New York College Hoops Blues:

New York College Hoops Blues:

Siena, UAlbany to Miss Out on NCAA Tournament Yet Again, Syracuse on Bubble
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It has been a rough week for two of upstate New York’s finest college basketball programs. The Siena Saints men, coming off a very disappointing 8-24 regular season finish, hoped to wipe the slate clean and start fresh in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (the MAAC) tournament. If head coach Jimmy Patsos and company were to win out, they would automatically punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. The Siena Saints women’s team won more games than the guys, and they too sought out a conference championship and NCAA tournament win.

Things just didn’t work out the way they wanted, however. The Saints men’s and women’s teams were handed first round exits by Quinnipiac and Marist, respectively. With Siena out of the picture, could the University of Albany men’s and women’s basketball team flip the script and make it out on top?

The Great Danes men’s team, led by head coach Will Brown, came up short at home against Stony Brook. Another decent season, nonetheless, but will most likely compete for an NIT or other postseason tournament instead of the ultimate NCAA men’s basketball tourney. The women couldn’t close the deal on the regular season and lost out on the America East Conference title.

The last real hope for New York sports fans is the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team. Last night, in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference(ACC) tournament, Jim Boeheim’s squad took care of business against Wake Forest, 73-64. The Orange needed a win over six-seeded North Carolina to stir up more conversation on getting into the Big Dance. The Tar Heels were prepared, though, and knocked of Syracuse to advance to the next round.

A rough season for all three upstate New York college basketball teams, no doubt about it. However, there is hope for the future. Siena has a lot of young players who can take their experience from this season and improve upon it. Syracuse still has a Hall of Fame coach in Boeheim leading the charge, and he’ll continue to mold these young men into leaders and competitors in a tough conference. Plus, the fanbases for all these programs are loyal and will continue to support them, win or lose. That’s sportsmanship at its finest.

Cover Image Credit: dailygazette.com

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.
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When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.

Sincerely,

The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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As A Soccer Fan, I'm Still Salty  The United States Didn't Qualify​ For The World Cup

There's nothing I love more than watching the U.S. men's national team play.

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Some of my all-time favorite soccer players play for the United States National Soccer Team whether it's newbie, Christian Pulisic scoring on the field or legends Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard or even any of the women's players like Alex Morgan.

However, watching the World Cup will still be exciting so here are my top picks for the winners of this year's world cup in Russia even though I'd rather be watching my favorite team with national pride.

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United States Soccer Federation / Instagram

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