Tag Archives: Game coverage

U.S. women’s soccer team overcomes slow start in World Cup tuneup

For much of Sunday’s friendly against South Africa at Levi’s Stadium, the U.S. women’s national team hardly looked like the defending World Cup champion. There were sloppy giveaways, poor touches and missed chances galore. It took the Americans 37 minutes to put a shot on frame.

The Americans’ cohesion did come into sharper focus with each passing minute, and they pulled out a 3-0 win. It was a positive result for their first game after coach Jill Ellis finalized the 23-member roster ahead of next month’s World Cup in France.

“The World Cup games, they don’t always start perfectly,” Ellis said. “It’s about the ability of a team to get better in a game and grow in a game.” Continue reading U.S. women’s soccer team overcomes slow start in World Cup tuneup

Freshman Mamadi Diakite, No. 8 Virginia take care of Yale, 62-38

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CHARLOTTESVILLE — Yale center Sam Downey thought he was about to end the drought. With his team’s deficit ballooning into double digits, Downey rose for a routine layup that would have registered the Bulldogs’ first points in a five-minute span against No. 8 Virginia on Sunday afternoon.

He didn’t see Mamadi Diakite flying across the baseline. Virginia’s spring-loaded freshman soared above the rim to pin Downey’s attempt against the glass and keep Yale’s scoreless misery going for another three minutes midway through the second half.

“The team needed me to step up and block more shots,” said Diakite, who finished with four blocks and five points. “That is what I did.”

The Cavaliers’ eight-minute defensive stand propelled them to a 62-38 victory before 14,242 at John Paul Jones Arena. Eight players filled the scoring column for Virginia (3-0), but it was Diakite’s defensive prowess that brought the crowd to its feet. Continue reading Freshman Mamadi Diakite, No. 8 Virginia take care of Yale, 62-38

Maryland men’s soccer keeps unbeaten streak alive in Big Ten tournament debut

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Rejuvenated from injuries and illnesses, rested from a much-needed week off, the top-ranked Maryland men’s soccer team hoped Sunday’s game against Michigan in the Big Ten quarterfinals would play out much differently than last week’s last-gasp struggle against the Wolverines.

It ended up being a near-replica.

Reserve midfielder George Campbell scored just under three minutes into the second sudden-death overtime period to lift Maryland to a 3-2 victory at Ludwig Field. The result extended the top-seeded Terrapins’ winning streak to 13 games and vaulted them into Friday’s semifinal against Michigan State. Continue reading Maryland men’s soccer keeps unbeaten streak alive in Big Ten tournament debut

South Lakes golfer Kurtis Grant stays crisp to capture the Virginia 6A North region crown

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Kurtis Grant surveyed the 18th fairway stretching below him Wednesday afternoon, his right leg crossed casually around his left as he sipped a 23-ounce can of Arizona-brand Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Half Iced Tea.

The South Lakes junior typically takes about 30 seconds to guzzle the drink before his round. But in homage to “The King” — and to stay better hydrated — Grant cracked open his favorite beverage at the turn of Wednesday’s Virginia 6A North region golf championship and nursed it throughout the back nine.

“I usually don’t finish very well,” Grant said. “That was different today.”

Grant carded four birdies and zero bogeys on Hidden Creek Country Club’s second half en route to a 4-under-par 67. That followed a 68 on Tuesday, giving him individual medalist honors by eight shots on the testy Reston course.

Grant’s refreshment may have helped, but the real driving force behind his seamless navigation of the narrow layout was something even more drawn out: preparation. Continue reading South Lakes golfer Kurtis Grant stays crisp to capture the Virginia 6A North region crown

Friendship Collegiate stifles H.D. Woodson to claim Ward 7 supremacy

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At first it seemed like a risky decision. On fourth and six, with his team nursing a narrow fourth-quarter lead, Friendship Collegiate quarterback Chris Ferguson was staring down a wide receiver streaking into the end zone.

The junior signal caller wasn’t aiming for the first down. He was aiming for the kill shot.

“I saw that the corners was pressed,” Ferguson said. “Coach [Mike] Hunter always told me, ‘On that play, when the corners press, we have to attack the corners on the corner route.’ ”

Ferguson lofted a pretty spiral to the corner of the end zone, and senior wide receiver Nykeim Johnson secured the touchdown to essentially put the game out of reach for H.D. Woodson. The score propelled Friendship Collegiate to a 19-14 victory in a rare meeting between the two District powers in Northeast Washington on Friday. Continue reading Friendship Collegiate stifles H.D. Woodson to claim Ward 7 supremacy

Cheyna Williams makes most of her second chance in Spirit’s 3-1 win

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Cheyna Williams had spent the past three months trying to flush the blown opportunity from her memory bank. At Sky Blue FC on April 24, in the Washington Spirit’s second game of the season, Williams entered in the second half and saw the ball fall invitingly to her feet inside the six-yard box. She whiffed.

Williams was not about to make the same mistake Sunday in her fourth start of the season. Again facing Sky Blue — this time at Maryland SoccerPlex — the Spirit’s second-youngest player experienced a flash of deja vu when teammate Caprice Dydasco fed her a cross from the end line six minutes from halftime. This time, Williams calmly placed her shot into the far corner from 10 yards to record her first career goal and put Washington ahead.

Midfielder Estefania Banini also scored, and defender Alyssa Kleiner added an emphatic insurance goal in the final minute of stoppage time to secure a 3-1 victory before 2,930 in Boyds.

[Argentina’s Estefania Banini finds a home with the Spirit]

“I think it’s kind of funny that I found myself in the same situation,” said Williams, a 22-year-old rookie. “I wanted to put it away this time.” Continue reading Cheyna Williams makes most of her second chance in Spirit’s 3-1 win

Defensive letdowns cost D.C. United in 3-0 road loss to Union

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CHESTER, Pa. — Perhaps no team in MLS has relied more on its defense than D.C. United. With an injury-hampered attack that has scored the third-fewest goals in the league, United rode to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings on the back of two sturdy goalkeepers and a rotating wall of dependable defenders.

That wall collapsed against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night. A pair of sloppy penalties put United in a two-goal halftime hole, and a third goal two minutes after intermission put the visitors out of their misery before 18,463 at Talen Energy Stadium.

Saturday’s 3-0 result marked United’s eighth scoreless outing of the season. The Union (8-6-5) snapped a two-game skid and climbed within one point of first-place New York City FC in the Eastern Conference standings.

“We were just late to show up to this match in every aspect,” said United Coach Ben Olsen, whose team fell to 5-7-6. “They had more everything in that first half. We give up a set piece to make it 3-0, and it’s over.”

Continue reading Defensive letdowns cost D.C. United in 3-0 road loss to Union