Saturday, May 19, 2018

Kubitza's grand slam home run leads Sugar Land to 10-4 win over Southern Maryland

Sugar Land Skeeters manager Pete Incaviglia has seen
his team connect for 26 runs in two games against the
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

Story and Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (May 19, 2018) Paced by a grand slam home run by right fielder Kyle Kubitzathe Sugar Land Skeeters (13-7) downed the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (7-12) by the score of 10-4 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas on Saturday,May 19, 2018). The win pushed the Skeeters record for the home stand to 4-2 against the Blue Crabs.

The Blue Crabs jumped put out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first innings with second baseman Johnny Bladel scoring on a throwing error by Sugar Land first baseman Matt Chavez. First baseman Devon Rodriguez secured the Southern Maryland second run off a single by left fielder Ryan Strausborger. They added an additional run in the second inning to take the score to 3-0 after nine outs. The Skeeters came back in the bottom of the inning, when left fielder Courtney Hawkins knocked a solid hit down the third base line, scoring third baseman Albert Cordero and second baseman Anthony Giansanti from third and second base, respectively. Sugar Land added two more run in the third inning to take a 4-3 lead. The Blue Crabs responded with an additional run in the top of the fourth to tie the score at four.

Then Kubitza connected for his base-clearing hit over the left center field wall and into the play land. The round tripper was his second home run of the season and pushed his RBI total to 17 for 2018. The Skeeters added two insurance runs, on a hit by Hawkins in the seventh inning, and a hit by first baseman Matt Chavez, in the eighth, to close out the scoring for the night. Hawkins currently leads the Atlantic League in both RBI, with 26, and home runs (six).

The current series ends on Sunday, May 20 with a 2:05 p.m. CDT start. The Skeeters will begin a six-game road series on Tuesday, May 22 against the Somerset Patriots and the New Britain Bees before returning on May 29 to host the Long Island Ducks.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Deer Park 8U Vengeance kicks off All-Star softball season with two wins

Photo by Kristine Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

SPLENDORA, TEXAS (May 12, 2018) The Deer Park Vengeance 8U Softball Team kicked off the 2018 summer all-star season with two wins and one loss at the All-Star District Tournament on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Splendora, Texas. In their first game of the tournament, Vengeance downed Conroe Crush by the score of 7-5. They followed up with a 10-5 win over East Montgomery County Texans before dropping an 11-10 heart-breaker to the Conroe Crush.

In the three games, Vengeance tallied 44 hits for a team batting average of .657. The also combined for 31 singles, nine doubles, and two triples. All 13 players on the all-star roster connected for hits with 12 scoring runs. Offensively, the All-Stars were led by third baseman Gaby Sanchez, right fielder Chloe Willis, rover Emilee Mendoza, and left fielder Cambrie Johnson with five hits each, followed by shortstop Morgan Meredith and flex Reyna Calzonzint with four each, and flex Brooke Sawyer, pitcher Mikayla Garza, and center fielder Raleigh Gil with three each. Two hits each were added by catcher Kirstin Kelly, second baseman Madison Jones, first baseman MerrieAnne Minor while flex Marissa Vasquez added one.

Garza led the Vengeance with five RBI, with Johnson and Garza both scoring four times, with Garza and Calzonzint adding triples and Sanchez connecting for a solo home run. Kelly, while behind the plate, had two tags at home and one pop-up foul caught for outs. As a result of their individual play, Garza was selected by the game officials as the Most Valuable Player against the Crush and Texans. In addition, Minor was selected as the game MVP in the second game against the Crush.

The Vengeance will continue tournament play on Sunday, May 13 against the Deer Park Dynasty with a 9:20 a.m. first pitch, and are coached by Abel Mendoza, Leah Jones, Tim Willis, Larry King, Dale Yurt and John Sawyer.

New York Yankees purchase contract of Rey Navarro from Sugar Land Skeeters

 SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (May 12, 2018) The Sugar Land Skeeters announced today that the New York Yankees have purchased the contract of infielder Rey Navarro. The Yankees have yet to announce what level Navarro will report to.

Navarro becomes the second member of the 2018 Skeeters team to have their contract purchased by an MLB organization. Left-hander Paco Rodriguez had his contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins on May 2.

Navarro, 28, signed with the Skeeters prior to Tuesday’s game against the Lancaster Barnstormers. He became the first player in Skeeters history to hit two home runs in his debut on May 8, with the two home runs also coming in his first two at-bats. In three games with the Skeeters, Navarro went 6-for-11 with two doubles, two home runs and three RBIs.

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Navarro in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2015 and hit .276 with a home run and three RBIs in 10 games, which has accounted for all of his MLB service time. Navarro began the 2018 season with Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle Mariners) and was released by the organization on April 27.
In 1,152 career Minor League games, Navarro has a slash line of .265/.313/.374 with 61 home runs and 486 RBIs. He spent four seasons in the Diamondbacks organization (2007-10), four in the Kansas City Royals organization (2010-13), one in the Cincinnati Reds organization (2014), one in the Orioles organization (2015), two in the Los Angeles Angels organization (2016-17) and one in the Mariners organization (2018). Navarro was a Midwest League All-Star in 2009 with Single-A South Bend (Arizona), a Carolina League All-Star in 2011 with High-A Wilmington (Kansas City) and a Southern League All-Star in 2014 with Double-A Pensacola (Cincinnati).

Friday, May 11, 2018

TexSport Publications named Broadcast and Media Outlet of Deer Park 8U Vengeance

By Chris Price
Copyright 2018 All Rights Rseerved

PASADENA, TEXAS (May 11, 2018) TexSport Publications is proud to announce that they are the official broadcast and media outlet for the Deer Park 8U Vengeance All-Star Softball Team. TexSport Publications will cover and report on the Vengeance during the 2018 summer all-star softball season and broadcast all their home games and selected road games.

The live broadcasts will be available on Facebook Live and on their YouTube Live channel, with Robert Kelly handling the play-by-play duties and Darla Tamulitis providing the color commentary.

The long-time media duo also broadcast the Deer Park 8U Cougars games during the 2018 spring season league games in the Deer Park Girl's Softball League.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Houston Dash, Portland Thorns battle to one-all draw

Story and photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 9, 2018) With a header by defender Janine van Wyk in the 81st minute, the Houston Dynamo protected their draw as they tied the Portland Thorns FC 1-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Wednesday evening. Portland got on the scoreboard first when forward Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic took a pass from captain Christine Sinclair in the 25th minute, and right-footer the ball from outside the box to the bottom right corner for the first goal of the game. The score was the first of the season for the Swiss native and the third assist for Sinclair.

It took the Dash 32 minutes to even the score when forward Kyah Simon when across the cage from the right side of the box for her first goal of 2018. The score was the second of her NWSL career. Four minutes from the end of the game, it was Simon again providing the danger, this time with a right-footed blast from 23 yards that sailed over the crossbar. 
Simon stated:

“It’s always nice to score a goal. We built some momentum from it and created some big chances. There were some good parts in the game where we looked like the better team. It’s something to build from especially from the win last week and taking a point away against the reigning champs.”

She added, about her first goal with the club,

“I need to watch it back; I have terrible memory. I remember (Dash FW) Veronica (Latsko) holding the ball and making an overlapping run around her. Then, her playing me and it was a perfectly timed pass. I had to just hit through it to the back post. We’ve been working in training and some things are starting to pay off. We as a group are starting to build confidence. We competed against the best team in the league and got a point as well. I’m happy with the point; it was a 50/50 game.”

The Dash will play their third match in an eight-day span on Saturday when they travel to Chicago to take on the Red Stars at Toyota Park. That match is slated for a 7 p.m. CDT kickoff and will be streamed live on the go90 app and online at

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Sugar Land Skeeters drop heart breaker to Somerset Patriots, 7-6

Story and photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (May 5, 2018) Catcher Derek Norris went 3-for-4 with three RBI as the Sugar Land Skeeters dropped their first game of the season to the Somerset Patriots at Constellation Field in Sugar Land. Both teams tallied 10 hits in the 7-6 loss, with Sugar Land dropping to 7-1 for the season. Right hander Konner Wade, pitching 1.1 inning in relief received the loss.  The series will continue on Sunday, May 6 with a 2:05 p.m. CDT start.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

2018 Cap 2K Open Water Race and Pledge Swim scheduled for Sunday, April 29, 2018

Students from Pasadena Memorial High School in Pasadena, Texas, who competed in the 2016 race,
 are shown  with Olympic Gold Medalist and race coordinator Sandy Neilson-Bell (third from left).
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography, Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

AUSTIN, TEXAS (April 29, 2018) At 10:30 a.m. in Austin, Texas, the 2018 Cap 2K Open Water Race and Pledge Swim will begin with over 200 swimmers from all over the United States competing. The race, which is billed as "The Only 'Downhill' Swimming Race in Texas" will start off the east end of  Red Bud Isle  and will consist of a 2000-plus-meter straightaway course ending at the Texas Rowing Center in Austin in Lady Bird Lake.

The race is the brainchild of Dr. Keith Bell and his wife, Sandy Neilson-Bell and will attract swimmers as young as 12-year-old and as old as their 80s. The divisions include adults 18-and-over, youth 12-14 years old, , first responders, and a separate division for those choosing to wear a wet suit. The Cap 2K also includes a division for high school-aged swimmers. The 10th Annual Open Water Swimming H.S. Championships will see seventeen swimmers from the Houston area competing, including swimmers who attend First Baptist Christian Academy, Pasadena High School, Pasadena Memorial High School, Sam Rayburn High School and various swimming clubs from the Gulf area.

As stated on the event's web site, it is held for fun, health and fitness, to promote clean water and water conversation, and to raise money for swim lessons for those less fortunate and to fight prostate cancer through support, education, awareness and advocacy.

Awards to the top competitors will be presented at the conclusion of the race at Eiler's Park, which is next to historic Deep Eddy Pool in Austin.

Ohai returns to starting XI, but Houston Dash falls to North Carolina 2-0

Photo by Jennifer Edwards
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 28, 2018) The 3,591 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium were witness to the return of Kealia Ohai to the starting lineup, but it was not enough, as the Houston Dash dropped a 2-0 decision to the North Carolina Courage on Saturday afternoon in Houston. Ohai, along with newcomer Kyah Simon, excited the highly partisan crowd, but the Dash could not find the back of the net for the third loss of the season. Ohai talked after the game about her return.  

“Good, as far as my knee, and physically, I feel really good. I just think that we have some areas that we need to improve on, definitely set pieces – that is one of our weaknesses and we need to be better defending those, but I think we have a lot with (forward) Kyah (Simon) and we have a lot to build on. Kyah has only got about three practices with us so, moving forward we are going to improve a lot, still, but it’s just those little things that we need to fix.”

The Courage scored in the third minute with a long throw-in from forward Jessica McDonald, which bounced inside the penalty area and found forward Crystal Dunn in the right position for her third goal of the season. They added an insurance goal lead in the 48th minute after the Dash cleared a corner kick that fell to midfielder Kristen Hamilton. Hamilton settled the bouncing ball and uncorked a shot from 25 yards out that beat Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell low to her right post.

Dash fans were brought to their feet in the 76th minute when midfielder Linda Motlhalo went down on the pitch with an injury and had to be carried off the field by teammate Rachel Daly (shown above). The 19-year-old South African was replaced by Claire Falknor.

Next up for the Dash is a Saturday, May 5 match up against Sky Blue FC in New Jersey. They return to BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday, May 9 to host the defending NWSL Champions, Portland Thorns FC.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Skeeters make it 2-0 with walk off single to down New Britain 5-4

Story and Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (April 28, 2018) Albert Cordero's walk off single in the ninth inning sealed a 5-4 win for the Sugar Land Skeeters over the New Britain Bees on Saturday, April 28 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas. The Skeeter catcher, who was pitch hitting for Alvaro Rondon, connected on a 1-0 pitch, to score first baseman Matt Chavez. The win pushed Sugar Land's record to 2-0 in the six-game season opening series.

The Skeeters scores three runs in the first inning, with the Bees leveling the score in the second. Sugar Land regained the lead in the fourth and held onto their 4-3 lead when New Britain scored a single run in the eighth. After than, Cordero connected for his single to knock in the winning run. The series continues on Sunday with a 2:05 p.m. CDT start.

Sugar Land tabs 2-1 win over New Britain to kick off season

Story and photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (April 27, 2018) The Sugar Land Skeeters kicked of their 2018 season with a new manager, a load of new players, and a 2-1 win over the New Britain Bees on Friday, April 27, 2018. The capacity crowd at Constellation Field saw Pete Incaviglia (shown above) take over the manager reins from Gary Gaetti, who stepped down in 2017 after six years at the helm of the Skeeters

Sugar Land's runs came from designated hitter Courtney Hawkins, who nailed a 1-1 pitch to deep right-center field for an inside-the-park home run to put the Skeeters up 1-0 in the bottom of the third. Center fielder Anthony Giansanti followed Hawkins with a triple, and was sent home on second baseman Alovaro Rondon's sacrifice grounder. The Bees scored their single run in the fifth inning. The Skeeters tallied their two runs on six hits while leaving only four on base. Starting pitcher Mitch Talbot received the win, going five innings while giving up four hits and one unearned run. 

The series continues on Saturday with a 6:05 p.m. CDT start.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Houston Dynamo down Toronto FC 5-1

Story and photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 21, 2018) For the fifth time in club history, the Houston Dynamo scored five goals in one game in route to a 5-1 win over Toronto FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. The win evened their record to 2-2-2 and snapped a two-game losing streak for Houston. All it took was seven minutes and the Dynamo was already up by two goals. Three minutes into the game, Mauro Manotas nailed his third goal of the season to begin the game. Romell Quioto was crediting with the assist. Four minutes later, Leonardo doubled Houston's offensive production for the afternoon when he converted a deflected corner kick, for his first goal of the season. In the first half, Toronto was called four times for off-sides, which certainly made a difference in the first 45 minutes.

Toronto developed very little offensive punch in the first half and that continued in the second half. Houston came right back in the second half and gave Toronto a bloody nose in the 46th minute, Eric Alexander pounces on a rebound in front of goal to put the Dynamo up 3-0. Six minutes later, Toronto cut Houston's lead to two when Mitch Taintor bagged his first MLS goal 

Houston added insurance goals in the 60th minute when Alberth Elis restores the three-goal lead for Houston; scoring his third goal of the season. Seventeen minutes later, Quioto tallied his first goal of 2018 to clinch the Houston win.

Head coach Wilmer Cabrera (shown above) was quoted after the game:

 “I think it was important for us to win today. It was a must for us because we have lost the past two games here. We needed this win badly. We were focused on this game to try to win. We scored right away, but overall I think while it was for us important to get the three points, our performance wasn’t as good as the other ones. Our possession, our rhythm wasn’t as good, and I think we weren't as sharp as we were in the past games, even with bad results. It could be the fact that we got two goals quickly. I think still we considered too many options for them that it shouldn’t happen today, so we have to continue working. We need to continue improving. It was positive for us that all our forwards scored: Romell (Quioto), Alberth (Elis), and Mauro (Manotas), all three up front. They scored, and that is important for them to get the confidence, especially for Alberth that he was able to score. It was good, but still I believe we could do better. We have to be more solid defensively. We conceded only one goal, but it could have been two goals against a team that are very young. It’s their second team for them, so that’s something that we are not happy about because we could do better, and we have to do better.”

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Lloyd scores 100th international goal to lead USA to 6-2 win over Mexico

Story and photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 8, 2018) In a game that saw Carli Lloyd score her 100th international goal along with Alex Morgan's two goals, the U.S. Women's National Team downed Mexico 6-2 in an international friendly match at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium. On Thursday, April 5, the USA also downed Mexico 4-1 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Americans did not waste any time scoring when Mallory Pugh got around the Mexican defense and scored her 11th international goal to put the USA up 1-0 in the third minute. Mexico responded 14 minutes later when Monica Ocampo drilled the ball, from the left side, past goalkeeper Jane Campbell to tie the score. The goal was the 14th international goal of her career, which leads the current Mexico team roster.

El Tri took the lead in the game when Kiana Palacios scored off a corner kick by Ocampo in the 17th minute. After that, the USA scored three unanswered goals to close out the first half of play with a 4-2 lead. The first of the three goals came from Lindsay Horan in the 25th minute. Nine minutes later Lloyd headed in the third American goal, and her 100th international goal, from the center of the goal area with an assist from Morgan. With two minutes remaining on the half, Morgan tallied her 84th international gaol to put Brian the USA up 4-2. Megan Rapinoe was credited with two assists in the first half; on the goals by Horan and Morgan. The United States padded their lead in the second half with goals by Rapinoe (64th minute) and Morgan (69th minute). It was the 36th international goal for Rapinoe and 85th for Morgan. 

Three Americans saw their first action for Team USA. Haley Hanson (Houston Dash), Hallie Mace (UCLA), and Tegan McGrady (Stanford) all received their first cap for the United States. Hanson came into the game in the 40th minute to replace Horan. Mace entered the game in the 50th minute for Tierna Davidson, while McGrady took over for Pugh in the 58th minute.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Deer Park 8U Cougars advance in winner's bracket of La Porte Tournament

Photo by Kristine Kelly
Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

LA PORTE, TEXAS (April 7, 2018) The Deer Park 8U Cougars Girls' Softball Team stormed through the first two rounds of the La Porte Girls Softball Tournament, scoring a total of 25 runs in two games at Little Cedar Bayou Park in La Porte, Texas on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

In their first game of the tournament, the Cougars downed the South Houston Extreme by the score of 11-0. The "Ladies in Red" scored four runs in both the first and second innings, and added three insurance runs in the third for their first win of the tournament. Their 11 runs was the result of 14 hits while leaving only three runners on base. They followed that with a 14-13 win over Deepwater Xplosion to go 2-0 in the winner's bracket of the tournament. Against Deepwater, the Cougars needed two extra innings to secure the one-run victory.

Against the Extreem, nine of the ten Cougars playing in the game reached base, with left fielder Quinn Romero, shortstop Aubrey Rogers, and catcher Kirstin Kelly each scoring two runs. Pitcher Cali Telles, first baseman Riley Wilson, center fielder Jocelynn Wall, second baseman Emilee Mendoza, and right fielder Paige Taylor connected at the plate for seven RBI, with third baseman Melina Delgado and rover Mia Ceniceros adding runs for the Cougars.

The Cougars had a tough match up in their second game of the tournament against Deepwater. They jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one inning, and held an 8-5 lead after two. Xplosion cut Deer Park's lead to two in the third and tied the score at eight in the fourth when the Cougars failed to score. That marked the end of regulation; forcing the game to extra innings. In the fifth inning, Deepwater exploed for four runs to take the lead 12 -8. The Cougars responded in great fashion, scoring four runs to again tie the game. In the sixth inning, Deer Park held Xplosion to a single run to take the score to 13-12. The Cougars began the inning with runners at second and third (as per the tie breaker rules)  when Kelly strode the plate. and after two pitches, connected for a fly ball over the second baseman's head and into center field; scoring Delgado and Rogers from third base and second base, respectively, for two runs and the win. Romero, Telles, Wilson, Delgado, and Wall were three-of-three at the plate, with Mendoza, Ceniceros, and Taylor adding hits and runs late in the game to add to the Cougars' total.

Deer Park will face the Deer Park Hooks in the third round of the tournament with a 9:05 p.m. CDT first pitch. 
The Cougars are managed by Larry King and coached by Abel Mendoza and Dale Yurt.

Selected Cougar games are broadcast live on Facebook direct from the ballpark. Contact Robert H Kelly at for details. 

Monday, April 02, 2018

Deep Park 8U Cougars make it two-straight with 11-5 win over DP Crush

Photo by
Darla Tamulitis Kelly, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

DEER PARK, TEXAS (April 2, 2018) Third baseman Melina Delgado was three-for-three at the plate and connected for a two-run home run in the third inning to lead the Deer Park Cougars 8U softball team to a 11-5 win over the Deer Park Crush at the Deer Park Adult Softball Fields on Monday evening. The Cougars tallied their 11 runs off 15 hits to raise their league record to 2-3 for the season. They scored their first three runs in the first inning, with solid hitting by Delgado, left fielder Quinn Romero (1-for-1, one run), shortstop Aubrey Rogers, (two singles, two runs), rover Jocelynn Wall (single, RBI) and catcher Kirstin Kelly (single, RBI). They added a single run in the second inning off a sacrifice grounder by Romero, scoring flex Mia Ceniceros from second base. 

The third inning saw the Cougars add three runs to their total, with first baseman Riley Wilson, Delgado, and Rogers all scoring runs. Right fielder Paige Taylor (1-for 2, single), along with Ceniceros, pitcher Cali Telles, and Wilson added insurance runs in the fourth. Second baseman Kalissa Telles (1-for-2, single) also scored a run in the fourth. Center fielder Genesis Rodriguez had a great game defensively, fielding the ball on numerous plays to limiting the Crush advancing runners into scoring position.

Next up for the Cougars is a Wednesday, April 4 rematch with the Deer Park Savage. The Cougars downed the Savage 10-8 on March 26 for  their first win of the season. First pitch is set for  6:15 p.m. CDT at the Adult Softball Complex in Deer Park. The Cougars are managed by Larry King, and coached by Able Mendoza and Dale Yurt.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Houston Dynamo falls 2-0 to New England Revolution

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (March 31, 2018) For the 24th time in program history, the Houston Dynamo and the New England Revolution faced off in a 90-minute contest with the Revolution taking a 2-0 win at BBVA  Compass Stadium in Houston. The Dynamo lost dropped them to 1-2-1 (4 points) for the season and takes their all-time record against their Eastern Conference rival to 5-12-7.

In the 15th minute, New England took the early lead on a counter attack shot by forward Teal Bunbury. He took a pass from forward  Cristian Penilla, who was driving down the right side and aptly sent the ball to the Canadian for the score. It was the first goal of the season for Bunbury and the third assist for Penilla.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

In the 35th minute, DaMarcus Beasley (shown left) picked up a red card for aggressive play; taking down Penilla at the top of the box, forcing the Houston to play with 10 men and without the services of their captain for the remainder of the match. It was first exclusion of his career, and as a result, Houston will be without Beasley in their April 14 match in San Jose.

The second half saw the Dynamo aggressively attacking the Revolution; with Alberth Elis breaking for the goal in the 63rd minute. His shot was turned away by goalkeeper Matt Turnerto keep the New England lead at one. New England responded nine minutes later with a tight-angle shot from the right post by Penilla for the second goal of the game. 

Dynamo head coach Wilber Camrera discussed with the press, after the game, the adjustment that were made a halftime. 

"We just decided to keep a block of the back four and two defensive midfielders. We sacrificed (FW) Andrew Wenger. He went from the wing to the left back and he did a good job. Then we keep the two midfielders, defensive midfielders, and we tried to leave (FW) Alberth (Elis) and (FW) Mauro (Manotas) a little bit more with freedom to look for opportunities. I told them we are going to have one or two opportunities and when we have one or two opportunities, we need to put that ball in the net. We had two clear opportunities, but we couldn’t do it. They scored a good goal because they have very good, talented players. Even though we tried to put some fresh legs up front, we could not score today.  We need to regroup. We need to give a little bit of a day off and come back with a good mentality to try to overcome this situation that has happened twice this year for us. We feel really awkward coming home and losing two times in the first three games of the season. This is something that we have to face now, and we need to fix it."

Houston goalkeeper Chris Seitz made his 100th career start in an MLS regular season game while Beasley made his 176th career start in MLS regular season play.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Houston Dash and Utah Royals battle to a scoreless draw

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (March 30, 2018) For the second week in a row, the Houston Dash remained undefeated in 2018 as they battled to a scoreless draw against the Utah Royals FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. The draw pushed Houston's record to 0-0-2 (two points) and kept head coach Vera Pauw undefeated in her Dash premier season. 

After 45 minutes of mostly defensive play, the game was scoreless with the Dash taking one shot, by Kimberly Keever and the Royals taking two, by Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir. The only shot on goal was by Jonsdottir.

In the second half, the Dash got more in the offensive side of the pitch. In the 51st minute, Haley Hanson received the ball from Meleana Shin and sailed it too high from outside the box. Two minutes later, Savannah Jordan got the ball on a cross from Kristie Mewis and right-footed a shot from the center of the box. Unfortunately for Houston, the ball was wide. The give-and take play in the second half saw more offense by the Dash; shooting six times. Utah took eight shots in the second half. The highlight of the game was the performance of goalkeeper Jane Campbell. The Kennesaw, Georgia native, who played her college soccer at Stanford, tallied five saves. The game was the second shutout of the season for Campbell and the Dash. In 2017, Campbell registered three shutouts.

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
Pauw (shown left) discussed Campbell's performance with the press after the game, stating, “She was superb, of course. She kept us in the game, and she won the point for us.” 

Campbell gave her thoughts about the team after their first two games. She was quoted, “We were expecting to get two wins. In the first game, we gave up a late goal. We beat ourselves. Today, Utah came and played a great game. We didn’t play that well, especially in the second half. Utah took full advantage, so we’re thankful they didn’t put one away. We were expecting two wins, but at least we got two points out of them."

The next game for the Dash will be Wednesday,  April 18 against the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, followed by a Sunday, April 22 match-up versus Orlando City. They will return home on Saturday, April 28, where they will face the North Carolina Courage with a 2:30 p.m. CDT start.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

National, local athletes shine at 67th TSU Relays

Story and Photos by Kristina McKay and Tommy Boatman
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (March 27, 2018) Texas Southern University hosted its 67th annual TSU Relays on Friday and Saturday March 17-18 where students from all over the country came to test their endurance and skill. Middle school, high school and college men and women competed in pole vault, long jump, and javelin events as well as track races including races with and without hurdles, timed heats and team relay races.

The first afternoon’s quick downpours brought a need for a rotating schedule however the lightning less rain soon passed on, leaving the Houston humidity to heat up the Alexander Durley Stadium where the games took place. The turf where the Athletes converged was about ten degrees hotter than the temperature read so the athletes were huddled up anywhere there was a slice of shade especially on day 2 when the bulk of the games took place and the crowds filled the standing room only stadium.

The US Coast Guard sponsored the incredible games that welcomed athletes who not only were competing for trophies but to break records. Many did just that including Chris Carter who competed in the triple jump coming in 4th in the country and who left ranking 2nd in the nation with a personal best of 17.18m and TSU’s own relay team who ran the 4x400 meter relay to earn the 10th spot in the nation with a time of 3 minutes 10.4 seconds. Texas A&M took first place nationally in the 4x200 meter relay, but Wiley College was nipping at their heals, behind them by 3/10s of a second. With two other record breaking athletes in other track events, it was a great showing by Wiley.

The two days of events, food and fun was a huge success for the athletes who competed, graduating seniors who were honored alongside the generous sponsors, and Texas Southern University who were proud to host the games for the 67th year and who look forward to next year.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Deer Park Cougars 8U drops Deer Park Savage 10-8

Photo by Kristine Kelly
Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

DEER PARK, TEXAS (March 26, 2018) Paced by four RBI by catcher Kirstin Kelly, the Deer Park Cougars 8U softball team (shown right) downed the Deer Park Savage by the score of 10-8 in Girls League action at the Adult Softball Complex in Deer Park. The Cougars kicked of their scoring assault when Kelly singled in the second inning; sending shortstop Aubrey Rogers and rover Jocelynn Wall home from second and first base, respectively. Kelly added two more RBI in the third inning on another single, bringing second baseman Emilee Mendoza and Rogers home. Rogers tallied three hits in the game, including the final hit of the game to give the Cougars the win.

Left fielder Quinn Romero connected for two hits, along with right fielder Paige Taylor and third baseman Melina Delgado for six of the Cougars' 17 hits. First baseman Riley Wilson was 2-for-2 at the plate (single, double) and scored two runs. 

The Cougars' excellent field play held Savage at bay, with the excellent glove work of pitcher Cali Telles, center fielder Genesis Rodriguez, and flex/designated hitter Mia Ceniceros, limiting the Savage to only three balls getting out of the infield. Telles controlled the pace of the game from the circle; through focused play and awareness. Rogers scored three runs on three hits with Wall getting on base twice to put pressure on the Savage defense. Mendoza also scored two runs on two hits

Next up for the Cougars is a Thursday, March 29 match-up against the Deer Park Cobras. First pitch is set for  6:15 p.m. CDT at the Adult Softball Complex in Deer Park. The Cougars are managed by Larry King, and coached by Able Mendoza and Dale Yurt.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Texas Tech comes from behind to down Stephen F. Austin 70-60

Story and Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

DALLAS, TEXAS (March 15, 2018) The No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders (25-9) started the game slowly, but came back to life in the final five minutes of the game to down the No. 14 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (28-7) by the score of 70-60 in the first round game for both schools at the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in Dallas. The near capacity crowd at the America Airlines Center saw the Lumberjacks control most of the game, but falter down the stretch. The Red Raiders trailed most of the game, but pulled ahead with 3:59 left in the game with a layup by Keenan Evans (Richardson, Texas). The two points pushed Tech into the lead 59-58 as they went on to outscore the Lumberjacks 11-2 in the final minutes of the game.

Texas Tech shot a paltry 35% (10-of-28) from the field in the first half, allowing SFA to take a 30-27 lead at half time. They improved their shooting percentage to 57% (15-of-26) in the second half while the Lumberjacks, who shot 37% (9-of-24) in the first half did not improve their shooting (9-of 23, 39%) in the second half. Evans tallied 23 points for the Red Raiders while fellow guard Zhaire Evans added 10. SFA had four players in double figures, with Ivan Canete (Lake Worth, Florida) leading the way with 17.

Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard discussed his thoughts after the game with the press.

"First of all, I just want to congratulate Stephen F. Austin for a great season. They were everything we thought they would be and more. Kyle Keller is a great coach. They've got good players. They've got a program is what they have. You go back to Danny Kaspar and certainly Brad Underwood, and now Kyle has taken it to another level. They just forced us into so many things and took away things, but I just wanted to congratulate them on a good season, and I know Kyle is just getting started building the program there. For our guys, we knew we were going to have to play great to win this game because we knew how good Stephen F. Austin was. I'm really pleased for our players that we advanced to the second round, beating a team that we had nothing but respect for."
SFA head coach Kyle Keller also talked with the press after the game.

"I wish we could have ended the game at halftime, obviously, but the game is 40 minutes. I give Texas Tech a tremendous amount of credit. Their Coach Chris Beard, his team embodies his spirit and toughness. And they imposed their will obviously the last 10 minutes or so of the game, and my guys tried. They always try, but we just didn't have enough tonight. We just -- it wasn't our night."

Next up for the Red Raiders will be a Saturday, March 17 meeting with the winner of Florida vs. St Bonaventure. The Gators come into the tournament as the No. 6 seed and a 20-12 record. The Bonnies counter with a 26-7 record and the No. 11 seed.

Last second 3-pointer lifts No. 11 Loyola Chicago over No. 8 Miami (Fla)

Story and Photos by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

DALLAS, TEXAS (March 15, 2018) With 3/10 of a second to go in the game, starting forward Donte Ingram connected from three-point range to give No. 11 Loyola Chicago a 62-60 win over No. 8 Miami (Fla.) in the second game of the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. With neither team able to gain an advantage after 20 minutes of play and the score tied at 28, both teams came onto the court for the second half and that told the story of the game.

Both teams shot 50% or better in the first half; (Loyola 52%, Miami 50%), however the difference in the game came down to the second half. Miami led in almost every stat, but the final three-pointer by Ingram made the difference and sent the Ramblers to the second round. Both teams led by seven points at different times in the game; Loyola at the 14:02 mark in the first half and Miami with 15:40 left in the game. Coming down the stretch, the Hurricanes were never behind until Ingram's three-pointer. With nine seconds left in the game, starting guard Ben Richardson rebounded a missed free throw by Miami's Lonnie Walker IV.  After bring the ball down the court, Marquis Townes receive the ball and quickly fed it to Townes for the score. It was Townes second credited assist of the game.

Ramblers' head coach Porter Moser talked with the press after the game and was quoted:

"You know, first of all, God is good. He blessed this group. We give the glory to him. He blessed our University, this group. He blessed me being able to coach resilient kids. The second thing with these young guys, we're in the huddle. Even when we were down seven, it was just about keep fighting, keep fighting. There's no quit in these guys. They believe. They share the ball. We had 19 assists. And a great example is that last pass to Donte with Marques to find it. They made big shots. Clay made a big shot on an action we run in the corner. Very, very blessed that we have kids that do not quit, that are resilient." 

The Rambles had four players in double figures, with Clayton Custer leading the was with 14, Ingram followed with 13, while Aundre Jackson and Cameron Krutwig coming off the bench to contribute 12 and 11, respectively. Miami had four players scoring in double figures, led by Walker IV with 12. Loyola will next face No. 3 Tennessee on Saturday, March 17. The Volunteers downed Wright State 73-47 earlier in the day.