Staats looks to bounce back from 1-point game as Syracuse takes on Hobart

first_imgJust four days after what some called his breakthrough game, Randy Staats’ next act was a disappearing one.Staats’ nine-point show at Cornell led Syracuse to an upset on April 8, but also warned North Carolina who it had to target on the SU attack.“I think they just noticed that he’s a threat to score, he’s a threat to feed and they didn’t want the ball in his stick very long,” SU head coach John Desko said.Although the Tar Heels clamped down on Staats — who was coming off the best individual performance Syracuse had seen thus far this year — and held him to a season-low one point all game, the Orange offense was able to overcome his ineffectiveness and still prevail. The junior college transfer hopes to bounce back when No. 4 Syracuse (8-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) battles Hobart (4-7, 3-2 Northeast) at Boswell Field in Geneva, N.Y., on Saturday at 3 p.m.“This was the first game I couldn’t really move or do too much and (the defender) was all over me,” Staats said. “That’s a challenge I like to accept. I failed, I think.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUp until the matchup with UNC, SU’s third-leading scorer had logged at least two points in each of the eight games he played.But no game matched his outing in Ithaca, N.Y., and no goal matched his third one of the night.Early in the fourth quarter, Cornell’s Tom Freshour picked off Syracuse attack Kevin Rice’s pass to Staats from behind the cage. Quickly, Staats dislodged both the stick and the ball from Freshour’s grasp and scooped up the loose ball.Staats spun through a converging defender and ducked away from another, elevating his stick with one hand and pulling it back down to protect the ball, before stepping twice to the side and ripping a shot inside the left pipe for a score.“I just shrugged my shoulders and started laughing on the sideline when I saw that,” faceoff specialist Chris Daddio said. “That’s just the kind of plays that he makes. It’s fun watching him.”It highlighted Staats’ takeover of the game and reaffirmed his ability to score with creativity inside the box, a flair he had boasted in spurts previously.But when the Tar Heels visited the Carrier Dome, their defense gave Staats more attention than an opponent had given him all year. Only one turnover hung over Staats’ head in the box score, but it was a tougher struggle for the SU attack than the stat line indicates.Junior Jake Bailey often drew him one-on-one, and the physical 6-foot-5 defender had help coming each time Staats got a touch. UNC didn’t slide off Staats and double-teamed him quickly — and sometimes threw a third player Staats’ way.“I’ve got to do a better job of trying to shake them off of me,” Staats said. “I think I’ve got to work a little harder myself to get the ball. It’s on me more than anybody else.”More than once, Staats ended up on the Carrier Dome turf after another unfruitful possession. Even when he was matched with a short-stick midfielder, he couldn’t capitalize.But when Syracuse needed a goal most, Staats made the right move with the ball.“I think it shows that he’s an unselfish player, that he was willing to give up the ball and let the other guys do the work,” Rice said.In the second overtime, he dodged from behind the cage to the left doorstep. When a Tar Heel came down to double-team him at the goal line, Staats fed an open Billy Ward at the left wing.And when Ward’s shot made ripples in the back of the net, Staats was the first to rush the game-winning goal scorer, whose goal negated Staats’ scoreless outing.But if Staats is paired with a bigger shadow come postseason time, he now knows what it’ll take to get the job done.Said Staats: “I tried to get open and I wasn’t finding open areas like I was against Cornell. I think I’ve got to work a little harder and be a little smarter with the ball and try to regroup and focus up again.” Comments Published on April 17, 2014 at 2:00 am Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Swiss escalate probe into attorney general’s FIFA contacts

first_img0Shares0000Switzerland’s attorney general Michael Lauber during the press conference on Friday © AFP / STEFAN WERMUTHGeneva, Switzerland, May 10 – A Swiss oversight body said Friday that it had opened a “disciplinary investigation” targeting the attorney general over his meetings with FIFA’s president, while Bern is probing corruption in world football.Switzerland’s top prosecutor Michael Lauber, who is in charge of the FIFA probe, has come under fire over a series of reportedly undisclosed contacts with FIFA president Gianni Infantino, also a Swiss national. Two Lauber-Infantino meetings were brought to light last year by “Football Leaks”, a cross-border investigation by several European news organisations.The body that oversees Lauber’s office, known as the AS-MPC, said last month that those two 2016 contacts, held shortly after Infantino took charge of FIFA from the disgraced Sepp Blatter, were “not problematic.”But Swiss media have reported a third meeting, which the AS-MPC said last month merited a “preliminary inquiry.”In a statement on Friday, the AS-MPC announced an escalation of the probe, saying it had decided to start a “disciplinary investigation concerning the attorney general of the confederation, Michael Lauber.”The aim is to shed light on “possible violations of (Lauber’s) professional duties … in the context of the complex FIFA process.”– Not resigning –After the disciplinary probe was announced, Lauber held a press conference to state that he had no intention of standing down and hoped to be reappointed for a new term, which would run from 2020 to 2023. Parliament is due to decide on his renomination next month. There was “no reason to withdraw my candidacy,” Lauber said, lamenting the “institution crisis” triggered by the new probe. The investigation “creates the impression that I did not tell the truth,” he said. According to the oversight body, Lauber had denied the existence of any additional FIFA contacts beyond the two meetings that were initially reported. Lauber had conceded that he “probably” made “mistakes” amid the FIFA affair, but did not elaborate on any specific transgressions and criticised more than a month of media coverage of the now notorious third FIFA meeting. Lauber and his office have publicly defended the contacts with Infantino, arguing they were logitically necessary to the sprawling inquiry into world fooball’s governing body. Switzerland has pursued a number of cases since a raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich in May 2015 led to the arrests of a several FIFA executives and exposed the corrupt underbelly of world football.In addition to Blatter, the high-profile targets of Swiss investigators include FIFA’s former secretary general Jerome Valcke and Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the powerful Qatari national and media executive who is the president of French giants Paris Saint-Germain. The meetings between Lauber and Infantino were set up by Rinaldo Arnold, a prosector in the southern Swiss canton of Valais and a childhood friend of the FIFA president. Football Leaks also reported that Arnold received gifts, including match tickets, from Infantino.A Swiss magistrate who investigated those gifts has cleared Arnold of wrongdoing after ruling that the gifts were not aimed at influencing his work.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more