Published on September 26, 2017 at 9:49 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+ Whenever Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley is asked about Carolin Hoffmann, Syracuse’s second-leading goal scorer, Bradley’s response usually has little to do with her offensive prowess.“Her ability to defend as a forward is really good,” Bradley said when asked why she recruited Hoffmann. No. 7 Syracuse (8-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) has not only benefitted from the freshman’s five goals but her ability to set the line of pressure for a defense which has allowed just five goals in 10 games.Most often against its opposition, SU controls possession and works its way into the attacking third before the other team can retake control. When the Orange’s opponents win the ball back and look to move up the field, they must first bypass the Orange’s forwards, specifically Hoffmann.Her work establishes the tone for the rest of the line. With her stick held in an outstretched right arm, Hoffmann sprints back and forth as the opposition’s backs swing the ball across the field. If there’s a misplaced touch, Hoffmann quickly goes from moving laterally to choppy steps directly on the ball.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“She fits really well into our system,” Bradley said. “The way that we like to run an offense as well as a defense.”Back in Germany, Hoffmann played for HTC Uhlenhorst Mulheim, a highly successful club team. While Hoffmann was with the team, it was promoted to Germany’s top league. Bradley pointed out how impressive it was for a high schooler to be playing with Olympians, but Hoffmann remembered it also meant she didn’t always stand out.“My old coaches always said that my defense is like my biggest weakness,” Hoffmann said.That contrasts why Bradley recruited Hoffmann in the first place. The freshman credited practicing over the summer once she arrived in Syracuse as the reason behind her defensive improvement, also because Bradley emphasizes on-ball pressure when the other team control possession. Hoffmann also said she saw improvement because of the players around her.“It’s not only the forwards, it’s also the midfielders, who structure us and tell us how we have to stand,” Hoffmann said.That communication comes from Syracuse’s defensive third. Goalkeeper Borg van der Velde relays instructions to the the backs who advise the midfielders. As a forward, Hoffmann needs a lot of pieces behind her to click before fully understanding the defensive assignments.And, so far this season, they have. Both of Syracuse’s losses have come in overtime, which forces teams to drop normal lineups of 11 players down to seven each. When playing in regulation, the Orange has succeeded mostly by keeping the ball pinned in the opponent’s end of the field. And the team’s second-leading scorer has keyed up that pressure.Following Syracuse’s 5-0 dismantling of Bucknell on Sept. 2, Hoffmann was asked about what led to the success on that day. She pointed to the defense, even though she scored a goal. And when asked Sept. 20 about her defending, Hoffmann concluded her answer with a favorite line: “Defense wins championships.”“Honestly, I don’t really think about like ‘I have to do this, I have to do this,’” Hoffmann said. “I’m just playing.” Comments
Black Stars head coach C.K Akonnor wants greater synergy between all local coaches if the goal of having one philosophy for Ghana’s national teams will be achieved.He believes a system can and should be created for this purpose.“We need to understand that we need to have a set up that each and every team will follow.“If for instance we are playing a certain formation the junior teams will emulate the same blueprint.“This will ensure that the journey to the top will not be difficult.“Before I got into the national team I was playing for the U – 20 when Otto Pfister saw me and asked for me to be brought into the senior team the following week.“This was because there were similarities between the styles of play of the two teams,” he stated.Since his appointment he has pledged to play the eye catching football that Ghanaians crave but has also cautioned that results will be his main end goal.