Goalies Constantino, Richardson thrive while splitting time

first_img Published on February 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm Contact Tyler: [email protected] Through the first three games of the 2014 season, No. 2 Syracuse (3-0) has put up eye-popping offensive numbers.Paced by the duo of attacks Alyssa Murray and Kayla Treanor, the Orange has hounded opponents for 64 goals, marking its most explosive start since head coach Gary Gait took over prior to 2008.So it might be easy to overlook the tag team in net that has anchored SU at the other end. Not that they really mind, though.“We don’t really pay attention to that,” senior goalkeeper Alyssa Costantino said. “We just like to go out there and do our best every game and work with the defense.”So far, so good for Costantino and junior Kelsey Richardson. Each has given the Orange three solid halves between the pipes, allowing only 13 goals through 180 total minutes of play. During Sunday’s 18-6 win over Canisius, Richardson helped SU jump to a commanding 13-2 lead at the break before Costantino maintained the advantage during the second frame. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow, the two want to use that momentum to spark their teammates on defense as conference play looms in the coming days.“I think our defensive unit as a whole unit is getting overlooked because we lost the Blocks (sisters Linley and Becca) last year,” Richardson said. “I think we’re going to come back strong and surprise a lot of teams.”But the goalies’ effect on the Orange should come as no surprise.Costantino and Richardson have been splitting time in net since 2012 when the latter joined Syracuse as a promising freshman. Gait knew both of them would play important roles on the team, but he first needed to make sure they were all on the same page.“We sat down and talked about how you two need to feed off each other, you need to help each other,” Gait said. “You’ve gotta compete and help, and they’ve bought into it from the beginning and done a great job.”The results were instantly positive.Costantino was named to the All-Big East Second Team that season after leading the conference with a .492 save percentage and an 8.37 goals-against average. Meanwhile, Richardson appeared in 17 games and posted a nearly identical save percentage.She said that without Costantino’s guidance, things would have been different.“When I came in as a freshman, she helped me with just learning the ropes and being comfortable in college lacrosse,” Richardson said. “I’ve gotten to know her over these past three years, and we’ve grown a lot together.”Costantino called their relationship a “friendly competition,” but she also emphasized how close they are as friends. There has never been any sort of hostility between them on the field during the past two seasons.“We’re there for each other, rooting each other on every time,” Costantino said. “We almost help each other get better every game and practice. We’ve always got each other’s back.”So with no threat of a controversy at the cage, the two are completely focused on the rest of 2014. Both are excited to be a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference and play some of the best teams in the country.Especially Costantino, who now has only one more chance to achieve her goal from freshman year.“I really want to put everything I’ve got, everything on the line for the national championship,” she said.Armed with two motivated keepers, Gait knows his team has a huge defensive advantage. No matter what others see and perceive, he views their play as a focal point on a team with huge aspirations.“I’ve coached a lot and always haven’t had two goalies,” Gait said. “I like it. I think it’s a great luxury for our team.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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