Saturday, October 20, 2012

Houston Dynamo down Philadelphia Union, qualify for MLS Cup playoffs

The Houston Dynamo are headed to the MLS Cup playoffs.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2012 TexSport Publications
 (Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 20, 2012)  The Houston Dynamo (14-8-11, 53 pts) punched their ticket to their sixth appearance in the MLS playoffs with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday evening.

The Dynamo jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute when forward Macoumba Kandji drilled the ball past

Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to clinch his fourth goal of the season.

Philadelphia came right back and evened it up in the 19 minute when forward Jack McInereny took a solid pass from defender Shannon Williams and aptly put in past Dynamo goalkeeper for the score.

Both teams headed to the locker room at halftime with the score tied at one.

In the second half, the Dynamo scored two unanswered goals in the 71st and 75th minute.

Boniek Garcia scored the Dynamo’s second goal from an assist by Brian Ching.

The goal was the fourth of the season for the young midfielder from Honduras.

Houston added the insurance goal in the 75th minute when Brad Davis nailed a penalty kick past MacMath.

They were awarded the kick when Union defender Carlos Valdes took down Will Bruin in the box on a breakaway.

The win sends the Dynamo into the MLS playoffs with one league game to go in the season.

Houston will finish the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 27 when they travel to Commerce City to face the Colorado Rapid.

Before their meeting with the Rapid, the Dynamo will take to the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday evening where they will face Olimpia in a Champions League stage four game.

Kickoff on Tuesday is set for 7:00 p.m. CDT while the game versus the Rapids will begin at 8:00 p.m. CDT.

Pressel continues to pace Texas Longhorns Women’s Golf at Stanford Intercollegiate

Senior Madison Pressel carded a team-best and even-par 71 in Saturday’s second round.

PALO ALTO, CA (October 20, 2012)  Texas senior Madison Pressel continued to pace the Longhorns at the Stanford Intercollegiate by carding an even-par 71 in Saturday’s second round. Through 36 holes, Pressel is tied for 25th place at 4-over 146 (75-71).

Pressel overcame five bogeys with as many bogeys toresult in the even scorecard. After beginning her round with a bogey on 10, she bounced back with a pair of subpars on 11 and 12. Her second bogey came on 14, but a third birdie at 17 led her to turn at 1-under. She dipped to 2-under through 10 holes with another birdie on the first hole, but gave up two strokes with bogeys at two and six. A final birdie at seven and bogey at nine capped Pressel’s second round at Stanford Golf Course.

Senior Haley Stephens (76-74=150) notched Texas’ second-lowest round of the day with a 3-over 74. Stephens trails Pressel byfour strokes and is tied for 49th place.

Sophomore Bertine Strauss (80-79) and senior Desiree Dubreuil (80-79) are tied for 85th with matching 159 (+17) totals. Freshman Tezira Abe (80-83=163) rounds out the UT squad in 89th place.

Southern California (286-285=571) holds a four-stroke lead over second-place Washington (290-285=575) on the team leaderboard. Oklahoma State (289-288=577) and Oregon State (287-290) are knotted in third place.

The Longhorns are set to conclude the Stanford Intercollegiate Sunday beginning at 7 a.m. Central off the 10th tee alongside California and a quintet of individual players from Stanford, UC Davis and Cal.

Stanford Intercollegiate
Stanford Golf Course (par 71; 6,130 yards)
Second-round Team Standings
1. Southern California – 286-285=571 (+3)
2. Washington – 290-285=575 (+7)
T3. Oklahoma State – 289-288=577 (+9)
T3. Oregon State - 287-290=577 (+9)
T5. Stanford – 289-290=579 (+11)
T5. Vanderbilt – 288-291=579 (+11)
T5. Arizona State – 290-289=579 (+11)
8. Arizona – 294-289=583 (+15)
9. Georgia – 293-295=588 (+20)
10. UCLA – 296-295=591 (+23)
T11. UC Davis – 295-297=592 (+24)
T11. Pepperdine – 304-291=592 (+24)
13. Harvard – 304-290=594 (+26)
14. Oregon – 298-301=599 (+31)
15. San Jose State – 303-298=601 (+33)
16. California – 307-298=605 (+37)
17. Texas – 311-302-613 (+45)

Second-roundPlayer Leaderboard
T1. Kyung Kim, Southern California – 72-66=138 (-4)
T2. Doris Chen, Southern California – 69-70=139 (-3)
T2. Kelsey Vines, Oklahoma State – 70-69=139 (-3)
T4. SooBin Kim, Washington – 72-68=140 (-2)
T4. Grace Na, Pepperdine – 72-68=140 (-2)
T6. Emilie Burger, Georgia – 71-70=141 (-1)
T6. Lauren Sewell, Oregon State – 71-70=141 (-1)
T8. Josephine Janson, Oklahoma State – 69-73=142 (E)
T8. Sophia Popov, Southern California – 70-72=142 (E)
T8. Lauren Stratton, Vanderbilt – 71-71=142 (E)

Texas Players
T25. Madison Pressel – 75-71=146 (+4)
T49. Haley Stephens – 76-74=150 (+8)
T85. Bertine Strauss – 80-79=159 (+17)
T85. Desiree Dubreuil – 80-79=159 (+17)
89. Tezira Abe – 80-83=163 (+21)

Houston Hardwood Tipoff Set for 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1

Free T-shirts & food while supplies last with free admission; Students with 2 chances to win $10,000
HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 19, 2012)  With less than a month before the start of the University of Houston basketball season, fans of both the men’s and women’s teams can catch their first glimpses of the Cougars during the Houston Hardwood Tipoff.

The event – which is free and open to the public – begins at 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, inside the Athletics/Alumni Center. Fans can receive free food and free Houston Hardwood Tip-Off T-shirts while supplies last.

Student-athletes from the men’s and women’s teams will square off in a variety of competitions, including a 3-point shootout and a slam dunk contest.

Current UH students also will have multiple chances to win $10,000. Two students will have one chance each during the event to hit a half-court shot and walk away with the cash.

Men’s head coach James Dickey and Women’s head coach Todd Buchanan will introduce their teams and offer insights on both squads heading into the 2012-13 campaign.

Men's and women’s basketball season tickets are now available at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. Men’s general admission season tickets begin as low as $135, while reserved seating season tickets start as low as$195.

Families also will enjoy the men’s Family Fun Plan. For only $299, families receive two adult and two youth general admission season tickets. Additional youth season tickets in the Family Fun Plan can be purchased for $75 each.

Women's season tickets can be purchased starting at only $75. These general admission season tickets are part of a Flex Plan. Fans can use one ticket per game, invite 16 friends to come out to a single game or any combination in between. Fans can also get closer to the action by purchasing season floor seats for only $200.

Fans can order their season tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting and clicking the Tickets tab and following the appropriate links. For more information, fans canvisit the Athletics Ticket Office or click here.

To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GOUH or email Fans also can visit and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information or click here.

Under the leadership of Dickey and his coaching staff, the Cougars signed one of the nation's elite recruiting classes. This highly heralded group is ranked among the country’s top 25 classes by three national media organizations.

As the program prepares to move into the BIG EAST Conference for the 2013-14 season, these talented newcomers will play key roles in the Cougars' success in, arguably, the best basketball conference in the country.

With the addition of national recruit Danuel House, the Cougars will have three recent members of the ESPU 100. House joins sophomores and 2012 Conference USA All-Freshman Team members TaShawn Thomas and Joseph Young.

Thomas led the Cougars with 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game and added a team-high nine double-doubles during his inaugural season. Young returns as the Cougars’ leading scorer with 11.3 points per game and ranked among the Conference USA individual leaders in 3-point field goals and 3-point field goal percentage.

The Cougars begin their schedule at 7 p.m., Nov. 6, when they play host to Concordia in their lone exhibition of the season. Houston opens the regular season at noon, Nov. 9, with both games inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars will once again have several new faces on the roster along with a very familiar one in senior point guard Porsche Landry.

Landry was primed for one of the greatest seasons in program history a year ago when she suffered a season-ending injury in just the third contest of the season. The Houston native, who was averaging 22.0 points per game at the time of the injury, was granted another year ofeligibility and will look to lead a young but talented squad back to postseason play.

Two other starters from last season return in Mae Woods and Terran Alford, who tied the single-game rebounding record with 20 boards in just her third collegiate contest.

The Cougars also welcome transfers Marissa Ashton and Destini Texada to the mix for the 2012-13 season. Ashton, a 6-0 forward whostarted her career at Texas Tech, will look to make an immediate impact while Texada, another 6-0 forward, will become eligible in late December after transferring from Houston Baptist.

Houston welcomes eight other newcomers to the squad, including six high school standouts and two junior college stars. The Cougars' recruiting haul has received national recognition, placing No. 40 in ESPN HoopGurlz' final rankings, while Houston's early signing period class in November was tabbed the nation's 22nd best by Dan Olson's Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

After opening their season on Nov. 9 at Mississippi State, the Cougars meet their second straight Southeastern Conference opponent when they play host to Alabama at 7 p.m., Nov. 13, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Houston Soccer Falls to Colorado College Friday Evening

Houston will face UTEP on Sunday at Robertson Stadium

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 19, 2012) The University of Houston soccer team fell 3-1 to Colorado College on Friday evening at Robertson Stadium. The Cougars are now 6-7-3 on the season and 2-3-3 in Conference USA.

“Over the last couple of weeks we have worked very hard,” Head Coach Chris Pfau said. “Today we just had nothing left. We were tired and a step behind. I was happy we fought back and tied the game. We now just have to refocus and realize we have three game left.”

The Tigers would strike with a minute and a half left in the first 45, and go into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.

Both teams came out in the second half battling. The Cougars would knot the game in the 62nd minute when sophomore forward Kelsey Zamora found the back right corner off a pass from senior forward Katelyn Rhodes.

Eight minutes later, the Tigers would go up 2-1 after senior midfielder Hannah Peterson found sophomore forward Jaclyn Silsby. Colorado College would score the game-winner in the 81st minute and hold on to the victory.

The Cougars will host UTEP at 1 p.m. Sunday at Robertson Stadium.

Follow Houston Soccer on Twitter @UHCougarSoccer and "Like" /HoustonCougarSoccer on Facebook.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Matt Hogan kicks six field goals to lead Houston to 39-17 win over UAB

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2012 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 13, 2012)Getting the ball inside the red zone and failing to score a touchdown can be a major problem for some teams, but note the Houston Cougars,

Houston had to settle for five field goals when the University of Alabama-Birmingham defense shut down the Cougars’ offensive drives, but in the end they prevailed, downing the Blazers 39-17 at Robertson Stadium in Houston.

David Piland continued his offensive assault in the air, completing 32-of-44 passes for 362 yards and one touchdown.

Charles Sims showed the Blazers, and the fans at The Rob, why Piland hands the ball off to him so frequently.

The swift running back, who played his high school ball at Houston’s Westbury High School, carried the ball 26 times for 133 yards.

The Cougars got the ball into the zone at the 9:52 mark in the first quarter on a 25 yard pass from Piland to junior wide receiver Shane Ros.

Ros finished the game with seven receptions for 114 yards

The Blazers tied it up at the 6:32 mark in the first quarter with the Cougars settling for the first of their four red zone field goals; a 23-yarder, three minutes later.

Matt Hogan connected on five more field goals of 27, 23, 29, 52, and 29 yards.

His six field goals set a school and Conference USA record for total number of field goals in a single game.

When asked in the post game press conference about the records, he replied,

I was just actually told after the game. I had no idea so I guess the feeling is pretty nice. Everybody wants to see six, but I like to try and get three when I can. It’s all actually very surprising. I just go out there when I’m told, but it’s always nice to get a three when possible.

Red shirt freshman Kenneth Farrow and true freshman Ryan Jackson both added to the Houston scoring onslaught on runs of one-yard and 10-yards respectively, both in the third quarter.

Houston’s offense continued to show improvement, but they did have issues capitalizing on long drives as shown by their failure score touchdowns five times while inside the red zone.

Head coach Tony Levine addressed that very issue when questioned by the media after the game.

It’s nice to have one of the best kickers in the nation with [Matt] Hogan, but we would prefer seven over three. We have to do a better job of that, and I give UAB credit. They weren’t going to let us run the ball. When you get inside the 10 and the field is condensed, your passing game is limited. We’ve got to do a better job of finishing and executing blocks in the red-zone.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Phillip Steward reeked havoc on the Blazer offense; totaling 13 tackles and sacking quarterback Austin Brown twice for major losses.

Brown spent much of the game looking up at the Cougars after being sacked a total of eight times.

In fact, the entire Houston defense contributed to the win with three players, D.J. Hayden, Chris Cermin, and Derrick Mathews accounting for nine, seven and seven tackles, respectively.

The 25,212 fans at Robertson Stadium were treated to a different kind of entertainment during halftime when a red-clad masked man rushed onto John O’Quinn Field.

He was quickly dispatched by security personal and was taken into custody by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and University of Houston police.

Houston will have a quick turn-a-round this coming week as they prepare to face SMU in just five days.

The Cougars will travel to Dallas on Thursday to take on the Mustangs with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Houston Cougars to face UAB in second conference game of season

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2012 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 12, 2012)  After coming off their second win of the season by defeating North Texas 44-21 last Saturday at Robertson Stadium, the Houston Cougars will be looking for their second conference win as they take on the University of Alabama-Birmingham with an 11:00 a.m. kickoff on Saturday morning at Robertson Stadium.

The Cougars are currently 2-3 in head coach Tony Levine’s first year at Houston.

Houston and UAB have split the last meetings with the Cougars winning last year’s game by the score of 56-13 in Birmingham.

The Cougars are 1-0 in Conference USA, defeating Rice 35-14 on Sept. 29 while the Blazers are 0-1 in conference play after losing to Tulsa 49-42.

UAB only victory this season was a 52-3 win over Southeastern Louisiana last weekend.

The Cougars will look to sophomore quarterback David Piland and junior running back Charles Sims to continue their offensive assault on the field.

Piland has throw for over 300 yards in each of his last two games while Sims rushed for 207 yards in only 10 carries against North Texas.

In games where Sims has rushed for over 100 yards, the Cougars are 5-0.

In his past two games, Sims has rushed for a combined 368 yards, which is number three on the all-time school list for two-game totals.

Sims is also number six on the school’s all-time list for rushing touchdowns with 24.

Bryce Beall, who played from 2008-2012 tops the list with 39.

Piland is number eight on both the career completions (356) and career passing yards (4,363).

Case Keenum (2007-2012) leads both lists with 1,546 and 19,217, respectively.

The game will be the central event of Family Weekend as the families of current UH students come to campus to attend and take part in various activities.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

North Texas Mean Green drop non-conference game to Houston Cougars, 44-21

Charles Sims rushed for a career high 210 yards
against North Texas. Photo by Darla Tamulitis-
La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2012,
All Rights Reserved

By Robert H Kelly

Copyright 2012 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 6, 2012) What a difference a new offense coordinator and four weeks can make.

The Houston Cougars scored 31 points in the first half and running back Charles Sims rushed for 216 yards in three quarters to win their second game of the season by the score of 44-21 over the North Texas Mean Green at Roberson Stadium in Houston.
Four weeks ago, the Cougars suffered a 30-12 loss to Texas State in a game that some predicted would lead to a 0-12 season for the Cougars.

Head coach Tony Levine quickly made changes, including the replacement of his offensive coordinator, and things started happening.
Despite losing their next two games and going 0-3 before their bye week, the Cougars have rallied to beat Rice last week, 37-6 and downing North Texas to raise their season record to 2-3.

The main reason is the improved performance and confidence of quarterback David Piland and his getting the ball into the hands of Sims.

Piland completed 3 1of 41 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns while handing off to Sims for 21 carries.
Sims rushed for 216 yards while only losing six for a net total of 210 yards and one touchdown.

In addition, he also had five receptions for 55 yards and another touchdown.
However the confidence of Piland, who is looking more and more like a quarterback who enjoys commanding the offense and getting the ball to Sims, is one of the reasons for the Cougars  improved performance five games into the season.

Kenneth Farrow also contributed to the rushing total; carrying the ball eight times for 88 yards and a single touchdown.
Piland also kept the ball on two carries for 13 yards, scoring his own rushing touchdown.

Dewayne Peace scored the other touchdown for the Cougars while rushing for 83 yards on nine carries.
Matt Hogan was 3-for-3 in field goals, contributing nine points, with a game best of 55-yards along five extra points.

On the defensive side of the ball, Phillip Steward and Everett Daniels each had three solo tackles and nine assists to lead the Cougars with 12 each.

Kent Brooks and Chris Cermin both had one interception.

The Cougars will next face the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday, October 13 with an 11:00 a.m. kickoff at Robertson Stadium.