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Syracuse gears up for showdown against Connecticut with Big East regular-season title on line

first_imgSyracuse and Connecticut have a combined 31 wins and two losses this season. The Orange is ranked No. 3 and the Huskies come in at No. 4.At 1 p.m. Saturday, the Orange (15-1) will play its final regular season game against Big East rival UConn (16-1) at J.S. Coyne Stadium.With Syracuse’s move to the Atlantic Coast Conference next year, it will be the last time the two schools will play for the Big East regular-season championship.“We’re trying to take it as another game, but it’s also important to us to go out with a win,” Kelsey Millman said.Last year the team lost to UConn in a double-overtime regular-season game, then came back a few weeks later and defeated the Huskies in the Big East championship. There’s a long history between the two teams, but going out of the conference with a win would be special.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange has a plan in place to make sure it starts the game aggressively and finishes strong. The team realizes the matchup is just step one in achieving a bigger goal on the road to a national championship.“It’s a huge game, especially for the seniors, it could be their last game at Coyne and we have our 35-game winning streak at home, so we definitely don’t want to see that come to an end,” Gillian Pinder said. “It’s always a rivalry in the Big East between us and UConn, so everyone will be so pumped to win that game.”This season, UConn has kept all but one opponent under two goals, but with the high-scoring offensive attack of the Huskies, that will prove to be a daunting task.“We’ve obviously been scoring more than two goals a game, so I suppose we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing on offense and we’ll hopefully put away some goals,” Pinder said. “If we can get more then that would be fantastic because they will have to come out and play out of their skin to get goals past us.”Pinder, who is currently Big East Player of the Week, had a breakout game against Boston College with two goals and two assists. She and the entire team will look to keep that momentum going into Saturday’s game.Head coach Ange Bradley agrees that it will be a combination of their fast-paced offense and multiple scoring options that will allow them to remain competitive throughout the game.“We have speed,” Bradley said. “Connecticut is going to have to defend against our speed and we’re going to have to attack against their strong defense, so that’s what makes it a great matchup and that’s why we’re two top teams in the country.”This game is going to have a playoff feel to it and Bradley plans to use that to the team’s advantage, getting them prepared for the Big East championship.“This is such a good week of preparation, regardless of result, to have the opportunity to play a top team in the country your last week, get a break and meet whoever’s first in the Big East, that’s really important,” Bradley said.The team will have almost a full week to get ready for the Big East tournament, which begins Nov. 2.The UConn game, though, is taking place on senior day, so winning would have special meaning to the Orange.“We definitely want to win all the time,” Bradley said. “To be able to have the opportunity to play for a conference championship on our home field to honor this senior class on their last home game would just be an amazing outcome for us to have.” Comments Published on October 25, 2012 at 2:55 am Contact Jasmine: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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