Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 11, 2015 at 8:46 pm Contact Matt: firstname.lastname@example.org Melissa Piacentini stands a few steps in front of the double doors that lead into the Syracuse locker room. She turns, thoughtfully, and points to the set of benches to her left just over her shoulder.“I still remember,” she said. “It was this bench right over here against Lindenwood.”Syracuse’s all-time leading scorer is talking about the only time she was ever benched.Piacentini wasn’t playing up to her abilities, and Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan pulled her out and didn’t put her back in. It happened right before Christmas break during her freshman year. Piacentini had a month to mull things over.“It made me sit back and think about my mistakes and think about how I had been performing back then,” Piacentini said. “It really made me mentally focused and come back ready to be stronger.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPiacentini called it the “best coaching decision” Flanagan had ever made for her. The move came at the perfect time and she was forced to view things through a different lens. Four years later, one of the most decorated players in Syracuse ice hockey history is gearing up for her final ride. Last season, Syracuse lost in the College Hockey America conference finals. With one last chance, Piacentini is hoping to take care of last season’s unfinished business. “Honestly I can’t say enough good things about her,” Flanagan said. “I’m already dreading losing a player like her to graduation.”Despite standing just 5-foot-2 on the ice, Piacentini can’t be missed. She’s a scrappy, physical player, and has already notched three goals and an assist in two games this season. Goalkeeper Jenn Gilligan played her first season at Syracuse in 2014 after transferring from New Hampshire. She went head-to-head against Piacentini twice, and remembers the shifty, speedy player with a nose for the puck.“Every single time there was a loose puck in front of the net, I just remember her being right there,” she said.In the third period of Syracuse’s season opener against Clarkson on Oct. 6, Piacentini corralled a loose puck off a deflection on the left side of the net and wrapped around to the right side, flicking the puck into the goal.She’s made a living of using her small size to dig out pucks around the net in her time at Syracuse.Gilligan joked that even during practice, Piacentini gets in her grill, acting as a “pot stirrer” in front of the net. After experiencing it from both sides, Gilligan is content just watching. “Every single time I’m in the net against Tini, I just shake my head because I’m like, ‘Thank goodness I don’t have deal with this again against her,’” Gilligan said. Yet for all the fire Piacentini brings to the ice, she also brings to it a sense of calm. In her four years, Flanagan said that Piacentini’s greatest development has been in the cerebral part of her game.From the moment she walked onto the ice as a freshman, Flanagan said, her fundamentals have always been ahead of the curve. Her progression has been a matter of polishing the little things and refining the mental parts of her game. “I think I’ve grown as a person,” Piacentini said. “Just being in the locker room they kind of instill those different life lessons in you and the mental toughness aspect of it all. I think over the years, I’ve just grown to become more mentally strong in terms of staying focused.”As a freshman, Piacentini found herself looking on from afar with four weeks to think things through. Now, she’s better adept at reading and handling situations and recognizing her own mistakes. “Her hockey knowledge just seems to calm everybody down on the team,” Gilligan said. “When she’s out there, we don’t panic as much as maybe we necessarily should.”Against Clarkson, Piacentini skated out for her final home opener. But the emotions were kept in check, and the focus was solely on winning the first CHA conference title and proving Syracuse could compete against anyone. And this time, Piacentini wasn’t on the bench. “I think Tini’s just going to do Tini,” Gilligan said. “…She’s just going to go after it and get done what she needs to get done and I think everybody else will follow after that.” Comments
Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 20, 2019 at 8:05 pm Contact Anthony: email@example.com Isaiah Stewart, a 6-foot-9 center and five-star recruit, announced his verbal commitment to Washington Sunday night. He chose the Huskies over Syracuse, Duke, Michigan State, and Kentucky. A Rochester native and current player at La Lumiere (Indiana) High School, Stewart is ranked No. 5 on ESPN’s top-100 for 2019, and No. 6 by Rivals and 247Sports. He is a member of Albany City Rocks AAU, and played alongside current SU forward Buddy Boeheim and 2019 commit Joe Girard III. However, Stewart also has a close relationship with Washington head coach and former SU assistant Mike Hopkins. Hopkins first recruited Stewart when Stewart played in Rochester, at McQuaid High School. He developed a close personal relationship with Stewart’s family, even though NCAA recruiting regulations restricted Hopkins from speaking directly with Stewart until his junior year.Some even joked that Hopkins had his own parking spot outside of the McQuaid gymnasium, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamara became the main recruiter after Hopkins’ departure. “Stewart is special because he owns a post-up game, along with a sweet, short, face-up game,” Paul Biancardi, ESPN’s National Recruiting Director, said. “A strong center who embraces playing big inside the paint and thrives at out-running his opponents.”SU may have missed on Stewart, but the Orange are actively recruiting another center. Qudus Wahab, a 6-10 big from Oakton, Virginia, plans to announce his college decision on Jan. 30. The Orange’s 2019 class has four signed players thus far, including Brycen Goodine, Girard III, Quincy Guerrier and John Bol Ajak.
Data is driving the formation of the newest Anchorage Bowl Land Use Plan Map. (Photo by Josh Edge/APRN)The Municipality of Anchorage is well on its way to producing an updated land use plan for the Anchorage Bowl.Download AudioThe map currently in use has not been updated since 1982.The most-recent projections – which have been adjusted since the price of oil has declined – anticipate Anchorage’s population will grow between 15,000 and 45,000 people within the next 25 years.That means city planners need to figure out how Anchorage can change to accommodate the growth.The municipality this week hosted two open houses, inviting the public to examine more than a dozen maps outlining everything from public transportation routes to zoning districts.Jody Seitz, an associate planner for the municipality, is examining a color-coded map of Anchorage outlining exactly which parcels of land can be used and how restricted development is for each parcel.“Each one of these purple places is a place that is not constrained by wetlands, seismic, topography, it’s the net-buildable land in Anchorage,” she said. “And you can see really quickly there’s really not much.”The purple blocks of land Seitz is referring to are scattered around the map, but the parcels are small – very small.Due in part to the city’s position between the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet, as well as a variety of state, military and federal lands, the municipality is limited in how far it can expand outwards.Seitz says this leaves planners with some questions to answer:“The question is, where do you put housing? How do you build the type of housing that is gonna use what we have efficiently?” she said. “And then how do you preserve the land for industry and commerce so that the people can have jobs?”Housing and jobs are not the only questions in need of answers. Seitz says as Anchorage’s population grows, other community aspects, like schools, grocery stores and retail outlets, must be taken into account as well.These are all issues municipal planners are trying to address with the updated Anchorage Bowl Land Use Plan Map. The plan lays the groundwork for what types of buildings can be built where, how dense development can be, and it will shape the aesthetic feel of neighborhoods and Anchorage as a whole.Seitz says future developers will likely be working with existing land in need of revitalization.“So that means that where buildings are deteriorated and really probably should come down, maybe they could be redeveloped,” she said. “Maybe where there’s vacant land, there could possibly be an in-fill project.”“Then the question is, ‘How do you make that attractive, accessible and work with the whole area, so that you’re not just imposing something that’s completely out of character for the neighborhood?’”The land around Anchorage is an intricate combination of housing, commercial and industrial areas mixed with space for schools, parks and numerous other things important to the community at large – including the preservation of the city’s green space.The maps are not finalized, yet. Seitz says the feedback from the open house events – and other public comments – will be taken into account:“We’re pulling together everything we can know about land use in Anchorage and making the best recommendations that we can in working with the community to really fine-tune those and determine, ‘what does the community really wanna see here?” Seitz said.In addition to public comments, data ranging from the city’s wetlands designations and seismic characteristics, to population density and airport noise are all taken into account.Public discussion on this version of the map ends April 29th. After that, the map will be adjusted based on public comments, then put forward to the planning and zoning commission for a public hearing. Then, later on, to the full Anchorage Assembly.