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Archive for July, 2016

July 31, 2016 — Long Island 13, Boston 8

FULL TIME That’s all for now; thank you for tuning in

FULL TIME Boston made a late push, but the Sound had too much talent in its lineup. The late leg injury to Cannizzaro cannot have helped

FULL TIME The Sound won its championship through determination and defense. The Long Island defenders were an extension of goalie Devon Wills, who won league MVP

FULL TIME At the final horn, Long Island wins the inaugural UWLX title 13-8

69:12 LI GOAL Alyssa Leonard with the final dagger;  Sound lead 13-8

64:30 LI GOAL Taryn Van Thof scores through a screen and the Sound lead 12-8

63:00 LI GOAL Just like that, Becca Block off the draw! Sound now back up 11-8

62:00 LI GOAL Dowd, cool as you like, puts it in near-post, and Long Island leads 10-8

59:20 BOS GOAL Treanor spins and scores! The Storm is now surging to within 9-8

57:20 BOS GOAL Lauren Kahn with the fake and score! Boston pulls to within 9-7

56:38 Cannizzaro is down and hurt for Boston; this is hurtful for the Storm, who have only one outfield sub now

55:27 McPartland is down injured for Long Island

53:45 BOS GOAL Igoe with the forehand on the right side; Sound still lead 9-6

50:39 LI GOAL Fratzke shoots through a screen! Sound up 9-5

45:00 Boston’s Cannizzaro and Kempney try their luck on Wills and she stones them!

40:50 LI GOAL Dowd cuts through the fan and sticks a behind-the-back shot! Sound lead 8-5 on the EWO

39:38 BOS YELLOW Cannizzaro with a two-minute yellow for a check to the head

36:53 LI GOAL Just as the possession clock expired, Kelly McPartland scores! That has to be a mental backbreaker! 7-5 Sound lead

35:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME The momentum was seized by Long Island in the final five minutes of the first half. In the summer heat, and with only two outfield subs, I cannot see the Storm coming back

HALFTIME The siren goes with the Sound leading 6-5

34:53 LI GOAL Katie Rowan dunks it over the goalie; Long Island now leads 6-5

34:30 LI GOAL Scott ties it off the set play; it is now 5-5

34:08 Timeout, Long Island

30:09 LI GOAL Lindsay Scott responds; deficit is one

28:40 BOS GOAL Kara Cannizzaro with the shot to give Boston a 5-3 lead

26:00 LI GOAL Speaking of defenders, Alice Mercer comes in late and puts it in! Sound trail 4-3

25:40 BOS FP And Flury’s pass out is contested and knocked down; that’s how quick the defenders are in the league

25:00 BOS FP Cannizzaro passes this time to Ali Flury who is checked

24:00 BOS FP Kara Cannizzaro rushes the crease from top dead center; she is pushed into the crease and we’ll rerack

16:50 BOS GOAL Kristin Igoe scores from the right side; Storm up 4-2

12:40 BOS GOAL Treanor with a behind-the-back effort! Storm up 3-2

11:00 BOS GOAL Kayla Treanor wrists it in from tha arc: game tied 2-2

7:28 LI GOAL Katrina Dowd sprints in on an arcing run and pegs it; Sound up 2-1

4:25 BOS GOAL Kayla Treanor with a long shot that evades Wills; Game tied 1-1

1:30 LI GOAL Hillary Fratzke with the knockdown of a Liz Hogan outlet; sticks with it and makes her pay! 1-0 Sound

0:00 The game is on; we’ll play 35-minute halves

PREGAME Boston is in the all-red kit with white numbers and blue trim; Long Island is in blue kilts with white tops

PREGAME The teams are warming up under sunny skies, temperatures around 88 degrees

PREGAME But if you take a page from men’s pro lacrosse, you’ll notice that there are times when an unheralded player will step up and make a big-time effort. Might that come from someone like the Storm’s Kelsey Sheridan? Or perhaps the Sound’s Lindsay Scott?

PREGAME You might notice, too, that the two best goalies in the national team pool are in the final; Devon Wills of Long Island and Liz Hogan of Boston

PREGAME I think this final is going to be all about matchups and who is assigned to shut off specific players. The close defenders are going to be counted on as extensions of the two goalies

PREGAME Both finalists have come through their own sets of tribulations to get here. Long Island has already been on the field for 54 minutes in the last 19 hours, and Boston, after waiting out last night’s rain, had to get up early for a 9 a.m. semifinal

PREGAME Back now at Homewood Field for the UWLX final between the Boston Storm and the Long Island Sound

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July 31, 2016 — Long Island 8, Philadelphia 4

FULL TIME We’ll be back soon for the final between Long Island and Boston

FULL TIME The Force let Devon Wills into their heads in the second half, not scoring in the final 26 minutes 

FULL TIME Long Island were back on their heels for the first third of this game, but the Sound’s fortunes improved by getting Katrina Dowd the ball 

FULL TIME At the final siren, Long Island takes the win, 8-4

38:31 PHI YELLOW Katie Hersch with a check to the head; not the best time for a penalty
37:45 LI GOAL Alyssa Leonard with the goal that surely sends the astound to the final; Storm lead 8-4

35:30 LI GOAL Katrina Dowd looks like she is playing hopscotch as she weaves through traffic to score a wondergoal! Sound lead 7-4

34:03 Kara Mupo is down on the turf; time is out for the injury

29:25 LI GOAL Dowd with the EWO goal and the Sound lead 6-4

28:30 PHL YELLOW Madison Cyr is offside and will sit for one minute

25:15 LI GOAL Katrina Dowd whirls like a dervish and finds a way to beat Bianco with a shot; Long Island leads 5-4

22:30 PHL YELLOW Mupo is offside and will sit for a minute

HALFTIME I think the Philadelphia attack has really hit upon a combination on attack with Kara Mupo, Canadian Kailyn Morrisette, and one of the oldest players in the league, Hilary Bowen

HALFTIME Philadelphia is still punching above its weight against a Long Island team which should by all rights be winning

HALFTIME It’s honors even as the team’s head to the locker room tied 4-4

19:41 Julie Gardner collapses in the fan holding her leg; does not look promising

17:20 LI GOAL Katrina Dowd, despite getting fouled, somehow manages to get it to Fratzke for the goal that levels matters at 4-4

15:30 LI GOAL Nice hi-lo from Katie Rowan to Erin Collins and the score is 4-3

13:39 PHL GOAL Mupo between the wickets! Force lead 4-2

12:30 LI GOAL Alyssa Leonard with a crafty shot from the doorstep! Sound are within 3-2

7:20 PHL GOAL Alyssa Murray finds room on the right wing after Michelle Tumolo picks off an ill-advised pass; Force up 3-1

5:45  PHL GOAL Kara Mupo scores and the Force lead 2-1

4:15 PHL GOAL Kailyn Morrissette with the EWO goal; game tied 1-1

3:00 LI YELLOW Offside on the Storm and a player leaves the pitch for a minute

2:30 LI GOAL Hillary Fratzke with the forehander; Long Island leads 1-0

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Philadelphia is wearing real with white numbers; Long Island in the blue kilts with white tops and red trim

PREGAME The teams are warming up under bright skies with a touch of humidity,temperatures around 83

PREGAME Philadelphia is the hottest team in the league, winning both of its matches to end the regular season

PREGAME Long Island is the No. 1 seed and regular season champion, with strength in all facets of the game

PREGAME These two sides were locked in a 4-4 tie in the first half before yesterday’s storm pushed the game to today 

PREGAME Back at Homewood Field for the second UWLX semifinal between Long Island and Philadelphia 

July 31, 2016 — Boston 10, Baltimore 3

FULL TIME Back in a few with the second semifinal between Philadelphia and Long Island

FULL TIME The 20-minute halves were not enough for the Ride to allow its bench strength to become a factor

FULL TIME A shorthanded Storm side took the early initiative and, importantly, took shots that were unsaveable

FULL TIME At the siren, the Storm take a 10-3 win

39:35 And in a microcosm of the day, a pass to the heart of the arc is put on goal by Erica Body, but Boston’s Liz Hogan is strong in the cage!

34:00 BOS GOAL Colleen Magarity sticks an Igor feed; it’s 10-3 Boston

32:32 Kerry Stootoff stops a riser! That is Baltimore’s first save of the match

30:40 BAL GOAL Courtney Swan quick-sticks a Dobbie feed that had every right to be picked off; Ride need to make up six more

29:04 Timeout, Baltimore. Thus far, the Ride defense has not managed to make a save

29:00 BOS GOAL Igoe scores and stakes the Storm to  9-2 lead

27:30 BOS GOAL Igoe with an open finish in front, but the genius of the goal was Kara Canizzaro’s existential pass from the office that left the Ride defenders chasing shadows; Storm lead 8-2

24:30 BOS GOAL Erin Silfer finishes the break down the middle; Storm lead 7-2

23:00 Jenn Russell is shutting off Dobbie and causing all sorts of problems in the Ride attack; no shot is easy 

20:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Meanwhile, Baltimore is having trouble in the areas you might expect them to excel in: shooting and controlling the draws

HALFTIME If there is one player who exemplified the half, give a call to Kristin Igoe. The Team USA standout is having a good game thus far, and are letting the ball do the work

HALFTIME The horn sounds with Boston leading Baltimore 6-2

19:30 Ride force a shot-clock violation, but turn the ball over with a lollipop pass into the attacking half. Not the best clock management 

18:00 Storm will look to take some air out of the ball here

16:00 BOS GOAL Kayla Treanor with a behind-the-back goal in traffic; how did that go in? Storm lead 6-2

14:00 BAL GOAL Alex Aust finishes a 2-man game with Dobbie; Ride trail 5-2

12:15 BOS GOAL Kahn is left along in the fan and makes no mistake; Storm lead 5-1

10:45 BAL GOAL Dana Dobbie rifles  in the skip pass and the Ride trail 4-1

9:56 Timeout, Baltimore. The Ride cannot afford to let the game get away from them

9:36 BOS GOAL Quick ball movement from Lauren Kahn to Kempney leads to a goal that stakes the Storm to a 4-0 lead

7:30 BOS GOAL Igoe catches a rhythm pass from Kailah Kempney and finishes; Storm lead 3-0 and look to assume complete control here 

5:37 BOS GOAL Kayla Treanor with the loop and goal; Storm ahead 2-0

2:03 BAL GREEN Ride are offside and will be down for a minute 

0:48 BOS GOAL Kristin Igor with the early goal for the Storm, who lead 1-9

0:00 The game is on 

PREGAME Boston will be in the red kilts with white tops, Baltimore in all-purple

PREGAME The teams are warming up on Homewood Field’s artificial grass, which was water-washed by last night’s monsoon rains. It is a little humid; temperatures around 81 degrees

PREGAME Many factors will come into play today: fitness, goaltending, offensive cohesion. But I think, in a day when you are looking to win two games to take a final, I would rather have good low-defenders rather than a hot goalie. Let us see what wins

PREGAME Boston, the No. 2 seed, is behind the proverbial 8-ball. The Storm not only had to get up early for this game, but only has three substitutes available 

PREGAME Baltimore, despite being the lower-seeded team, is the likely favorite not only because it is home, but because of all the Tewaaraton winners in the lineup

PREGAME An important wrinkle today: both semifinal contests will be 40-minute halves. A team that catches fire early could have an advantage

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Honewood Field for this UWLX semifinal match between the Boston Storm and the Baltimore Ride

BULLETIN: July 30, 2016 — UWLX championship is now a tripleheader

About 12 minutes into the first semifinal match of the United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX) League, lightning and monsoon rains enveloped Baltimore and much of the East Coast. It forced a halt to the action, and after a nearly three-hour wait, the decision was made to play the semifinals and final tomorrow.

The teams which did not play last night, the host Baltimore Ride and the Boston Storm, will begin at 9 a.m., while the Philadelphia Force and top-seed Long Island Sound will replay their semifinal in its entirety beginning at 10:30 a.m. It’s the kind of scheduling you might have seen in the early days of the AIAW, when a five-round tournament was squeezed into four days.

Tomorrow’s 1 p.m. final will feature advantages and disadvantages for whichever team makes it. The Ride-Storm winner will have a rest advantage over the winner of the Force and the Sound, especially given the fact that the Force and the Sound will have to play 72 minutes rather than 60 in order to get into the title match. Then again, the Force and Sound will still be warmed up for the final; the Ride-Storm survivor may have a difficult time getting warmed back up for the second game.

But these are the fittest female lacrosse players on the planet, and that fitness will be tested to the limit in the Maryland heat tomorrow.

July 30, 2016 — The end of a beginning

This evening, the ancestral center of American lacrosse, Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins University, will see even more history.

For it is this weekend that the inaugural United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX) League will come to a conclusion with a doubleheader featuring top-seeded Long Island Sound against a red-hot Philadelphia Force team at 5:30 p.m., with the host Baltimore Ride taking on the Boston Storm at 7:30 p.m.

The four teams come in with a pretty equal chance of winning, especially given what happened during the last match weekend, which saw Philadelphia win both of its games: its first two victories of the year. If the Force were to do the same this weekend, it would win the championship, which would be an outstanding achievement.

I think, however, the key to this championship weekend is going to be defense. Long Island is going to have an advantage in this regard because it selected Team USA goalie Devon Wills with its first pick in the UWLX draft.

Wills led the league in goals-against average (10.04), and her backup Kelsey Gregerson was not far behind (11.00), which tells me the Long Island defense is a very good unit. And believe me, it takes good defense and goaltending to win championships.

 

July 29, 2016 — A pin in the balloon?

Aerial Powers?

Kelsey Bone?

Sugar Rogers?

Earlier this week, these women were wearing the letters USA on their tanktops as members of a select team meant to give the U.S. Olympic basketball team a good runout before Rio. Despite being unknown to all but a handful of true WNBA junkies, the select team pushed the Olympic team to within four points on Monday night in Los Angeles.

In watching parts of that game, as well as seeing the States in a Wednesday game in Newark, Del., I do wonder if the 2016 team, which on paper is as talented as any women’s team ever assembled, is in trouble. There were times when players were late to their assigned spots in the offense, leading to late passes which were easily intercepted by high pressure.

Layups were missed. The defense was a step slow. The expected rain of long-range buckets to break the spirit of the opposition didn’t come. That is, until Maya Moore got untracked in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game against France, the fourth-best team in the world according to the FIBA rankings.

It’s hard to judge this U.S. team after only a handful of shootarounds and this week of scrimmages. They will, however, need to find themselves in short order because the Olympics begin next week.

July 28, 2016 — Louisville, doing what others have not

An old European proverb says, “A fish rots from the head.”

The University of Louisville’s athletics program has undergone a number of scandals the last few years. Some have involved its men’s basketball team, but other teams have made the headlines for the wrong reasons. There was a mini-scandal when the school’s women’s lacrosse coach was besmirched by accusations of verbal abuse, and the school three years ago hired the volatile Bobby Petrino as its head football coach.

But it took a scandal involving strippers and teenage basketball recruits, plus an FBI investigation into the misuse of federal funds, that led to the resignation of Louisville president James Ramsey.

There have been different scandals over the years involving college sports: point shaving, inappropriate use of social media, hazing, and even criminal activity. Most have resulted in sanctions against the team or against select individuals.

But rare is the instance when the lack of institutional control in the athletic department has blown back to affect the administration of an entire university.

It’s something that has not happened to a number of scandal-ridden institutions such as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee. It took years of reporting and a sudden focus of attention by the U.S. Justice Department to force massive changes within FIFA and several continental soccer federations.

And despite what looks to be a disastrous Rio Olympics, plus drug and bidding scandals dating back decades, IOC committee members sit back on their shiny thrones, making more and more outrageous demands.

Which are not far removed from the demands placed on university presidents by men’s basketball and football coaches.