No. 5 women’s soccer prepares for weekend home stand

first_imgJulia Erickson | Daily TrojanAwards on lock · Senior midfielder and defender Savannah Levin was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday.Returning home after a 2-0 win at Arizona State, the No. 5 women’s soccer team welcomes Washington State to McAlister Field on Thursday. The Women of Troy had their program-record 10-game winning streak halted against Cal two matches ago, but they rebounded with a clean shutout of Arizona State over the weekend. Now, they hope to work on a new streak, starting with two in a row against the Cougars.Last time out, USC got back in the win column thanks to goals from redshirt senior forward Katie Johnson and senior midfielder and defender Savannah Levin, along with another shutout from redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme. The Women of Troy’s success so far this season has been built on a high-octane, but unselfish offense — and a stone wall between the sticks.Johnson’s seven goals are tied with senior midfielder Morgan Andrews for the most on the team, and four other players have chipped in with multiple scores this fall, including six from redshirt junior forward Alex Anthony. A whopping nine Women of Troy have also recorded more than one assist, and Prudhomme has conceded just seven goals in 14 games. Prudhomme now has nine clean sheets on the year and has let in two goals on just one occasion: the team’s season opener at Santa Clara. Simply put, the Women of Troy score often and are rarely scored against — an effective, if not revolutionary, strategy.USC is currently the fifth-ranked team in the nation, but head coach Keidane McAlpine’s group is looking up at four schools in the Pac-12 standings. With five games left to play in the regular season (all in-conference matchups), the Women of Troy are within spitting distance of the conference summit, as Colorado, Cal, Stanford and Utah are all within a game of USC. A matchup against Washington State (1-5 in Pac-12 play) might be just what the Women of Troy need to make up that short gap. Utah and Colorado take on both Northern California teams in this week’s slate of games, making it a prime opportunity for USC to catapult itself into the Pac-12 lead.The Cougars won’t be easy prey, however. Although USC edged Washington State 1-0 in both of the teams’ previous two meetings, the Cougars claimed a 2-0 victory the last time they visited Los Angeles. They grabbed their first conference win of the season a week ago against Arizona State but lost to Utah in their most recent game. Washington State is yet to win on the road this year, and the Women of Troy will look pile on and hand the Cougars their sixth loss in seven matches.The Women of Troy will kick off at 2 p.m. on Thursday before returning to McAlister Field on Sunday to host Washington.last_img read more

United book League Cup quarter final spot

first_imgMeanwhile, West Ham booked their place in that quarter-final against United after a 2-1 win over Chelsea at the London OIympic Stadium.Southampton set-up a last-eight clash with Arsenal after the Saints were 1-0 winners over Sunderland at St Mary’s.The other quarter-finals will see Liverpool host Leeds United and Hull take-on in-form Championship side Newcastle. Manchester United got the better of cross-city rivals Manchester City last night to book a place in the League Cup quarter-finals.Jose Mourinho’s side advanced to a quarter-final clash with West Ham after Juan Mata’s second-half strike was enough to secure a battling 1-0 win over a second-string City side at Old Trafford.In the wake of last weekend’s heavy defeat to Chelsea, Mourinho paid tribute to the fighting spirit shown by his players…last_img read more

Conference-only schedule is college football’s best hope for 2020

first_imgThe 2020 FBS college football season is supposed to start Aug. 29, but that’s looking less likely with each passing day.  On Wednesday, the Ivy League canceled fall sports and Ohio State announced that it was pausing offseason football workouts. The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to increase, and those numbers are high in several key college football states.   Stadium.com’s Brett McMurphy reports that almost 75 percent of the athletic directors in the FBS believes that will result in a delayed start to the 2020 season. A total of 25 percent of those ADs believe the season will be conference games only, and that number increases to 45 percent among Power 5 ADs.  MORE: Ranking the best college football programs of the past 10 yearsThat’s the scenario to watch — because it seems like the best case at this point for a 2020 college football season. Here is how that could unfold.  Delayed start The first FBS games are scheduled for Aug. 29, and the first full Saturday is scheduled for Sept. 5. That’s why the next two weeks are critical in terms of starting on time, which seems unlikely if the latest spike in COVID-19 cases continues.  Given the recommended six-week window for a fall camp, that timetable is looking dicey considering a major program like Ohio State decided to pause workouts. The ACC announced it will not have athletic competitions in other sports before Sept. 1 (not including football):  Sources: The ACC will not have any athletic competitions prior to Sept. 1. That will affect several fall sports that have games/matches/meets scheduled for late August, but not football. (This presumes we get to the point of having fall sports by Sept. 1.)— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) July 9, 2020With that in mind, it might make sense to be proactive and scrap the September schedule, which is full of nonconference games. That’s a huge loss for Group of 5 schools looking for those “paycheck” games against Power 5 schools and it also means the loss of marquee nonconference games such as Alabama-USC, Ohio State-Oregon and Texas-LSU.  Conference-only scheduleIt’s telling that 45 percent of Power 5 athletic directors believe the best option is a conference-only schedule in the fall. It’s preferable to a spring conference season — which would be complicated by players being forced to choose between that and the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s also better than no college football season at all.  This is comparable to Major League Baseball’s 60-game schedule, which was hyper-regionalized to reduce cross-country travel. The conference-only model would also allow for the 10 FBS conferences to unify COVID-19 testing protocols for their member institutions and presents the fewest logistical hurdles for each conference in terms of trying to schedule games if that opportunity exists.  What would a hypothetical conference-only college football schedule look like? If games could begin Oct. 3, then that would allow for nine weeks before conference championship weekend on Dec. 5. This also would give the Group of 5 conferences their best chance to play. Teams could play seven to nine games at that point, and most conferences play eight- or nine-game seasons. That leaves questions for independent programs such as Notre Dame, which has a five-game arrangement with the ACC.  Still, this seems like the most-feasible plan if football cannot start on time.  Can a Playoff still happen? What if conference championship games aren’t possible? How would college football legitimize the College Football Playoff?  The last season in which there were no college football playoff games was 1991, and Miami and Washington spilt the national championship. That is another hurdle with the possibility that there would be no nonconference games in 2020.  The four-team playoff has left out the Group of 5 every season, and the Pac-12 has been left out four of the six seasons under the current format. That might lead to a push for an eight-team playoff this year, but the fact that the semifinals and CFP championship game have already been selected means that is unlikely. The CFP could still select four teams, even in a conference-only season.   Best-case scenario  At this point, a conference-only season remains the best-case scenario for college football in 2020. The Ivy League decision could be either a precursor or an outlier, but the FBS athletic directors, conference commissioners and school administrators have tough decisions to make in the coming weeks that will impact the next several years of intercollegiate athletics.  The problem is those decisions hinge on a pandemic that has not slowed down since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was canceled.  The nature of where COVID-19 stands over the next few months will determine more than anything where college football goes from here.last_img read more