Leahy: Competition undermining sustainability of Northeast’s dairy farms

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Saturday that the dairy crisis may make it easier to detect competition barriers that undermine prices paid to dairy farmers.  Leahy, who chairs the U.S. Senate s Judiciary Committee, brought a field hearing to St. Albans to examine competition and consolidation in the Northeast dairy market.  Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Leahy in the questioning.Leahy s long running concern about the concentration of economic power in U.S. agriculture in bigger and fewer corporations has intersected this year with the new Obama Administration s interest in reenergizing antitrust tools to protect consumers, farmers and smaller businesses.  As witnesses, Leahy invited the newly installed chief of the Justice Department s Antitrust Division, the Department of Agriculture s Chief Economist, and Vermont dairy farmers with varying views and operations.  The severity and urgency of this crisis cannot be overstated, said Leahy.  Not just here in Vermont, but across the country, our bedrock dairy industry is on the brink of collapse.  Dairy farmers who had hoped to pass their farms on to future generations are now weighed down with loans and are losing money every day.  They feel those dreams slipping quickly away.He continued:  Farmers are doing all the work, they are taking all the risk, and they are making investments that span not just lives, but generations.  They put their all into their farms, and all they ask is a fair price to keep their farms going.  That s only fair, and that s only right.Leahy said consolidation has led to a breakdown of competition, with Vermont dairy farmers not getting their fair share of the retail price of milk, while corporate processors appear to be raking in profits as they continue to raise prices to consumers.He noted, Earlier this year when prices paid to farmers dropped by more than a quarter from January to February, consumers only saw store prices cut by six percent.  This hurts both farmers and consumers, and suggests a much larger problem with competition and consolidation within the market.  When consumers are in the grocery store they don t realize that less than 40 percent of what they spend on a gallon of milk makes its way back to our dairy farmers.Leahy said his concerns eight years ago about the merger of Dean Foods and Suiza Foods have been validated.  It seems that market dominance has translated into overwhelming power in the dairy industry, and we have seen local dairies and processing facilities bought, and then closed.Leahy termed a welcome change the new attitude by the Obama Administration s Justice and Agriculture Departments in launching a fresh evaluation of competition and regulatory enforcement in agriculture markets, and he said policymakers in Congress and federal agencies need to focus on both short-term and long-term solutions to the current dairy crisis and to the worsening cycles that threaten the sustainability of the nation s dairy farms. Leahy s full statement follows (below).  Written testimony of the witnesses will be available soon after the hearing begins, at 10 a.m. (EDT) Saturday, Sept. 19, on the Judiciary Committee s website, at: http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=4055(link is external) Statement of Senator Patrick LeahyChairmanSenate Judiciary CommitteeCrisis on the Farm: The State Of Competition And Prospects for Sustainability in the Northeast Dairy IndustrySt. Albans, VermontSeptember 19, 2009I thank you all, everyone in this room, for coming today as we hold this hearing on the competition and crisis in the Northeast dairy industry.  I would like to thank Representative Peter Welch, who was unable to be here today but has been leading the charge to address the dairy crisis in the House.  We are grateful to all of our witnesses, and we know that some of you have made a great effort to travel to Vermont to participate.  Finally, I would like to thank St. Albans Mayor, Martin Manahan, for his hospitality.This is an official hearing of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Senate s official rules of decorum will be in effect.  We invite anyone who would like to express their views on the issues presented today to submit testimony for the record.Before we start, I would like to take a moment to dedicate today s hearing in honor of Harold Howrigan and his service to this community, to our state and to Vermont s dairy industry.  Harold was a great man, and a good man, whose accomplishments are as impressive as the personal legacy he has left behind.  There were certainly a lot of years in his life, 85 in all, and there was a lot of life in those years.  I am proud to have known Harold and am so fortunate to call him my friend.  I will always look back fondly of my memories and times with Harold and his lovely wife, Anne.  I know so many others will do the same.Here in Vermont, the dairy industry is a pillar of our state s economy, culture and landscape.  Though dairy farmers have long contended with the volatility of milk prices — even more than they have had to adjust to changing weather — today we face a crisis of epic proportions.  Prices have fallen to lows that no one in this room thought we would ever see.  The fact that the cost of production is higher than ever only compounds the problem, and has increased the gap between what it costs our farmers to produce milk and what they are paid for that milk. The severity and urgency of this crisis cannot be overstated.  Not just here in Vermont, but across the country, our bedrock dairy industry is on the brink of collapse.  So many of our dairy farmers who had hoped to pass their farms on to future generations are now weighed down with loans and losing money every day.  They feel those dreams slipping quickly away.In Vermont, we have lost 35 of our dairy farms this year, and last year we lost another 19.  Each loss of a Vermont dairy farm ripples through families, through our communities and through our economy.  It has been easy for many Americans to take American dairy farmers for granted.  Their hard work and steady contributions to the Nation s dinner tables and to our economy are a vital part of the infrastructure that is the miracle and the blessing of America s farms.  They provide a highly perishable product that puts them more directly at the mercy of fluctuating markets and costs of production.  We need both short-term solutions to get out of this crisis, as well as long-term solutions to make sure we do not return to this tumultuous cycle of volatility that threatens farmers very survivability.  That is the purpose of this hearing and of all of the efforts being made to stimulate the dairy industry.The Senate Judiciary Committee continues to keep a close eye on competition issues in the Northeast dairy market.  The current crisis only serves to illuminate the industry s structural issues.  We are looking to the agencies that administer our laws to learn whether they have the tools necessary to protect dairy farmers and consumers, and whether those tools can be used to promote sustainability of family farms. While many areas of the economy are suffering in this recession, the dairy industry is particularly hard hit.  With consumer demand down, the price paid to farmers for milk has fallen to record lows.  Consumers, however, have yet to see such a massive corresponding drop in retail prices on store shelves.  We have long blown the whistle on this disconnect between the price farmers receive for their milk, and the retail price consumers pay in grocery stores.  Earlier this year when prices paid farmers dropped by more than a quarter from January to February, consumers only saw store prices cut by six percent.  This hurts both farmers and consumers, and suggests a much larger problem with competition and consolidation within the market.  When consumers are in the grocery store they don t realize that less than 40 percent of what they spend on a gallon of milk makes its way back to our dairy farmers.Farmers are doing all the work, they are taking all the risk, and they are making investments that span not just lives, but generations.  They put their all into their farms, and all they ask is a fair price to keep their farms going.  That s only fair, and that s only right.The consolidation in recent years throughout the agriculture sector has had a tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of American farmers.  It affects producers of most commodities in virtually every region of the country, and it affects Vermont s dairy farmers.For decades, dairy farming in Vermont seemed immune from the consequences of restructuring and consolidation, because cooperatives also served as milk processors for local or regional markets.  National markets did not exist.  But times have changed and the structure is dramatically different today.  The result has been a breakdown of competition, with Vermont dairy farmers not getting their fair share of the retail price of milk, while corporate processors appear to be raking in profits as they continue to raise prices to consumers. As I think about the gap between retail and farm prices I cannot help but think back to 2001 and the Dean Foods merger with Suiza Foods.  That merger created the largest milk processing company in the world, and I continue to be disappointed that the Justice Department under the previous administration approved it.  Just as I had feared eight years ago, it seems that market dominance has translated into overwhelming power in the dairy industry, and we have seen local dairies and processing facilities bought, and then closed.  While Dean Foods buys roughly 15 percent of the Nation s raw fluid milk supply, their strategic alliances with other entities expand the company s influence much further.  One of these alliances is with the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the cooperative that represents 22,000 dairy farmers in 43 states.  While it is difficult to point to one cause of the dairy farmer s plight, Dean Foods is posting record-setting profits and paying huge executive salaries.  Meanwhile, the prices for dairy farmers are at all-time lows and forcing multi-generation farms out of business.  This raises serious questions about the state of competition in the Vermont dairy market, and throughout the Northeast.In the past, farmers unsatisfied with the prices offered by a processor or manufacturer could market directly to consumers.  But those opportunities for independent marketing have been all but eliminated. Time and again, many powerful interests have opposed our efforts to ensure free and fair markets for agricultural producers.  Last month s announcement that the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture will be holding their first-ever joint workshops to discuss competition and regulatory enforcement in the agriculture industry is a welcome change.  I am pleased that Assistant Attorney General Varney, the Department of Justice, Secretary Vilsack, and the Department of Agriculture are taking these issues so seriously.  We will hear first-hand testimony today about how, and why, Vermont dairy farmers are hurting.  Bringing this hearing to St. Albans will ensure that Vermont s voice and Vermont s experience will help inform Congress about these issues.  We want to build a hearing record that will let policymakers in Congress and Federal agencies hear directly from the farmers who are coping with this crisis every day.  And as a part of that record, on behalf of Vermont s Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee, who unfortunately was not able to be here today, I would like to officially submit a copy of the Vermont Milk Commission s Final Report. Senator Sanders and I recognize that today is a holiday for many, and we understand why Vermonters may not have been able to travel to this hearing.  With that understanding, I invite all Vermonters to submit testimony for the record, which will remain open until September 30.  Information about how to submit testimony is available here today.I look forward to the testimony of all of today s witnesses as we continue to seek new ways to address the dairy crisis and improve market opportunities for America s farmers and ranchers.  Source: Leahy’s office. ST. ALBANS, Vt. (Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009)last_img read more

The Latest: Golden Gate Fields closes for live racing

first_imgWorld Sailing and Japanese officials were in talks to return to Enoshima in 2021 before the rescheduled Olympics.___Brescia president Massimo Cellino says he will forfeit his team’s remaining Serie A matches if the Italian soccer league resumes.Brescia is the third-worst hit province in Italy with more than 8,500 coronavirus cases and more than 1,300 deaths.In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Cellino says “this season doesn’t make sense anymore.” ___The Ottawa Senators are making temporary layoffs and salary reductions because of COVID-19.The team’s parent company says the full-time workforce will be reduced starting Sunday, when the NHL club’s season was originally scheduled to end. Those not laid off could be placed on furlough. Others could have their salaries reduced. Health benefits will continue uninterrupted.“We will pull through by staying committed together,” owner Eugene Melnyk said. “I look forward to the day when it is safe to reopen our doors and welcome back employees, fans and community partners.” World Athletics hasn’t decided how far in advance to open applications once competitions resume. High jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene and pole vault world champion Anzhelika Sidorova are among those who need their status renewed from last year.___British Open organizers say postponement is an option for this year’s tournament at Royal St. George’s because of the coronavirus outbreak.The R&A released a short statement in response to media speculation about the staging of the event in July. Chief executive Martin Slumbers says the “process is taking some time to resolve” because of a range of external factors.Slumbers says “we are well aware of the importance of being able to give clear guidance to fans, players and everyone involved and are working to resolve this as soon as we can.” ___World Athletics says it won’t clear any Russian athletes to compete internationally amid the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The governing body of track requires Russians to apply for “authorized neutral athlete” status each year to compete outside their home country. Russia has been suspended from World Athletics since 2015 for widespread doping.World Athletics spokeswoman Nicole Jeffery says in e-mailed comments that “the ANA system only applies to international competition, so until there is competition there is no need for any athlete to apply.”She adds that “for the next two months, at least, there is no competition, so the system does not need to be active until we know when the competition schedule can resume.” Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the new coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:Golden Gate Fields in the San Francisco Bay area has been closed for live racing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The Alameda County Public Health Officer ordered the track to close, which resulted in the cancellation of Thursday’s card. ___The California State Athletic Commission has canceled all combat sports events through May due to the coronavirus pandemic.Several dozen events were scheduled for May, mostly in Southern California.The affected events include a UFC show scheduled for May 16 in San Diego. The event was scheduled to feature lightweights Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker in the main event.The Bellator mixed martial arts promotion had already postponed its two events scheduled for California in May. Golden Boy Promotions also had already canceled a boxing show scheduled for April 25 outside Palm Springs, headlined by light heavyweights Sergey Kovalev and Sullivan Barrera. The Braves are two-time defending National League East champions.___Get ready for a full week of the Masters on television.With this year’s tournament postponed because of the new coronavirus, ESPN and CBS Sports will broadcast the final rounds of some of the more significant Masters.ESPN starts it off at 3 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday with the final round from 1986. That’s arguably the most popular Masters of all, when Jack Nicklaus shot 30 on the back nine to win his sixth green jacket at age 46. ESPN will show the the 2012 Masters, when Bubba Watson won his first green jacket, at 2 p.m. Thursday. That’s followed by Tiger Woods’ record 12-shot victory in 1997 at 7:30 p.m. On Friday, ESPN features 2013, when Adam Scott won, at noon and 2005, with Woods and his memorable chip-in on the 16th, at 6 p.m. The New England Patriots’ private team plane is returning to Boston from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to health care providers fighting to control the spread of the new coronavirus.The Wall Street Journal reports that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker secured the N95 masks but had no way of getting them to the U.S.Team owner Robert Kraft stepped in and offered to help. The plane, a Boeing 767 painted in the team’s colors and logo, is usually used to carry the team to and from NFL games. It is expected back in Boston on Thursday.___The World Games that were more than a year away have been delayed to 2022 because of the coronavirus outbreak. The CEO of World TeamTennis says the league has sent $1,000 each to about 60 players and coaches as a “gift” to help them deal with the financial hardships presented by the coronavirus pandemic.Carlos Silva said in a telephone interview Thursday that the payments were not an advance of salary for the nine-team league, which was founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s.Explained Silva: “It wasn’t so much about the money, but a way to say, ‘Thank you,’ and just so they could use it for some rent or some groceries or anything they might need.”All professional tennis events have been postponed or canceled until early July because of the COVID-19 outbreak.There will be some tennis to watch on TV this weekend, though: A WTT all-star event featuring 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys and other players will air Saturday on CBS. It was filmed March 1. The ministry says the athlete was hospitalized and the coach self-isolated at home. All training is shut down at the sprawling Novogorsk base, a key focus of Russian Olympic preparations across multiple sports, and it has been disinfected. Athletes have either been isolated or sent home to self-isolate.The ministry didn’t name the coach or athlete. However, the coach was identified as artistic gymnastics head coach Andrei Rodionenko in comments to state news agency Tass by Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation president Irina Viner-Usmanova.Separately, a Russian boxing coach who was at last month’s Olympic qualifying tournament in London said he tested positive. The Russian Boxing Federation said Anton Kadushin had been at home since returning from the competition.Previously the Turkish federation said one of its boxers and one of its coaches had tested positive after the tournament, which was cut short due to the virus outbreak. The International Olympic Committee said at the time it was “not possible to know the source of infection.”___ He says “returning to activity is pure craziness. If they force us to I am ready to not put out the team and lose the matches 3-0 by default out of respect for the citizens of Brescia and their loved ones who aren’t here anymore.”Brescia is in last place in the league standings. The president of Lazio recently accused Cellino of trying to avoid relegation.Cellino says “I don’t care at all about relegation. So far we have deserved it and I have my blame in that, too.”___Potential hosts of soccer’s 2027 Asian Cup have been given more time to enter the contest by the Asian Football Confederation. Silva said WTT is still planning to launch its three-week season on July 12, but will continue to monitor the situation and offer periodic updates.Matches are slated to be held that day in Washington, Orlando, San Diego and Springfield, Missouri.That date also was supposed to be when the men’s final was played at Wimbledon.But the All England Club announced Wednesday that its Grand Slam tournament would not be played this year.___ The next race at risk is the Italian MotoGP on May 31.___World Sailing has canceled the World Cup Series Final in Enoshima, Japan, in June because of the coronavirus outbreak.The regatta was to give valuable competition for the Olympic classes just over a month before the start of the Tokyo Games.The Olympics have been postponed to 2021. ___The Belgian soccer league has become the first major European competition to recommend ending its season with the current standings declared final because of the coronavirus outbreak.The league says Club Brugge would be awarded the title if the advice is confirmed at a general assembly meeting on April 15. Brugge would also qualify for next season’s Champions League.Brugge is currently 15 points ahead of second-place Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs.The league management board has agreed it is unclear when team training could resume and says it is “very unlikely” any games with fans attending could be played before June 30. Golden Gate says it “is abiding by the instructions issued two weeks ago by the California Horse Racing Board to operate under the sanction of the local health authorities.”The track says there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Golden Gate.Santa Anita near Los Angeles has been without live racing since March 27 under a similar order from the Los Angeles County Health Department.Both tracks had been racing without fans and limiting attendance to horsemen and necessary racing and track employees. Both are owned by The Stronach Group.Horsemen representatives and The Stronach Group have maintained that racetracks are essential businesses in need of continued operations, providing care to animals, and that afternoon racing involves far fewer participants than morning training, which is allowed. center_img The Latest: Golden Gate Fields closes for live racing The league says even games in empty stadiums would put stress on public health and security services dealing with the pandemic. It agreed the risk of infecting players would also damage the competition’s integrity.___The Senior PGA Championship in Michigan has been canceled.The PGA of America says it based its decision on Michigan’s stay-at-home order that was enacted March 23.The Senior PGA in Benton Harbor, Michigan, was to be played May 21-24. It will be held next year at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It will return to Benton Harbor the following year. The Olympic-style event for sports that are not on the Summer Games program had been scheduled for July 15-25, 2021, in Birmingham, Alabama. But those dates now overlap with the Tokyo Olympics, which were delayed for a full year while the world deals with the pandemic.The International World Games Association and Birmingham Organizing Committee announced Thursday that the 11th edition of the World Games will now be held on July 7-17, 2022.The World Games began in 1981 and are held every four years to showcase disciplines that are not on the Olympic program, such as sumo, floorball, billiards, lifesaving, orienteering, dance sport and tug of war.Birmingham won the right to stage the 2021 competition, beating out Lima, Peru, and Ufa, Russia, to become the first U.S. host since Santa Clara, California, for the inaugural World Games.Birmingham had expected some 3,600 athletes from more than 100 nations to participate. ___Iowa State coaches and other athletic department staff members are getting pay cuts for one year to help offset lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic.Athletic director Jaime Pollard wrote on the Cyclones’ website that his department faces a $5 million shortfall this year because of the cancellation of the NCAA and Big 12 men’s basketball tournaments.The payroll cut will save more than $3 million. There also will be a temporary suspension of bonuses for coaches totaling another $1 million.Previously announced increases in Cyclone Club annual giving levels have been delayed, prices for season and individual game ticket prices have been frozen for all sports and the deadline for booster club donations and football season ticket renewals has been extended to May 29. April 2, 2020 Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry has donated $15,000 to provide hygiene products to students and families in the East Cleveland City School District during the coronavirus pandemic.Landry partnered with Meijer to supply families with soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and other personal care products.“Although we are facing unprecedented challenges right now, it is important to remember that we are all in this together,” Landry said. “I love the City of Cleveland, and I want to make sure our communities have the support that they need to stay safe and healthy.”The partnership estimates more than 1,300 families will receive supplies to support their health and wellness while schools are closed until at least May 1.Landry has been active in the Cleveland community since joining the Browns in 2018 after four seasons in Miami. ___Former baseball All-Star Jim Edmonds says he tested positive for the new coronavirus and for pneumonia.“I am completely symptom free now and doing really well, and so I must have had it for a while,” Edmonds said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “I appreciate everyone who has said well wishes and wished me the best.”The 49-year-old played 17 major league seasons from 1993-2010, mostly for the California and Los Angeles Angels (1993-99) and St. Louis Cardinals (2000-07). He hit 393 home runs.___ ___Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli say they will pay their 2,100 part-time employees across all of their sports and event management companies through June 30 for work that was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.The Samuelis’ Anaheim Arena Management company operates Honda Center, the Ducks’ home rink. They also own two large ice hockey complexes in Orange County — including Great Park Ice, the massive new winter sports facility that houses the Ducks’ training complex in Irvine, California.The Samuelis own the Ducks’ AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls. Their company even operates JT Schmid’s, a popular restaurant and bar just across Katella Avenue from Honda Center.Henry Samueli is a former UCLA professor who became a billionaire after co-founding Broadcom, a semiconductor company, with one of his students. The Samuelis purchased the Ducks from the Walt Disney Company in 2005, two years after creating Anaheim Arena Management to oversee Honda Center’s operations. Over 1,200 horses are stabled at Golden Gate, with 400 workers living on site to care for the animals.___NASCAR has delayed the debut of its next generation stock car that was scheduled to hit the track next season.The car will now be delayed until 2022 because the coronavirus pandemic has slowed development.The Next Gen project has been years in the works as an industry-wide collaboration to cut costs and improve competition. CBS takes over on the weekend, starting with a one-hour production of 1975, when Nicklaus won over Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller. That begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and is immediately followed by 2004, which was Phil Mickelson’s duel with Ernie Els.On Sunday starting at 12:30 p.m., CBS will show the entire round from last year, when Woods completed his comeback from back surgeries to win his fifth green jacket.Masters.com and @TheMasters social media will complement the broadcasts with content never before seen from famous final rounds.___The Russian Sports Ministry says a major training base near Moscow has shut down after a coach and an athlete tested “provisionally positive” for the new coronavirus. ___The Atlanta Braves are marking what would have been opening day at Truist Park with a virtual “At Home” opener.The team will host a 90-minute, online celebration Friday that features interviews with manager Brian Snitker, general manager Alex Anthopoulos and star first baseman Freddie Freeman as well as messages from other Braves players. Operatic tenor Timothy Miller will perform the national anthem, joined by popular between-innings features such as Beat The Freeze and the Home Depot Tool Race.The “At Home” opener will serve as a lead-in to Fox Sports South airing a replay of the Braves′ 2019 home opener against the Chicago Cubs.Like sports around the world, Major League Baseball is on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. The 149th edition of the Open Championship is scheduled to take place July 16-19. The last time the Open wasn’t played was in 1945 because of World War II.___The French Grand Prix scheduled for May 17 in Le Mans has been postponed, becoming the sixth MotoGP race to be called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.The motorcycling series has yet to start its season.The season-opener in Qatar was canceled, the Thailand, Americas and Argentina races were postponed to October-November, and the Spanish MotoGP has yet to find new dates. The AFC says the March deadline to show interest was extended by three months to June because many of its member federations have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.The Saudi Arabian soccer body said in February it wanted to host the 24-team tournament.China will host the 2023 edition. A return to western Asia is possible after the United Arab Emirates staged the 2019 tournament.The AFC is planning for a 2027 tournament but a FIFA task force drafting a future calendar of matches and tournaments will likely be asked to align continental championships. The European Championship and South America’s Copa America are on track to kick off in June 2028.___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Loy’s return adds depth, familiarity to Syracuse’s midfield

first_imgLate in the first quarter, Scott Loy cranked up for his third shot of the day.His first was saved. His second found the crossbar. Then, with 2:12 remaining in the first quarter, Loy wound up from about 14 yards out. This time, he found twine. The sharpshooting midfielder was back.“It’s good to have that big shot out there, even though he wasn’t running as well as we like him to,” head coach John Desko said. “He was still able to be effective.”Loy made his return from a left leg injury and two-game absence Saturday against Georgetown. The junior scored just one goal for Syracuse (10-3, 4-1), but his return after injuring his leg in the first half against Cornell meant the No. 7 Orange’s top midfield line of Loy, JoJo Marasco and Luke Cometti was reunited.Henry Schoonmaker had filled in admirably on that top line, but with the original first-string unit back intact, Marasco recorded a three-point performance, while Cometti netted a pair of goals.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’ve been playing so long as a line, it was tough to get in another groove with Henry in there,” Marasco said, “even though he filled in pretty nicely.”Loy started slow for SU. His first shot made an easy save for GU goaltender Jake Haley. His next shot was better, but still hit the crossbar. He slipped a few times and turned the ball over once, but the one goal stands out to him.“It was important to get back in my rhythm, I guess,” Loy said. “It was good for my confidence.”With Loy sidelined, he was relegated a role of emotional support — “I was more of a cheerleader than an actual player,” he said — but he got to watch as some role players stepped up.Schoonmaker scored just one point in the two games, but did a bit of everything for Syracuse. He stepped into Loy’s place in the starting lineup while still logging heavy minutes on the wing during faceoffs. He scooped up five ground balls in a loss to Hobart while balancing his time on the first midfield line with his spot on the faceoff team. Loy’s return will only help restore some of that balance.“We’ve been kind of a little bit out of sync with our second group,” Desko said, “so I think him coming back not only helps our first group, but helps our second group play better, too.”The Orange’s first midfield line has shouldered the scoring burden for most of the season. Marasco leads the team with 46 points. Cometti’s 24 goals has him tied for the team lead with attack Derek Maltz. Loy’s scored 13.He’s been a critical piece to the puzzle that is SU’s offense. He shoots the second highest percentage of any starter and the highest of any midfielder. Marasco does most of his scoring as a distributor. Cometti does most of it on cuts to the net. Loy gives them that last piece as an outside shooter.“He complements off nice from Luke and myself,” Marasco said. “It was nice to have him out there and it shows when he was able to put that one goal in. He was pretty far out, so it adds another element to our midfield line.”In other ways, though, Syracuse’s off-ball players Loy and Cometti are similar. They both have exceptional chemistry with on-ball linemate Marasco. They both cut as well as anyone, toward or away from the crease. And they both make Marasco’s job a whole lot easier.“It’s another person I can look to pass it to out there,” Marasco said. “He’s a real smart player. He just kind of follows me around, gets open like Luke and puts the ball in the back of the net.”It had just been two games, but the Orange sorely missed Loy. Syracuse eked out the first one-goal game, but went 1-1 against a pair of lesser teams without him.His return was relatively tame, but he wasn’t 100 percent, Desko said. This Saturday, he will be, and that’s what’s important. The Orange travels to East Rutherford, N.J., to face No. 1 Notre Dame in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. The Fighting Irish boast one of the best goalies in the nation in John Kemp, so Loy’s shot will be as important as ever.He was merely average against the Hoyas, but it was a step to get back.“It felt like a lifetime since I’ve been back out there,” Loy said, “so it felt good to be back.” Comments Published on April 24, 2013 at 12:25 am Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Related Stories HOLDING ON: Syracuse rallies from deficit, scores 4 3rd-quarter goals to pull off narrow win over Georgetownlast_img read more