Facebook Twitter Google+ In the past 13 games, forward Elly Buckley has been unstoppable for No. 4 Virginia.No matter which team has lined up on the opposite sideline, she has had her way offensively. The senior from Australia already has 17 goals and 40 points, both of which lead the country.In fact, she has singlehandedly outscored the Cavaliers’ opponents by four goals prior to this weekend.But as No. 5 Syracuse (8-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) prepares to face Buckley and the rest of the No. 4 Cavaliers (12-1, 1-1) on Saturday at J.S. Coyne Stadium at 1 p.m., the team is confident that strength in numbers can trump the explosiveness of one individual.The Orange also faces Monmouth (3-6) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Coyne.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When another team looks to play us, they don’t have just one player that they need to shut down,” sophomore Emma Russell said. “They have like four, five, six … everyone on the field basically.”Lauren Brooks leads the team with seven goals, but Russell, Leonie Geyer and Alyssa Manley are right behind her at six tallies each.Junior Jordan Page said that scoring goals and winning games is much easier with many players that can execute on offense.“When you look at a scouting report for us, you never know who could score on any given day,” Page said. “It definitely helps. It makes a balanced attack and it makes it hard for an opposing team to pick out one person to really watch for.”In no conference is that ability to execute more important than the ACC. As Syracuse found out on Sept. 20, sometimes it’s possible to dominate an opponent and still lose big.“There’s so many intangibles,” head coach Ange Bradley said, “like North Carolina outshot Duke 35 to something like 11 and they lost the game. Us outshooting (Boston College) a lot to a little and we lost the game. There’s just so much that goes into it.”Bradley said that being in the ACC teaches players that no game can be taken lightly. For the Orange, that includes its nonconference tilt with Monmouth.“It’s all the learning curve of going into this league that you’re always on the line,” she said. “You have a job to do one day at a time. First is Virginia and when we finish with Virginia, we’ll get ready for Monmouth.”Thus, the current focus still lies on the Cavaliers.Page said full effort is required on defense to shut down Buckley’s attack and take her out of the game.If the Orange can do that, it can win a statement game in front of the home crowd and send a message to the rest of the conference.“We’ve always been a top five program in the country,” Page said. “But coming into the ACC after a loss to Boston College, I’m sure teams are underestimating our ability to play there. It would be a huge win.”It would also prove that against a well-balanced attack, no one player is unstoppable.“Our team as a whole has fantastic players, and I think we can kind of use each other to shut her down,” Russell said. “The key to this weekend will be working as a team and making sure we do that for the full 70 minutes both days.” Comments Published on October 3, 2013 at 1:16 am Contact Tyler: [email protected]
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ATLANTA — Kris Medlen dreamed of a playoff scenario with the Dodgers, all right.Just not exactly like the one in which he’ll have a starring role.Medlen, who grew up in Cerritos, figured he’d be an infielder for the Dodgers. He envisioned the wrong team and wrong position, but Medlen sure is in great position for the Braves as their Game 1 starter against the Dodgers in the National League Division Series on Thursday.“It’s a pretty cool feeling being able to play against them during the regular season,” Medlen said. “I think (there’s) the fact that I’ve had a couple years in the big leagues to kind of get over that love for the Dodgers. “We’ve missed him twice this year, the both times we played this series, but I think our team, with the confidence we have, he missed us,” Medlen said.Medlen will miss Matt Kemp — out for the postseason with a left ankle injury — but will need to keep Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez and company in check if he’s to hand things over to the back of a stingy Braves bullpen.Medlen was the unlikeliest of Game 1 starters four months ago, but he is the Braves’ best chance to go toe-to-toe with Kershaw.“Medlen, he’s earned it,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He’s a guy that pitched a big game for us last year. He pitched that St. Louis Cardinals play-in game, so he’s got that going for him.”Medlen started for the Braves last year in its 6-3 loss to St. Louis in the NL wild-card playoff game. Medlen gave up just two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings, but Atlanta had three errors. He was 10-1 in 12 starts in 2012 before that game.“I think the buildup and anxiety of playing in a Game 7-type of situation last year didn’t get to me,” Medlen said. “I just thought it was more than a regular-season game than it typically is.“I think we’re in a different situation this year. We have a chance to win a series instead of one game, although every game matters.”He’s caught the attention of Kershaw too.“Medlen has a good changeup,” Kershaw said. “He’s been pitching awesome too, the last month or so, and obviously he’s had some success.”So have the Braves, who won 96 games, but some players were vocal with their frustration that the Dodgers and their big-name superstars were garnering more attention than the young, lesser-known Braves.“All the attention, I mean, we’re not running for prom king,” Medlen said.He looks young enough to run for prom king with a boyish face and skater-like way he wears his hat. But he’s got good stuff, and that’s what matters in October.“He has location with all his pitches and (good) movement on his fastball,” Atlanta catcher Brian McCann said. “For me, he has the best changeup in baseball. His curveball is very good. He can throw any pitch in any count. He’s a confident guy.”Confident enough to envision a day when he would play major league baseball.Just against the Dodgers, not with them. “It’s cool to face them, but they’re just another team.”Medlen, who turns 28 on Monday, looks every part the California kid on the mound with that signature flat-brim baseball cap.He looked none of the part of a Game 1 playoff starter early in the season. Medlen was 1-6 in May — rivaling the Dodgers’ dismal start — but he credited simplifying things for his turnaround.He was 4-0 in September with a 1.00 ERA and was named the National League’s pitcher of the month.Pitching like that gives you the swagger necessary to take part in a pitching duel with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, the favorite to win his second Cy Young Award this season. Medlen was 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA in the regular season and won one fewer game than Kershaw.