would have been benched or possibly even dropped from the team.FIFA’s reaction, while a sign of solidarity with its referees, completely frees the officials from any accountability for their actions. Instead of punishing the referee for her poor refereeing or at least giving her a warning, FIFA made a scapegoat out of Sinclair and didn’t deal with the actual problem.To put this disciplinary decision into perspective, you need not look further than English men’s soccer player John Terry, who received a similar four-match ban from the English Football Association a few weeks ago after he used racial slurs against an opposing player in an English Premier League match.The two players received the same punishment, yet Terry’s actions were in direct violation of FIFA’s “say no to racism” campaign, a valiant cause for a sports body with a diverse set of racial backgrounds on teams all over the world. On the other hand, Sinclair merely vocalized an opinion that most soccer fans and players would agree with: Referees should be held accountable for their mistakes.Still, the game certainly doesn’t need knee-jerk reactions and subsequent referee firings by FIFA – and there is something to be said for the drama element that human error brings to the game. But referee criticism by coaches and players needs to be allowed as a way to hold referees accountable for the problem will only intensify in the coming years.Nick is a junior majoring in journalism and political science. Do you agree with FIFA’s decision? Is refereeing becoming a problem in soccer? Send Nick an email at email@example.com or send him a tweet @npdaniels31.
MASON CITY — With this being Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state of Iowa, it’s a time that families should sit down and think about the things they should be doing if severe weather goes through the area.Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve O’Neil says people need to have an awareness to what is a safe location no matter where they are at. “You want to make sure your family knows what those locations are. At home, where’s the best place they should go. At school, at work, or if they are out in a vehicle, identifying what is a safe location. In a vehicle, there’s a lot of misnomers of where you should go, such as an underpass. That’s actually one of the worst places to be during a wind storm or a tornado. Low areas like that could flood easily.”O’Neil says if a tornado warning is issued, take shelter in the basement of your home immediately and don’t try to look for the tornado. “The best for everyone is if you have a basement, go to the basement. There’s no particular corner or anything, basically away from the walls, under something sturdy, or if underneath your stairwell is clear. Get to a good secure place in the middle.”O’Neil says if you don’t have a basement, get to the lowest level that you have. “And put as many walls as you can between you and the outside. If you have an interior bathroom, that’s a great place to go. Inside the tub offers extra protection. If you have a closet that’s internal, that’s another good place. Just even a hallway that you can shut the bedroom doors and other doors and stay in the hallway more toward the center of the house, that’s where you want to be.”If a storm causes major damage to an area, things like phone service may be interrupted for long periods of time. O’Neil says you should figure out a plan that allows all family members to keep in touch to make sure they are safe after a disastrous storm. He recommends they find a friend or family member that does not live in the area, that way each member can call in and you can do a follow-up later. “If you pick someone in the same community, the chances are they are affected too and you may not have that communication.”Today’s Severe Weather Awareness Week topic is “family preparedness”. For more about this topic and the others being covered this week, click here.