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Ady Cohen’s success in the net is a byproduct of her mother’s support

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Ady Cohen stood in net, watching the seconds tick as Syracuse was on its way to defeating Robert Morris to capture its first ever College Hockey America title. Cohen, whose playing time wavered throughout the season, was one of the Orange’s catalysts in the postseason.Behind Syracuse’s bench, Debra Cohen stood anxiously, with fellow SU parents on either side of her, supporting her through the final minutes. She’d adopted Cohen at 7 months old from Russia, and moved from Florida to Ohio to New York, just to make sure Cohen’s hockey career continued.That night against the Colonials, Debra couldn’t hold back tears — it’s what her daughter always wanted, to be a starting collegiate goalie.“It makes a lot of it all worthwhile,” Debra said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCohen knew she wanted to be a Division I net-minder going into her freshman year of high school, but there were few top programs in Florida. Debra left her job, left Cohen’s grandparents and left home for her daughter’s dream. Cohen started her career at SU as a walk-on, but last season, the 21-year-old finally got her chance and shone down the stretch, saving 54 of the 59 shots she faced in the CHA tournament.Now, as a senior, head coach Paul Flanagan called Cohen a “viable part of our program” heading into the 2019-20 season. It’s her job to lose, but whether or not Cohen starts, Debra will still be rooting for her daughter at every Syracuse home game.Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorAfter Debra adopted Cohen in 1999, the two lived alone together in Boca Raton, Florida, 20 minutes away from the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs. Having figure skated herself, Debra took her three-year-old to a “Learn-to-Skate” session, figuring it would be a fun alternative to something outdoors in the relentless heat of southern Florida.Cohen was a natural on skates and was enamored with the Panthers mascot and his hockey uniform, she said. While Stanley C. Panther was her first introduction to the sport, seeing other kids play hockey after her figure skating sessions made her want to try for herself.Cohen started in an NHL Learn to Play program at five. She initially gravitated towards forward but thought playing attack was boring because they didn’t wear enough gear.“I saw the equipment, I thought it was cool, and I became a goalie,” Cohen said.Debra bought Cohen the equipment she needed without hesitation. Cohen quickly exceeded her age group, partly because of skill and partly because there simply weren’t many kids playing youth hockey goalie in Florida, said Mike Necela, who coached her in the Learn to Play program.“She didn’t have any girls to look up to, so it ended up being her and the boys,” Necela said.By the time Cohen was 12, she was being used as target practice for boys and girls who were training for their upcoming juniors seasons, generally for players between 16 and 21, Necela said.That summer, Debra sent Cohen to the USA Hockey Mid-American District Development Camps to improve her skills. To gain traction, Cohen enrolled at Gilmour Academy (Ohio), over 1,000 miles from Boca Raton. Debra didn’t want Cohen to live alone at 13 years old, so she moved into an apartment less than a mile from the school.“I just like to be supportive of what she’s doing,” Debra said, “With the work I had, I was able to adjust my schedule to be there with her.”Ally Walsh | Staff PhotographerOn the weekends, they’d sometimes travel to New York City to see Broadway productions. “Wicked,” Cohen’s favorite musical, is quoted on the back of her helmet at Syracuse: “Defy Gravity.”Cohen’s prior experience against older competition as target practice prepared her enough to start her freshman year of high school, where she’d accumulate a .923 save percentage in four years. In one game her sophomore year, Cohen was getting ready for a penalty shootout. Debra, too anxious to watch, left the stadium and had a fellow parent text her the result.Still, despite her impressive play, scholarship offers were hard to come by. Debra graduated from Syracuse in 1996, but there wasn’t a women’s ice hockey program there at the time. Flanagan, the team’s 11-year head coach, had been talking to Cohen’s coach at Gilmour and was in the market for a third goalie. It was the perfect fit.Once Cohen graduated and made the move east for Syracuse, so did Debra. This time, though, she bought a condo in the Finger Lakes, letting Cohen live with her teammates on campus. The two still meet weekly, either for meals or after games. But the transition was difficult for a quiet person like Cohen. Redshirt senior Lindsay Eastwood said it took a couple of jokes for Cohen to share her personality during her freshman year, but she now has a knack for cracking everyone up.It was during Cohen’s sophomore year that she really began to gel with her teammates, Cohen said. The team would all go to the Sheraton for breakfast as part of their pregame ritual. For most of her career, though, Cohen would go into those meals knowing someone else would be facing the opponent’s shots later that day.“I didn’t really focus on ‘Oh I haven’t played the last two years’ or whatever,’” Cohen said, “The time is now, and if I’m in there I’m going to take full advantage.”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorHer junior year could’ve been plagued by missing two months with a concussion and inconsistent playing time again, but Flanagan gave her a chance during conference play. She totaled a team-best 2.75 goals against average in 13 starts — including a shutout of Mercyhurst on Feb. 9.That game was the reason Cohen replaced Maddi Welch for Syracuse’s semifinal matchup against Mercyhurst, in which she made 28 saves. That was enough for Flanagan to go back to her in the final, where she saved 26 of 28 shots faced.Debra was characteristically anxious during the final game, even when SU led by multiple goals. Sometimes, she prefers it when Cohen’s on the bench; there’s much less stress then.But Cohen stood strong in net. Syracuse’s offense exploded for six goals to defeat Robert Morris 6-2 and capture SU’s first CHA championship.After the game, Cohen’s teammates flooded onto the ice to embrace Cohen, forming a pig pile in the process. Cohen’s journey — growing up with a single mother, moving place-to-place, and spending two years waiting on the sidelines — led to that moment underneath all her teammates.As Cohen emerged from the team’s celebration, went through the handshake line and posed for pictures with the CHA trophy, Debra cried. It was what she’d envisioned for her daughter all along.Said Debra: “It was one of those moments that’s a long time coming.” Comments Published on October 6, 2019 at 9:58 pm Contact Tim: tnolan@syr.edulast_img read more

Clippers’ Boban Marjanovic is putting on a good show during preseason

first_imgYes, Doc Rivers is correct, Marjanovic said recently, he is “a scoring machine.”Because if your coach says it, you should agree, right?“Every time, I agree with my coach,” Marjanovic, 30, joked. “Listen to Coach every time, help him be a good coach. Like you want to be with your boss.”Rivers gave Marjanovic the start in Tuesday’s 109-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets. He scored 14 points and grabbed (often literally single-handedly) 12 rebounds in 15 minutes.What pleased Marjanovic’s boss against Denver was his defense outside the paint. Rivers acknowledges that Marjanovic’s limited mobility makes the Clippers more susceptible to pick-and-rolls and benefits centers who can stretch the floor. But Tuesday, he contested on a couple of 3-point attempts. FOOT MESSAGESLeading sneakerhead Montrezl Harrell leaped off the Clippers’ bench to contribute in the clutch Tuesday with 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots, and he did it wearing a pair of Kyrie 4’s “Power is Female” kicks.Aside from being fashionable, Harrell said his shoes serve as a canvas for expression, whether it’s a callback to a beloved childhood cartoon or a dedication to his children.Related Articles “When he is a defensive presence, then he’s (also) clearly an offensive presence for us,” Rivers said. “That creates a lot of mismatches.”Last season, Marjanovic appeared in 20 games for the Clippers after arriving from Detroit with Harris and Avery Bradley as part of the Blake Griffin trade in late January. Marjanovic shot 55.1 percent from the field and averaged 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 8.9 minutes of play. In a game against Denver, the Clippers’ regular-season-opening opponent Oct. 17, he became the NBA’s only player last season to score 18 points and grab six rebounds in 15 minutes or less.Now, entering his fourth NBA season, Marjanovic feels good: “I came home and said, ‘I didn’t sweat at all,’” he said. He swishes 3-pointers regularly at practice. And the positive reviews continue.“When we went back to Detroit, every person who worked in the arena stood in line to say, ‘Hi,’” Rivers said. “He’s just a nice guy. He speaks to everybody, he’s a good human being, a good guy to have on the team.”And, yes, “He’s a nightmare to match up to.” The “Bobi + Tobi” show is pretty funny; the Boban Show has been pretty spectacular.Boban Marjanovic – who co-stars with teammate Tobias Harris in the Clippers’ recently released series of comedic web shorts – has also been a joy to watch on the court this preseason.Unless, perhaps, you’re one of the NBA’s other (relatively) big men tasked with trying to stop the 7-foot-3, 290-pound center from Serbia.Looking like an adult toying with children on a miniature hoop, Marjanovic has, in 34 minutes, compiled 42 points, 21 rebounds and five blocked shots. He’s shot 14 for 19 (73.7 percent) from the field and 14 for 17 (82.4 percent) from the free-throw line. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates center_img ANOTHER GUARD IN THE MIX?Free agent shooting guard Jamel Artis reportedly was to sign a partially guaranteed deal with the Clippers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.Artis, 25, averaged 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 18.6 minutes per game for the Orlando Magic last season, his only NBA playing experience. This summer, the Pitt graduate signed a two-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Sacramento Kings, who cut him Monday.After waiving forward Desi Rodriguez on Tuesday, the Clippers had 19 players on their training camp roster (including two-way players Johnathan Motley and and Angel Delgado). The team — which currently is carrying nine guards — needs to reduce its roster to 15 before the season begins.GIVING BACKAvery Bradley, Luc Mbah a Moute, Mike Scott, Lou Williams and Harrell will join military personnel and Cedars-Sinai volunteers as the L.A. Clippers Foundation provides food and personal care items to 1,000 families in need at the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth & Community Center on Saturday in L.A. For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error On Tuesday, the shoes with the basketball-inspired female symbol on the heel also held special meaning, Harrell said.“You see the negativity that a lot of female basketball players get,” he said. “But those women do a lot of great things. I watch the WNBA a lot. People say they’re boring … but if you know the game of basketball and you’re a true basketball fan, you know those girls are hard-working girls, they do so many things.“There are not too many girls who are going go out and have the athleticism that we do and be able to dunk on somebody, but they definitely have the footwork to make a hook shot or pivot and make a certain pass, so you can always watch them and learn from them. I definitely learn a lot.”Harrell said he was thrilled recently to meet and take a picture with one of the WNBA’s top centers, the Minnesota Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles.“She plays with a passion and intensity, just like I do, and she’s a big anchor for her team,” Harrell said. “So being able to meet her was definitely big.”last_img read more