Saturday, August 19, 2017

Houston Texans down New England Patriots 27-23 in NFL pre-season action

Jaelen Strong (11) scored the first touchdown for the
Houston Texans on a two-yard pass from Tom Savage.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 19, 2017) In a game that saw a good amount of give-and-take action the Houston Texans battled the New England Patriots to a 27-23 win in front of 71,504 fans at NRG Stadium in the first home appearance for the Texans in 2017. The win pushes the Texans pre-season record to 1-1, while the 2016 Super Bowl Champions fall to 0-2. Hosuton will return to pre-season action on Saturday, August 26 against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. In their final pre-season game of 2017, they will return home to face the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, August 31, 207. Both games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. CDT start.

The game saw a large amount of ppalying time by players hoping to make both team's rosters. Afetr both teams played a series of downs, the Texans scored in their second possession when Tom Savage connected with a pass to Jaelen Strong for a touchdown. Nick Novak split the uprights for the extra point to give the Texans a 7-0 lead at the 1:13 mark in the first quarter. Savage drove the ball 58 yards in 11 plays in 6:48. In their first possession of the game, they moved the ball 79 yards in a drive that ended on a fourth and six play with only a two-yard game. At that point, the Patriots took over and advanced the ball 17 yards before being forced to punt, giving Houston their second possession of the game.

The Patriots came right back in the second quarter to even the score when Tom Brady engineered a 75-yard drive that ended in a 22-yard pass to Rex Burkhead for the Patriots' first touchdown. Stephen Gostkowski kicked the obligatory extra point to tie the score at seven. After the kickoff, the Texans replaced Savage with rookie Deshaun Watson, who took the reins of the Texans. He drove the ball seven yards before having to punt. New England took possession of the ball and advanced 38 yards before settling for a 38-yard field goal by Gostkowski with 9:53 remaining in the first half. After the kickoff, Watson took the Texans 62 yards before Ka'imi Fairbaim booted a 31-yard field goal to tie the score at 10 at the 5:11 mark in the second quarter. The Patriots added three more points right after the two-minute warning with a 51-yard Gostkowski field goal to take a 13-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Tom Brady (12) compeletd six passes for 67 yards and
one touchdown, in limited action, against the Texans.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography,
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved

New England added another field goal to their total at the 6:03 mark of the third quarter with a 42-yard Gostkowski attempt. On their next possession, the Texans drove 75 yards in five plays, which was capped by a two-yard run by Watson. The Houston drive was highlighted by a 63-yard pass from Watson to D'Onta Foreman to set up the score. Novak added the extra point to give the Texans a 17-16 lead at the 4:18 mark in the third quarter. New England took the kickoff at the 25-yard line and on the first play, Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked for a seven-yard loss, causing a fumble which was recovered by rookie Matthew Godin on the Patriots' 18-yard line. The Texans turned the possession into a 35-yard field goal by Fairbaim to take the score to 20-16. The Patriots responded with a 10 play, 83-yard drive; resulting in a 25-yard Garoppolo pass to D.J. Foster for the score. With the kicking extra point, New England regained the lead 23-20. The Texans were not content to let New England remain in the lead. After the Texans had a series on down, the ball went over to the Patriots. On the first play for that set of downs, Garoppolo had an intended pass for rookie Cody Hollister was intercepted by Denzel Rice at the New England 43-yard line. He returned the interception 39 yard to the Patriots four-yard line. On the very next play, Foreman rushed the final four yards for the score. Novak added the conversion to take a 27-23 lead with 11:07 remaining in the game.

Savage saw limited action in the first half, completing 8-of-9 passes for 89 yards and one TD. Brady's appearance was similar to Savage's, going 6-of-9 for 67 yards and one touchdown. Watson completed three-of-10 passes for 102 yards. Quarterback Brandon Weeden saw action late in the game, completing five passes for eight yards. Ellington led the Texans in receiving, catching four passes for 93 yards, while Alfred Blue had five carries for 20 yards.

Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. USSSA Pride: 2017 Championship Series Preview

Photo by Lou Roesch, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Lou Roesch
Special Correspondent for TexSport Publication

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA (August 19, 2017) Saturday night’s National Pro Fastpitch championship series begins as it should be with the two best teams all season long battling it out for the Cowles Cup. The Pride with just nine losses all season dispatched of the Chicago Bandits in a series sweep on Friday evening. The Bandits had won the two previous Cups. The Scrap Yard Dawgs finished second in the regular season and took the series sweep over the Akron Racers to advance to Saturday night’s game one. So how do these two teams match-up?
Both these teams can stroke the ball. Both these teams can hit for power. Both these teams can produce the timely at bat. The Scrap Yard Dawgs in their series winning game against Akron only had three hits but two of those three hits drove home runs and a bases loaded walk produced the other. Three of the Pride’s eight hits in their series win came with runners in scoring position and resulted in two RBI.
Pitching was stellar on both sides in their series wins. The Dawgs allowed Akron just one hit with two outs and one hit with runners on base and none with runners in scoring position. The Pride were just as prodigious allowing Chicago no hits with two outs in seven at bats and just one hit with a runner on base. The Dawgs have Monica Abbott and that’s about all that needs to be said. This season the southpaw has appeared against the Pride three times with two starts. With a record of 1-1, Abbott has allowed 11 hits over 19 innings with 38 strikeouts against 10 walks. Overall, the Dawgs have a 2017 record of 2-8 losing six in a row with five runs scored against the Pride.
Experience has to count for something. The Pride are seeking their fourth Cowles Cup and their first since 2014 when current Dawgs head coach Gerry Glasco was the USSSA head coach. The Scrap Yard team despite this being only their second season in the NPF have built a team for the championship. With a mix of veterans including players like Brittany Cervantes and the right amount of youth like Ali Aguilar combined with mainstays like Megan May Whitley, the team is poised to make history in Baton Rouge.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

HBU Huskies begin 2017 football season with four road games

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 23,2017) The HBU Huskies kick off the 2017 season with four road games before returning home to Husky Stadium on October 7 to face Southland Conference foe Central Arkansas on Family Weekend.

The Huskies first game will be on Saturday, September 2 against Texas State, followed by a cross-Houston matchup versus Texas Southern at BBVA Compass Stadium on September 7. They closeout September, and their road trips against Abilene Christian (September 23) and McNeese State (September 23).

October includes three home games beginning on the 7th On Family Weekend against Central Arkansas. The following Saturday (October 14), Southeastern Louisiana coming to Husky Field. They will again hit the road on October 21 to take on Stephen F. Austin; returning home on October 28 to closeout the month with Homecoming against Northwestern State.

Three games are on the schedule for November with two road games; Nicholls State on the 4th and Sam Houston State on the 18th. Their final home game will be on November 11 against the Lamar Cardinals on Senior Day/Military Appreciation Day.

Head coach Vic Shealy talked at the recent Southland Conference Media Day about starting the season with four-straight road games.

"It’s a unique situation…you can sit around and cry about it or go out there and beat somebody.  It’s all about process versus product…early on our process was to build leadership and confidence, and for our players to walk on the field with an expectation to win…now we believe we have the ability to go out and beat any given team on any given day."

The Huskies are picked ninth in the Southland Conference Preseason poll in the eleven-team conference.

Scrap Yard Dawgs: Three Reasons To Raise “The Cup” In 2017

By Lou Roesch
Special Correspondent for TexSport Publications

CONROE, TEXAS (August 16, 2017) Last season, the Scrap Yard Dawgs surprised the National Pro FastPitch world by making it to the championship tournament along with perennial powers USSSA Pride and the Chicago Bnadits. The Dawgs pushed the Bandits to the limit before bowing out one game short of the tile series. This season there are no surprises as the Scrap Yard Dawgs begin their championship playoff run on Thursday night against a familiar foe, the Akron Racers.

In their inaugural season (2016), the Dawgs had an outstanding season by any measure but in the end, they did not hoist the Cowles Cup. For Dawgs owner/general manager Connie May, it’s all about winning the title so like any great organization, the Dawgs went out and added pieces to make this year, THE YEAR. One might even go so far as to say they rebuilt the team after one season. Now with the Dawgs just four games from wresting the Cup from the defending champion Bandits, here are three reasons that that should be a reality in 2017.
1) Last season, the Dawgs couldn’t hit worth a lick especially when it came to consistent, timely hitting. As a team in 2016, the SYD hit a paltry .254. After the conclusion of the season general manager Connie May set out to fix that problem. Fast forward to now and you have a club that was more than respectable during the regular season. It’s now a lineup filled with dangerous bats up and down the order and on the bench that that raised the average up nearly 30 points (.283). Those bats produced 113 more at bats resulting in 70 more hits and 34 more runs. It’s production like that that wins ballgames at the most opportune times.
2) Monica Abbott is the franchise and for two seasons she has put the team on her shoulders figuring in 39 of the team’s 60 wins over the last two years. Along the way, the million dollar southpaw has been worth every penny racking up 380 strikeouts in 240.2 innings of work with an earned run average below one. This season the coaching staff has worked hard to ensure that Abbott is fresh and ready for this playoff run.
3) No team wins without a championship mentality and the Srap Yard Dawgs have it. In the offseason, May made the most critical move necessary to create a culture that was focused on winning titles and winning as a team. She hired Texas A&M assistant coach Gerry Glasco. Softball fans will remember that Glasco was the head coach of the USSSA Pride that won the 2014 NPF regular season and championship title. His team Southern Force Gold won the 2008 18U National Championship. One need to look no further than his time with the Aggies to understand the impact he has on a club. In 2014, his first season in College Station, the team powered 67 home runs and 287 RBI in 60 games. Just a season ago, the Aggies rewrote their offensive record books breaking five single season records and seven school records in SEC play. Add two assistant coaches Jimmy Kolaitis and Joe Guthrie with resumes as prolific as Glasco’s and the foundation for a championship has been set.
May didn’t stop there. She hired Mike Steuerwald as the assistant general manager. All the Los Angeles, California native has to his resume are back-to-back Cowles Cup championships as head coach of the Bandits and another as an assistant.
Then came the players by trade, by draft and by and by free agency. Brittany Cervantes, Hannah Flippen, Anisa Urtez, Morgan Zerkle, Ali Aguilar, Katiyana Mauga, Allexis Bennett, Amanda Kamekona, Kasey Cooper and maybe the most biggest one of all left-hander Cheridan Hawkins.
Yes, the Pride, the Bandits and Racers are all legitimate contenders for hoisting the Cowls Cup on Sunday August 20, 2017 but if the Dawgs are the ones sipping champagne the season will be incomplete.

Sugar Land Skeeters win first game of current home stand 6-4 over York Revolution

By Robert H Kelly
Photo courtesy of Sugar Land Skeeters

Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (August 16, 2017) The York Revolution knocked in three run in the first two inning, but the Sugar Land Skeeters connected for three runs in the third inning and added single runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh inning to take the first game of their current home stand by the score of 6-4 at Constellation Field on Tuesday, August 16, 2017. They will continue the series on Wednesday, August 17 with a 7:05 p.m. CDT.

Skeeter first baseman Travis Scott was 2-for-3 while Albert Cordero and Joe Benson added two RBI each. Jake Hale earned the win, pitching the first six innings, giving up three earned runs while striking out six. York starter Jay Gause received the loss. Mark Haynes, pitching one inning in relief, received the save. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Late goal give Kansas City 1-0 win over Houston Dash

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 13, 2017) The Houston Dash and FC Kansas City battled for 83 minutes until a ball met the back of the goal as Kansas City downed Houston by the score of 1-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Sunday, August 13, 2017. The win pushed KC to 4-8-5 for 17 points while the Dash drop to 6-9-2 (20 points).

Both teams battled for the first 45 minutes without being able to find a way around each other's defense.  The deadlock continued in the second half until the 83rd minute when Kansas City forward Shea Groom headed a crossing pass into the net past Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell for the score. It was the second goal of the season for the 24-year-old who played her college ball for Texas A&M University. 

The Dash were still without the services of Kealia Ohai, Lydia Williams and Morgan Brian. Ohai is out with a SEI-torn ACL in her left knee with Williams suffering from a grade one quadriceps strain in her right knee. Brian is sidelined with tendinitis in her right groin.

Houston won the first encounter between the clubs 2-1 with goals from forwards Rachel Daly and Nichelle Prince on July 2. Next up for the Dash is a Wednesday, August 16 road game against Boston. 

Houston Dynamo surge to top of the Western Conference with 3-0 win over San Jose

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Lou Roesch
Special Correspondent for TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 13, 2017) The Houston Dynamo surged to the top of the Western Conference table with a 3-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night. The win kept Houston unbeaten at home in 2017. The three goal outburst gives the Dynamo 31 goals in 12 matches at BBVA Compass Stadium. 

Houston extended its unbeaten streak to six games and created a three way tie atop the standings joining Kansas City and Seattle with 37 points each. San Jose remained in the sixth and final playoff spot.

A mostly uneventful 20 minutes opened a match that finished in spectacular fashion as the Houston Dynamo remained unbeaten at home in 2017.

La Pantera, Alberth Elis, gave Houston the lead heading home a corner from Boniek Garcia in the 21st minute. The corner followed a brilliant save by San Jose keeper Andrew Tarbell as he tipped a rocket by Houston forward Romell Quioto’s drive over the crossbar moments earlier by to keep the match level. The marker was the 17th Houston has scored in the first 30 minutes of a match in 24 games this season. Elis, the youngest player in MLS this season to record a goal and an assist finished with a goal and assist for the second time in 2017.

“Alberth is doing very well,” said Houston head coach Wilmer Cabrera following the match. “We needed him, we needed Romell and today they were pushing, they were working, they were creating options, they were running, they were making those runs and they were dangerous. Alberth was rewarded with a goal and an assist and that is why it is so important for us to have them fresh and with that mentality.”

Quioto nearly had his own goal eight minutes as his shot seemed destined for the far post before Tarbell scrambled over to knock it clear.

The Houston pressure continued into the early minutes of the second half as Houston drew a penalty kick in the 49th minute. San Jose defender Andres Imperiale pulled down Dynamo striker Erick Torres as he broke free inside the box. Torres PK conversion was denied as Tarbell guessed right keeping his team in the game that is until the 86th minute.

Sanchez entering in the 78th minute needed just eight minutes to make his presence felt. The 37 year old was on the receiving end of a perfect ball from Elis who had attacked into the six yard box before slipping the ball to Sanchez for the tap in. The goal was the Uruguyan’s first in MLS play.

Mauro Manotas, the young Colombian phenom, notched his career high eighth goal of the season in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time to cap the win. Tomas Martinez, making his MLS debut, set up the play with a nicely weighted ball to Sanchez. Houston forwards have accounted for 31 of the team’s 42 goals this season.

“Today wasn’t different,” concluded Cabrera. “Guys were focused, guys played with tenacity; we came back to what the Houston Dynamo are.”

Houston returns to the pitch on Saturday August 19, 2017 against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kick-off at BC Place is set for 9:00pm CST.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Houston Dynamo drop San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 to take top spot in MLS Western Conference

Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 12, 2017) The Houston Dynamo pushed the San Jose Earthquakes to the limit fro 90-plus minutes, as the downed their MLS rival by the score of 3-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas on Saturday, August 12, 2017. The win raised their season record to 10-7-7 (37 points) with 10 games to go in the season.

The Dynamo connected for the first score of the game in the 21st minute when Houston was awarded a corner kick, which was taken by Boniek Garcia. Taking it from the far corner, the midfielder from Honduras sailed the ball towards the box and connected with an alert Alberth Elis, who aptly headed the ball into the goal for his seventh goal of the season. The score moved Elis into a tie with Mauro Manotas for second on the team for goals this season

After some spirited play leading up to the 39th minute, Elis was issued a yellow card for simulation (dive in the box). That means he will miss the next match against Vancouver on Saturday, August 19. After three minutes of added time in the first half, both teams retired to their respective locker room for halftime, with Houston retaining their 1-0 lead.

In the second half, both teams poured on the attack without much success until the 89th minute. At that time, Vincente Sanchez, who came into the game in the 78th minute as a replacement for forward Romell Quioto, received a pass from Elis, and drilled it pass Earthquake goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. They added an insurance goal in the fourth minute of added time when an offense assault by Houston resulted in a three-player play that ended with Manotas sliding the ball, along with himself, into the goal to secure the win and three points for the Dynamo.

With Ricardo Clark starting the game, it marked the 10th season in his career in which he has started 20 of more games. It also moved his career regular season starts to 311, which places him eight starts from the top 10 in league history among field players. In addition, Juan David Cabezas started in the 18th consecutive game. 

As a result of the win, the Dynamo move into first place in the Western Conference of MLS. They next face Vancouver on the road on Saturday, August 19, followed by an August 23 match up against Dallas. They will return to BBVA Compass Stadium on August 26 when they will face Sporting Kansas City.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Dallas upends Arizona 20-18 in Hall of Fame Game

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

CANTON, TEXAS (August 3, 2017) The Cardinals scored 15 points in the first quarter, but it was not enough to stop the Cowboys in the second half as Dallas came from behind to down Arizona 20-18 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio on Thursday, August 3, 2017. 

The Cardinals struck first, taking the initial kickoff and moving the ball 75 yards to cap  he drive with  five-yard 
run by running back Kerwynn Williams. The four-year veteran from Utah State took the ball from quarterback Blaine Gabbert and swept around the left side for the score. The drive lasted 4:14 and took eight plays. They increased their lead to 15-0 six minutes later when running back Andre Ellington carried the ball the final three yards of a 64-yard drive for the second touchdown of the game. After two defensive penalties on Dallas, Gabbert kept the ball and rushed the final one-yard for the two points. He stated after the game “I felt like the offense did a good job coming back. … I thought we played better as it went on.”
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved

The Cowboys quickly came back on their next possession and drove 89 yards in 3:54 to get on the scoreboard. Quarterback Kellen Moore connected with tight end Rico Gathers on a 26-yard pass for the touchdown. Sam Irwin-Hill split the uprights for the conversion to cut the Cardinals' lead to eight. Dallas added three more points to their first half total when Irwin-Hill booted a 23-yard field goal to make the score 15-10 with 7:51 remaining in the second quarter. The drive covered 83 yards in 12 plays and lasted 5:36. After the Dallas kickoff, the Cardinals started their drive on their 40-yard line, after Irwin-Hill shanked the kickoff out of bounds. After three-and-out, the Cardinals punted with the Cowboys fair-catching the ball on their own 20-yard line. With both teams feeling each other out for the remainder of the first half, the score remained 15-10 at halftime.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved

The Cowboys added a touchdown and two field goals in the second half to take their scoring to 20. The Cardinals booted a field goal in the second half to close out the scoring. Gabbert completed 11 passes on 14 attempts for 185 yards. Rookie Trevor Knight saw some action; went 5-of-14 for 68 yards while rushing for 12 yards. Cowboy starter Kellen Moore went 12-of-17 for 182 yards and one touchdown, while backup rookie Cooper Rush was 9-of-18 for 87 yards and one touchdown. T.J. Logan led all Cardinal rushers with four carries for 24 yards while Rod Smith tallied 64 yards in 18 carries for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys will next face the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday August 12 while the Cardinals play the Oakland Raiders on the same day.

Monday, July 24, 2017

THSCA Convention kicks off with college, high school coaches interviews and lectures

Photo by Kirstin Kelly
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 24, 2017) The 85th edition of the Texas High School Coaches Association Coaching School and Convention began on Monday with lectures and interviews with high school and college coaches, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Coaches from major college programs and notable high school coaches delivered lectures and insight on topics related to various high school sports.

Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator
Todd Orlando addresses the media at the
THSCA Coaching School and Convention.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis,
La Vita Loca Photography,
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
College coaches in attendance, giving lectures and speaking to the attendees, include Tom Herman (head football coach at The University of Texas at Austin), Kevin Sumlin (head football coach at Texas A&M University), Chad Morris (head football coach at SMU), David Schuster (head golf coach at Houston Baptist University), Steve Silvey (assistant track coach at Mississippi State), Jamie Dixon (head basketball coach at TCU), and Major Applewhite (head football coach at the University of Houston).

The exhibit hall, which encompassed the entire first floor of the convention center, offered attendees displays, exhibitions, and the opportunity to view the latest in athletic training and competition equipment. The convention went on until late afternoon with the final presentation of the day; the THSCA Head Coaching Academy. The academy speakers included Todd Dodge (Westlake High School), Tony Heath (Pearland High School), John Snelson (Dickinson High School), and Glen West (Brenham High School) speaking on the topic "Preparing the Next Generation of Head Coaches."

The activities and events continue on Tuesday, July 25 at 7:30 a.m.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Five HBU Huskies named to Southland Conference preseason football team

Garrett Dolan (center) was HBU's lone selection
to the Southland Conference Preseason
All-Conference Football First Team.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 23, 2017) Houston Baptist University placed five players on the Southland Conference Preseason All-Conference Football Team as announced by the conference on July 13, 2017. The Huskies were led by first team selection Garrett Dolan. The 6-2, 240-pound junior linebacker played in 11 games in 2016, tallying 135 tackles (47 solo), along with 15.5 tackles for a loss. He also had two sacks for a loss of 20 yards.

Four Huskies were named to the second team squad, including junior place kicker Alec Chadwick, senior linebacker Cody Moncure, senior defensive back Derek Broussard, and senior punter Christian Guzman. Chadwick was 16-of-25 in field goals and 21-of-21 in extra points in 2016. Moncure tallied 73 tackles in nine games while Broussard 45 tackles and one interceptions in 11 games. Guzman punted 80 times for 3,328 yards; averaging 41.6 yards.

The Huskies finished the 2016 season with a 4-7 record. In Southland Conference action, the Huskies placed seventh with a 3-5 record in the nine-team conference. They are picked ninth in 2017 in the eleven-team conference, with the addition of Abilene Christian and the University of the Incarnate Word joining official football play in 2017.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

CONCACAF Gold Cup Disciplinary Committee Issues Decision in El Salvador Cases

MIAMI, FLORIDA (July 22, 2017) The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced this evening the decisions taken by the Gold Cup Disciplinary Committee, in the cases regarding anti-sporting behavior by two El Salvador players during the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal match against the United States played July 19 in Philadelphia.

The Disciplinary Committee has imposed the following sanctions on El Salvador players Henry Romero and Darwin Ceren, which took immediate effect:
  • Player Henry Romero receives a six-match ban from participating in the next official matches with the El Salvador national team;
  • Player Darwin Ceren receives a three-match ban from participating in the next official matches with the El Salvador national team.
The sanctions were communicated to the El Salvador Football Federation, at which point they took immediate effect. 

Houston Dash extend unbeated streak to six after 1-0 win over Boston.

Rachel Daly (3) rushes to congratulate Dash teammate
Nichelle Prince after her first-half goal against Boston.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 22, 2017) After a 90-minute severe weather delay that dropped over one inch of rain on the downtown Houston area, the Houston Dash and the Boston Breakers took to the pitch for their scheduled NWSL game inside BBVA Compass Stadium on late Saturday evening. Scoring the only goal of the match in the first half, the Dash pulled out a 1-0 win and extended their unbeaten streak to six.

The Dash struck for the lone goal in the 23rd minute when Nichelle Prince took a pass from Andressinha and sent the ball into the net past Breaker goalkeeper Abby Smith. It was the third goal of the season for the Canadian who played her college soccer at Ohio State and the third assist for the Brazilian, who played in all four matches for Brazil at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. After some spirited play by both sides, they headed to the locker room at halftime with the Dash lead holding at one.

In the second half, both teams seems to slow down a bit; either focusing on more precise play or due to the humidity after the earlier rainfall. Either way, neither were able to find the back of the goal after numerous attacks and the defensive play of the goalkeepers.

The game saw the return of forward Carli Lloyd after her one-game red card suspension from the Dash game against the Portland Thorns on July 8. Lloyd returned to the Dash in the tenth game of the season on March 28 after her stint of play for Manchester City. Houston was 2-7-0 during Lloyd's absence and 4-0-2 since she returned to Houston. Lloyd talked about the win with the press after the game.

“Yeah it’s been huge and I’m really proud of the group. I think this half of the season we’re responding really well and there is no doubt in my mind that we are a playoff team. We could even go on to win an NWSL Championship, but we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We have to focus on just one game at a time, which is what I think we’re doing. Tonight was obviously a grind, you never want to make any excuses, but these storms that keep rolling in make it really humid for us to play in. Given that we got the result and a great goal by (FW) Nichelle (Prince) I thought everyone contributed and did really well. It’s huge to get those 3 points going into the international break and we just have to come back and keep it rolling.”

With the win, Houston raised their season record to 6-7-2 (20 points) and gave interim head coach Omar Morales a 4-2-2 record since taking over in June. Morales stated after the game:

 “I thought it was good. It’s been a couple of games we get into it, we score an early goal and then we kill the game off and keep it a one goal difference, or a tie against Portland. I thought the team played well at certain times, kept the ball pretty well. Every situation (Boston) created, was when we got sloppy with the ball which was obviously something we need to fix moving forward.”

The victory also gave the Dash their first back-to-back home wins in franchise history and pushed the record against Boston to 6-2-1. Their next match will be on Saturday, August 5 where they will face the Thorns at Providence Park in Portland. 

Daley takes gold in 10m Platform at World Championships

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (July 22, 2017) Great Britain's Tom Daley shocked the crowd at the Danube Arena in Budapest in winning the 10-meter platform final at the FINA 17th World Championships on Saturday. The 23-year-old took the gold emdal with the score of 590.95 points, knocking off 2016 Olympic Champion Chen Aisen of China, who plced second with the score of 585.25 points.

Daley, who was eliminated in the semi-finals of the same event at the Rio Olympics last year, dominated in the final to give him his second individual world title. In 2009 in Rome, he won his first individual world title at the age of 15. Earlier in these championships, he combined with fellow Brit Grace Reid to win the silver medal in the mixed 3-meter springboard.

Daley is coached Jane FigueiredoFigueiredo, who coached  Russian female divers to four Olympic medals, was the diving head coach at the University of Houston for 23 years. 

Texas Longhorns' Doug Ghim wins Pacific Coast Amateur Golf Championship

Texas senior Doug Ghim won the 51st Pacific Coast Amateur Championship by two strokes on Friday.

AUSTIN, TEXAS (July 22, 2017) Texas Men’s Golf senior Doug Ghim won the 51st Pacific Amateur Championship after two-putting the final hole at Chambers Bay on Friday.

Ghim's victorious final score was 70-67-69-69-275 (-9). He was the only player to shoot under-par in all four rounds.

He entered the day with bogey on a difficult par-4, but bounced back with birdie on the par-4 second and a holed-out bunker shot for birdie on the par-4 third to take the lead.

After making another birdie on the par-4 7th hole, Ghim was two-under on his day, -9 for the championship making the turn and holding a three-stroke lead in his group and on the field. Things quickly became interesting for the Longhorn after making the turn.

After pulling his drive left into the menacing and gnarly rough, Ghim was forced to pitch backwards into the second cut of rough on his second. His approach shot from there would fly a couple yards long, leaving himself a difficult up-and-down. He was unsuccessful, dropping two shots. Just like that, the championship went from smooth sailing to a single stroke differential, a number that remained constant to the final putt.

Ghim calmly hit the green in two shots, giving himself two putts on a 30-foot uphill line to the same back left hole location. After Zalatoris was unable to get up-and-down for birdie and join Champ at -8, all that was left for Ghim was to get down in two putts for a single-stroke margin of victory. His caddy for the week, who was his father Jeff, helped line up the putt and Ghim calmly rolled the first putt to three feet. After both Springer and Zalatoris putted out, Ghim stepped up and knocked the winning put into the back of the hole with his family looking on and cheering in the gallery.

Texas Longhorn alumnus Jordan Spieth won the US Open on in 2015.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sam Houston Bearkats picked to win Southland Conference

Photo by Kirstin Kelly,
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 20, 2017) Sam Houston State University received 20 first place votes and the top spot in the pre-season football poll, as reveled at the 2017 Southland Conference Football Media Day. The Bearkats, who were 12-1 in 2016, return 13 starters and 55 lettermen and are picked to win the conference. They received 200 points in the poll, 23 points ahead of second place Central Arkansas . McNeese State is picked thrird, with 163 points, followed by Southeastern Louisiana (4th, 136 points), Nicholls (5th, 133 points) and Stephen F. Austin (6th, 114 points).

The Lamar Cardinals palced seventh (68 points), followed by Abilene Christian (8th, 66 points), Houston Baptist (9th, 56 points), Northwestern State (10th, 49 points) and University of the Incarnate Word (11th, 48 points).  The Southland Conference kicks off the 2017 schedule on Sunday, August 27, 2017 with the Bearkats hosting Richmond. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Jamaica, El Salvador battle to one-all draw; both advance to knockout stage of Gold Cup

Nelson Bonilla (#9) reacts to scoring the first goal for
El Salvador in thier win over Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (July 16, 2017)  Jamaica and El Salvador battled to a one-all draw in the final game for both teams in Group C action of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday, July 16, 2017. The Reggae Boyz finish the group stage of the tournament in second place with a 1-0-2 record (5 points). Los Cuscatlecos finished with four points and a 1-1-1 record. Both teams will advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, with El Salvador having the best record of third place teams.

El Salvador found pay dirt in the 15th minute with a solid shot from forward Nelson Bonilla. It was his second goal of the tournament, having scored in the 10th minute in La Selecta's 3-1 loss to Mexico on July 9. As a result of his score and play, he was selected the Man of the Match.

Jamaica had a chance to even the score in the 45th minute when midfielder Ewan Grandison came rushing down the right side and drilled a shot from the edge of the penalty area, which was deflected by goalkeeper Derby Carillo. After one minute of added time, both teams headed to the locker room at half time with El Salvador leading 1-0. The Reggae Boyz finally did even the score in the 64th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick. Forward Darren Mattocks nailed the shot to tie the score. With the score, Mattocks, who plays professionally for the Portland Timbers, became Jamaica's all-time top score in the Gold Cup. He made his debut in Jamaica's 2-0 win over El Salvador on August 15, 2012.

Two yellow cards were issued in the match; the first to Jamaica's Romario Williams in the 47th minute and the second to El Salvador's Narciso Orellana in the 63rd minute. The Reggae Boys pushed their overall Gold Cup record to 14 wins, 17 loses, and seven draws. La Selecta overall record is eight wins, 16 loses, and seven draws. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Charuk Captaining Team Canada

Former Cougar serving as Captain for Canadian Indoor National Team

HOUSTON -- Former University of Houston Volleyball middle blocker Lucy Charuk is serving as Captain for the Canadian Women’s Indoor Volleyball National Team at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Lucy and her opportunity to serve as Captain on the Canadian National Team,” Head Coach Kaddie Platt said. “She was a tremendous player for this program, and her success has continued both on the professional and international level.”

Charuk, a four-year letterwinner for the Cougars (2007-08, 10-11), was a three-time Conference USA First-Team All-Conference and three-time AVCA Midwest All-Region selection. She garnered AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honors in 2008 and 2010 before picking up Houston’s first All-America laurel since 1994 with a Third-Team selection as a redshirt senior in 2011.

A force at the net, the native of Tswwassen, British Columbia, is still the program career record holder for hitting percentage (.361). Charuk also ranks second all-time in career total blocks (526) and block assists (440), third in blocks per match (1.24), fifth in solo blocks (86) and eighth in kills (1,250).

She is also the single-season record holder for hitting percentage (.387, 2011) and block assists (140, 2008).

Charuk has been competing for Team Canada since 2014 and served as Captain since 2016.

Canada returns to competition July 15-16 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before retuning to the maple leaf country for matches July 22-23.

HBU Places 5 on Preseason All-SLC Football Teams

Dolan named first team; Chadwick, Guzman, Moncure, Broussard make second team.

HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 13, 2017) Senior linebacker Garrett Dolan was an automatic first-team selection, while senior linebacker Cody Moncure, senior cornerback Derek Broussard, senior punter Christian Guzman and junior kicker Alec Chadwick were second-team honorees on the Preseason All-Southland Conference Football Teams released by the league office Thursday.

Dolan became the first Associated Press and STATS All-America selection in HBU history last season and was also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the FCS Defensive Player of the Year. The Mont Belvieu, Texas, native was an All-SLC first-team pick, his third-straight selection, after leading the league and ranking second in the FCS with 12.3 tackles per game. Dolan recorded 135 tackles (47 solo), 15.5 for losses, two sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three quarterback hurries and three pass breakups. He tied his own school record with 18 tackles and recovered in the 2016 season-opener at Central Arkansas on Sept. 1 and had 17 tackles in the Huskies’ overtime victory over Abilene Christian on Sept. 17. Dolan made seven tackles and a sack for a 15-yard loss, which resulted in a fumble returned for a touchdown in a win over Texas Southern on Sept. 10 and had 14 tackles and forced a fumble, which set up HBU’s first touchdown in a victory at Lamar on Oct. 29.

Chadwick was also an automatic selection after being named to the All-SLC second team in 2016. The Valencia, California, native made the longest field goal in NCAA Division I play season with a 60-yarder at Incarnate Word and also added a 43-yard field goal in the Nov. 17 contest. For the season, Chadwick made 16-of-25 field goals, including 2-of-3 from 50-plus yards, and went 21-for-21 on extra points. He went 3-for-3, including a 46-yarder, against second-ranked Sam Houston State on Sept. 24, also made three field goals against Nicholls on Oct. 15 and drilled a 52-yard field goal at UTEP on Nov. 5

Broussard earned All-SLC honorable mention last season, playing in all 11 games and ranking sixth on the team with 45 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble and a team-leading nine pass breakups. The Beaumont, Texas, native tied for sixth in the league with 10 passes defended and made a season-high eight tackles, broke up two passes and forced a fumble in the Huskies’ win over Abilene Christian on Sept. 17, 2016. Broussard made his interception in the season finale at Incarnate Word and had a 20-yard return. He was also named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll.

Guzman has been selected to the All-SLC teams twice, earning honorable mention last season and second-team honors as a freshman. The Brookshire, Texas, native enters the season with the third-longest yards per punt average in conference history at 42.9 yards. Last season, Guzman punted 80 times for a 41.6-yard average, ranking third in the league. He also had 11 punts of 50-plus yards, 22 inside the 20 and 21 fair catches and recorded a season-long 59-yard punt against second-ranked Sam Houston State on Sept. 24.

Moncure earned All-SLC honorable mention last season, ranking second on the team behind Dolan with 73 tackles (32 solo), eight for losses, 2.5 sacks and two quarterback hurries. The Richmond, Texas, native recorded a season-high 12 tackles in the Huskies’ 31-24 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 12 and made 11 stops against Southeastern Louisiana on Oct. 22 and again in the season finale at Incarnate Word on Nov. 17.

The Huskies begin fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 2 in preparation for the season opener at Texas State Sept. 2 in San Marcos.