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Freshman Grossi emerges as early scoring threat for Syracuse despite small stature

first_img Published on October 15, 2014 at 12:05 am Contact Liam: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ No one on the team is shorter than Stephanie Grossi. But four games into the season, her Syracuse teammates are looking up to her — at least in a statistical sense.Listed as 5 feet, 2 inches on the Orange’s roster, Grossi, a freshman, hasn’t let her size stop her from having an immediate effect.“Size does not affect her at all,” head coach Paul Flanagan said. “She’s got good skills and she just keeps the game simple. She possesses the skills and abilities you really can’t teach.”Grossi’s talents have her on pace for what could be a breakout first campaign, as she already leads Syracuse (1-1-2) with 22 shots and a team-high two goals on the season. Grossi is trying to keep adjusting to the collegiate game and improving as the Orange advances through its schedule.“I don’t think I’ve been doing anything special,” Grossi said. “I’m just doing what I know how to do. I skate, find holes in the defense, play solid hockey. It’s nothing hard. I’ve just been lucky.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFlanagan added that Grossi’s goal total should be at three, not two. He said a “horrible call” by an official took away a goal in the team’s 2-1 win in the season opener against Colgate.The head coach said he expects her to contribute offensively this season and the team is going to need her to do so to be successful. The fact that Grossi has emerged as one of the team’s top offensive threats so far bodes well for the team, Flanagan said.The strong start puts the freshman on pace for 17 goals on the season, which was the team-high last year.Junior forward Melissa Piacentini, who led the team in goals scored last year, believes Grossi is doing everything she can to get better.Grossi has been working on little things outside of practice and that has made the difference so far, Piacentini said. She’s working hard in the weight room and stays after practice to do drills focused on working to improve her handling and touch.Grossi hasn’t just been a contributor by putting the puck in the back of the net, but she’s been able to create for her teammates as well. She has one assist on the season so far, which puts her in a 10-way tie for the team high.“Everyone coming to this level has some sort of adjustment period,” Piacentini said. “Steph’s hasn’t really been a thing.”Flanagan praised her reactionary decision making skills as being very solid, something that is crucial in a sport as quick and action packed as hockey.She also described Grossi’s style of play as being smart and instinctive, which was something she was able to develop before coming to Syracuse.Grossi played at Shaftesbury Prep in Canada and holds the record for the most points, 158, and assists, 84, in program history — and her success in high school has, so far, translated directly into the college game.But she’s not satisfied with her performance and thinks she needs to keep improving. Although she has had success, she said she wants to work on her handling of the puck under pressure and being able to finish more of her opportunities.While there is room for improvement, Grossi’s teammates are appreciative of the offensive lift they’ve gotten from her and her ability to score and create chances is not being swept under the rug.“Stephanie’s really been a huge asset this year,” said Piacentini. “She’s done everything right so far and she’s going to be really successful here if she continues to work at it.” Commentslast_img read more