Superstitions are common in sports, and Syracuse is no different.Flags, special headbands and handshakes all contribute to what the Orange (16-1, 6-0 Big East) believes, in addition to its talent, helps the team win.Syracuse will take all of its good-luck charms to Louisville, Ky., for the Big East tournament. Top-seeded SU will play No. 4-seed Providence (9-8, 3-3 Big East) at 5 p.m. Friday.The Orange is a close-knit team and, before games, the players give each other unique high-fives depending on which player is coming onto the field. But before they even enter the stadium, they are getting their minds ready by going into the same routine for each game.“I think some of the girls might wear special shorts or shirts under their uniforms,” midfielder Liz McInerney said. “It’s like a mental thing.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA “superstitious athlete” is redundant. So many of them have something special they do for games. Some listen to a certain song to get energized, others have a routine they go through, individually or with another teammate. It’s the familiarity of the routines that allows them to focus on the upcoming game.Within this team, the forward tandem of Kelsey Millman and Lauren Brooks has worn pink headbands during games that have many wondering if that is building some sort of unexplained cohesiveness between the two.“I’ve seen the forwards wearing matching headbands,” midfielder Liz McInerney said. “I’m not sure what they are for, but whatever it is, it’s got to be working.”Headbands or not, the team is clearly playing in sync. In the last game of the regular season against Connecticut, Gillian Pinder delivered a pinpoint pass to Millman as she dove to put it in the goal. The precision and wherewithal to know where her teammate is going to be is borderline scary.After the game, in which the team won the Big East regular season title, one of the Irish players pulled out an Ireland flag, and Liz McInerney, Emma Russell and Gillian Pinder all took pictures with it.“It was only me for a long time over here, so I’m happy to have two more Irish girls to keep me company,” McInerney said. “We just keep a flag around.”Another flag that has been flying high this season is the Syracuse flag being waved at every home game by backup goalkeeper Jess Jecko’s uncle, Mark Kuzio. He, along with his full Syracuse attire and signature flag, keeps the crowd energized and chanting during games.Since the tournament is being played in Kentucky, Kuzio isn’t sure if he will be able to attend it, but is sending the flag as a reminder that he and the rest of the Syracuse fans will be there in spirit.“If I can’t make the away game, I’m going to send my flag with the team for good luck,” Kuzio said. “That flag is important to me and the team; even when I can’t make the game, the flag still flies. It’s Orange pride.”The team was able to shut out Providence 3-0 in the regular season and is looking to demonstrate the same dominance this time.Whatever the team uses to prepare for games is working to its advantage. It is the favorite to win the Big East Conference Championship, but no amount of routines, charms or luck will help without hard work.Head coach Ange Bradley believes that after the team has a good week of watching film and practicing, it is ready to go far in the tournament.Said Bradley: “Nothing substitutes for a good work ethic, which I think we have.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 1, 2012 at 12:36 am Contact Jasmine: [email protected]
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