Thursday, November 30, 2006

ATH: Klinsmann?!

It'd be a new game for U.S.
If Klinsmann becomes coach of the national soccer team as expected, he figures to shake things up
By Grahame L. Jones, LA Times Staff Writer, November 26, 2006

With Juergen Klinsmann expected to become the new coach of the U.S. national soccer team — the announcement is expected in a week or two — a larger question looms: How would he change the team from World Cup also-ran to contender by 2010?

One likely way is for Klinsmann, who lives in Huntington Beach, to follow the formula he successfully used in coaching his native Germany to third place at the 2006 World Cup.

When Klinsmann took charge in 2004 Germany was in a shambles. A feeble performance at Euro 2004 in Portugal, where it failed to win a game and was ousted in the first round, left fans questioning whether the country still was capable of producing players who could have any international impact.

Klinsmann soon proved that it could.

He introduced a spate of youngsters to the national team, most noteworthy of all, forward Lukas Podolski.

Not one of them was older than 22 and every one of them contributed to Germany's exceptional World Cup run.

Even before the tournament, Klinsmann's radical approach had been lauded by other coaches, including Chelsea's Jose Mourinho. "I admire him for his courage," Mourinho said. "He's got a strong personality. He believes in young talent … and he doesn't change his ideas just because he loses a game."

By the time Germany played eventual champion Italy in the World Cup semifinals, former German international Oliver Bierhoff, the team's manager, proclaimed that Germany had "gained respect for playing a fast, direct aggressive game and for always holding our nerve."

That is precisely what Klinsmann, if he is chosen, will demand of the U.S. team in the coming years.

To get it, he will have to reshape the American squad, retaining the best of 2006 and discarding many familiar names.

Young, attack-minded players will be sought, and if that means ditching some established starters, so be it. Klinsmann showed with Germany that he isn't afraid of making unpopular decisions.

"The yardstick is success," he said just before the World Cup.

In 2007, the U.S. has two major tournaments on its agenda, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which it will play host to as defending champion, and the Copa America in Venezuela. The two events are in June and July and will serve as an early indication of the coach's long-range planning for South Africa 2010.

Of almost equal importance, however, is a tournament that is somewhat under the radar: the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championship, to be played in Canada, June 30 to July 22.

If, as expected, Coach Thomas Rongen's U.S. under-20 team qualifies, chances are that several players on that team will be scrutinized by Klinsmann.

In fact, the increasing depth of talent in the U.S. means that it no longer is a struggle to compile a list of 30 young players, all but one of them already professionals, who are legitimate World Cup prospects.

In every position, youngsters now are poised to challenge the veterans.

U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller, 36, still is the first choice in the nets and will remain so, especially if he leaves the Bundesliga and joins a Major League Soccer team next June when his contract expires.

Everton's Tim Howard, 27, is Keller's heir apparent, but Chivas USA's Brad Guzan, 22, and Maryland's Chris Seitz, 19, who already has caught the eye of Manchester United scouts, could push Howard hard by 2010.

Defenders such as Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra will still anchor the back line, but there are half a dozen players snapping at their heels.

The U.S. is overloaded with talent in midfield, and while Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey and Clint Dempsey are national team fixtures, it soon might be all but impossible for Klinsmann to ignore the claims of players such as Justin Mapp, Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan, not to mention Freddy Adu, now 17.

Up front, Taylor Twellman and Brian Ching are the two forwards in the spotlight, but they could soon find it grabbed from them by two of the most exciting prospects in the U.S. — the Chicago Fire's Chris Rolfe and the New York Red Bulls' Josmer "Jozy" Altidore.

If Klinsmann lands the U.S. coaching job, his first task will be to call players into a January camp at the Home Depot Center to prepare for games against Denmark on Jan. 20 and Mexico Feb. 7.

His roster choices should be intriguing.

Up and comers
A selection of young U.S. players Juergen Klinsmann could call on if he were hired:

Player Age Club
Brad Guzan 22 Chivas USA
Chris Seitz 19 University of Maryland
Ugo Ihemelu 23 Galaxy
Jonathan Bornstein 22 Chivas USA
Jonathan Spector 20 West Ham United (England)
Zak Whitbread 22 Millwall (England)
Marvell Wynne 20 New York Red Bulls
Nathan Sturgis 19 Galaxy
Ricardo Clark 23 Houston Dynamo
Bobby Convey 23 Reading (England)
Clint Dempsey 23 New England Revolution
Ned Grabavoy 23 Columbus Crew
Justin Mapp 22 Chicago Fire
Santino Quaranta 22 Galaxy
Benny Feilhaber 21 Hamburg SV (Germany)
Sacha Kljestan 21 Chivas USA
Eddie Gaven 20 Columbus Crew
Michael Bradley 19 Heerenveen (Netherlands)
Danny Szetela 19 Columbus Crew
Quavas Kirk 18 Galaxy
Freddy Adu 17 D.C. United
Chris Rolfe 23 Chicago Fire
Kenny Cooper 22 FC Dallas
Eddie Johnson 22 Kansas City Wizards
Chad Barrett 21 Columbus Crew
Kamani Hill 20 VfL Wolfsburg (Germany)
Lee Nguyen 20 PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Johann Smith 19 Bolton Wanderers (England)
Robbie Rogers 19 Heerenveen (Netherlands)
Josmer Altidore 17 New York Red Bulls


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #179


COLLEGE WOMEN: North Carolina returns to final four
Soccer America, 11/27/2006 11:08:00 AM

North Carolina had to twice come from behind before beating Texas A&M, 3-2, before 4,887 fans in the NCAA Division I women's quarterfinals and returned to the Women's College Cup after a two-year absence.

The Tar Heels failed to reach the final four in 2004 and 2005 -- the only two years in the 25-year history of the NCAA Tournament they didn't advance to at least the semifinals.

Carolina won after falling behind, 1-0 and 2-1, in one of the most dramatic games in Fetzer Field history. The Aggies went ahead on Laura Grace Robinson's goal in the 30th minute and held UNC to one shot in the first half -- the fewest in its history. Heather O'Reilly, back with UNC after playing for the USA at the Women's Gold Cup on Wednesday, tied the score 47 seconds into the second half, but Allison Martino put A&M ahead again on a free kick from just outside the area in the 56th minute. To make matters worse for UNC, defensive star Jessica Maxwell suffered a broken ankle in the tangle-up of players after the play that led to the free kick.

But the Tar Heels responded with goals by freshmen Whitney Engen and freshman Nikki Washington to go ahead, 3-2, before withstanding a late A&M assault. In the last minute, Washington cleared a ball off the line that had deflected off an A&M player when substitute goalie Ashlyn Harris tried to clear a ball from the area.

''A 3-2 result,'' said UNC coach Anson Dorrance, ''that's a soccer promoter's dream. Lots of goals, end-to-end action, it was just a fantastic soccer game to be a part of. Certainly, [I] want to publicly congratulate Texas A&M -- they gave us just incredible problems in the first half, dominated play, scored a nice chance and we really couldn't get much organized.''

Dorrance goes for the 800th win of his coaching career when UNC meets UCLA Friday night in the Women's College Cup semifinals at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. He has won 627 games in 28 years with the Carolina women and won 172 games in 12 years with the men.

NOTRE DAME 4 PENN STATE 0. Freshman Michele Weissenhofer scored a hat trick in a span of less than 13 minutes and sophomore Kerri Hanks had three assists as the top-ranked Irish extended their unbeaten streak to a school record 25 games and moved into Friday's other semifinal against Florida State. The Irish dominated the game with a 27-3 edge in shots but couldn't score until Weissenhofer's first goal on assists by Hanks and Jen Buczkowski in the 54th minute. Hanks (64 points with 22 goals and 20 assists) and Weissenhofer (53 points with 18 goals and 17 assists) now rank 1-2 atop the national scoring charts.

UCLA 2 PORTLAND 1. The Bruins gained revenge for their 4-0 loss to Portland in last year's Women's College Cup final with Friday's victory Friday night. Postseason sensation Rachael Rapinoe put UP ahead in the sixth minute, but UCLA responded with goals by McCall Zerboni less than three minutes later and freshman Lauren Cheney from the penalty spot in the 70th minute. The penalty came after playmaking sparkplug Christina DiMartino was brought down on the left side of the box.

FLORIDA STATE 2 CLEMSON 1. The Seminoles also need to come from behind to return to the College Cup for the second straight year and third time in the last four years. The Tigers stunned FSU on a brilliant strike by Molly Franklin from 35 years and led at halftime, but FSU responded with a volley by Australia international Selin Kuralay in the 50th minute and a goal by freshman Becky Edwards in the 63rd minute. The game drew an FSU record postseason crowd of 1,754.

COLLEGE MEN: UCLA rallies to stun No. 1 Duke, 3-2
11/26/2006 11:14:00 AM

UCLA overcame a 2-0 first-half deficit to defeat top-ranked Duke, 3-2, in NCAA men's quarterfinal action at Duke's Koskinen Stadium.

Sal Zizzo scored the tying goal in the 78th minute and the game-winning goal -- on a preplanned play -- just 30 seconds into overtime to send the eighth seeded Bruins to the College Cup for the 12th time in school history.

Duke scored on goals by Spencer Wadsworth after 25 seconds and Chris Loftus in the 19th minute, but the Bruins soon thereafter began as assault on Justin Papadakis' goal. UCLA was rewarded for its efforts with a goal by Jason Leopoldo after work by David Estrada and Kyle Nakazawa.

Zizzo's tying goal came after working a short corner with Nakazawa and Mike Zaher. Zizzo's winning goal was set up by a cross from Leopoldo streaking down the left wing into the box.

''We talked about the play before [the overtime],'' said Zizzo. ''The plan was to get on the endline and make a near post run. Jason drove the ball around, and I tucked it away.''

VIRGINIA 3 NOTRE DAME 2. Midfield general Nico Colaluca set up senior Adam Cristman twice for goals as Virginia returned to the final four for the first time since 1997. German Yannick Reyering score the third Virginia goal -- his third in three postseason games. Kurt Martin scored both goals, the first set up by Joseph Lapira, who finished the season with 50 points (22 goals and six assists). Virginia set the modern NCAA single-season record for total attendance as 5,850 fans watched the Cavaliers knock off the Fighting Irish, giving UVa a single-season record of 43,183. (Connecticut drew larger single-season totals in the heyday of the Joe Morrone era in the early 1980s -- before the NCAA kept official soccer records.)

WAKE FOREST 3 SANTA CLARA 1. The No. 2 seed Demon Deacons reached the final four for the first time with three goals after SCU went ahead on a goal by Peter Lowry. Free-kick specialist Steve Curfman curled a free kick over the wall for the equalizer in the 43rd minute, and Mike Lahoud and Wells Thompson broke the game open with goals in the last quarter of an hour. The game drew 3,520 fans at Spry Stadium.

UC SANTA BARBARA 3 NORTHWESTERN 2. The Gauchos will return to the Men's College Cup for the second time in three years thanks to Canadian Tyler Rosenlund's hat trick. Bidding for its first trip to the final four, Northwestern gave the crowd of 8,784 fans -- the largest crowd in the country in 2006 -- a scare by going ahead, 2-1, at halftime on goals by seniors Brad North and Gerardo Alvarez.

11/27/2006 1:20:00 AM

Results, Quarterfinals
Nov. 24
3 (Cristman 25, 71, Reyering 35) Notre Dame 2 (Martin 71, pen. 84).
Wake Forest 3 (Curfman 43, Lahoud 75, Thompson 83) Santa Clara 1 (Lowry 24).

Nov. 25
UC Santa Barbara 3 (Rosenlund 9, 48, 63) Northwestern 2 (North 13, Alvarez 38).

Nov. 26
Duke 2 (Wadsworth 1, Loftus 19) UCLA 3 (Leopoldo 41, Zizzo 78, 91) (OT).

Schedule, Semifinals, Dec. 1 in St. Louis
(17-3-1) vs. UCLA (13-5-4)
Wake Forest (18-3-3) vs. UC Santa Barbara (16-7-0)

Results, Quarterfinals
Nov. 24

Notre Dame 4 (Weissenhofer 54, 56, 66, Cinalli 72) Penn State 0.
UCLA 2 (M.Zerboni 9, Cheney pen. 70) Portland 1 (R.Rapinoe 6).
Florida State 2 (Kuralay 50, Edwards 63) Clemson 1 (Franklin 31).

Nov. 25
North Carolina 3 (O'Reilly 46, Engen 62, Washington 74) Texas A&M 2 (Robinson 30, Martino 55).

Schedule, Semifinals, Dec. 1 in Cary, N.C.
North Carolina (25-1-0) vs. UCLA (21-3-0)
Notre Dame (24-0-1) vs. Florida State (18-3-4)

HERMANN TROPHY: Davies, Lapira, Needham named men's finalists
11/28/2006 5:36:00 PM

Boston College's Charlie Davies, Notre Dame's Joseph Lapira and SMU's Jay Needham are the three finalists for the 2006 Men's MAC Hermann Trophy.

The winner will be announced at a press conference at the Busch Center on the campus of Saint Louis University on Saturday, Dec. 2, between the NCAA Division I men's semifinals on Friday and final on Sunday. None of the trio will be playing at the Men's College Cup.

Davies, a junior forward from Manchester, N.H., was the ACC Offensive Player of the Year with a school record of 15 goals and six assists for 36 points.

Lapira, a junior forward from Lake Charles, La., was the Big East Offensive Player of the Year. He led the nation with 22 goals and 50 points.

Needham, a senior defender from Ft. Worth, Texas, was the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, anchoring a defense that tied a school record with 14 shutouts on the season

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

ENV: New Condor Chick

New kid on the block
A condor chick takes flight near Fillmore

or only the second time since 1992, a California condor chick fledged in the wild in a remote canyon near the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, just north of Fillmore.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has been releasing endangered condors since 1992, numbered the 6-month-old chick 412. The fledgling with the characteristic black face took its first flight back on Oct. 22, venturing out about 15 feet from its clifftop nest. Since then, the young scavenger has made short, regular flights from its nest site. At least one of the parents has been keeping a watchful eye on their young bird as it explores its new surroundings.

The proud parents are also young — both are 5 years old. Condors don't reach maturity until they are 8 years old. The female is numbered 237 and the male 245. Both were released at Hopper Mountain, and they'll continue to care for their chick for the next 18 months.

"These were first-time parents," said Chris Barr, deputy project leader at Hopper Mountain. "They've been great parents and we've learned a lot from them. They've been very attentive and caring."

Most first-time condor parents fail in their initial attempts to hatch out that first egg. This chick was born on May 2, near the service's California Condor Recovery Program. It is the first chick to fledge in the wild in California since 2004, since captive-bred condors were reintroduced 14 years ago. There are now seven wild-born condors in the wild. The other five are soaring in Arizona.

According to Barr, the 2004 fledgling — also from Hopper — is doing extremely well. It's followed the adult population over to Bittercreek National Wildlife Refuge, near the southern Carrizo Plains, and has stayed since some other young condors were recently released at the refuge.

"He's a great flier," he said. "He's doing everything a young condor should be doing in the wild."

Fortunately, no condors were lost during the Day Fire; the blaze stayed seven miles north of the Hopper complex.

"This is a significant event; each time a condor chick fledges in the wild, it brings us that much closer to the goal of recovery of this great bird," said Steve Thompson, manager of the service's California and Nevada Operations Office.

There were three other eggs laid in the wild, but none of those made it to hatching. One other egg did hatch, but the chick died of unknown causes after two months. Those condors were also first-time parents and they were observed being harassed by another female condor.

Barr said the second female may have caused the parents not to be as attentive as they could. Condor parents swap out on parenting duties and are the largest birds in North America.

"We observed that breeding pair being bothered by the other female," he said. "Females compete for more dominant males."

The Condor Recovery Program expects breeding pairs to increase in 2007. Currently, there are six breeding pairs around Hopper Mountain, and more up in Big Sur at the Ventana Wilderness. Those birds have been known to make their way to Hopper.

One breeding pair at Ventana had a nest in the cavity of a redwood tree this

past spring, the second known nest of that type.

With the new chick in the wild, there are 128 condors flying free in California, Arizona and Baja, Mexico, with 156 in captive facilities at the Los Angeles Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Oregon Zoo and the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho. The goal of the recovery program is to have two geographically separate populations in California and in Arizona, with 150 birds and 15 breeding pairs in each population

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COM: Blogarithmic #178

Another lousy day yesterday. Two former students/kids i worked with committed suicide. Unrelated, hundreds of miles apart, i doubt they knew each other, but still unnerving especially both on the same day. One was just down the road here, a good kid, and a decent actor who last worked with us in August/September on Streetcar, though he ended up not being a part of the show. Still a loss, an unfathomable loss to his family. The other, a young mother, her son the son of an ex-player of mine.

Just too much stuff going on. Hoping for some better news as time goes on.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #177

Sadder news today than usual. Highland Park (and William Lawson, George Thompson, Chrispy Hoover and Ryan Ross) got knocked out of the playoffs by Texas High 40-24 in Shreveport this afternoon. HP Was ranked No. 1 and defending state champions. I'm sure the guys are feeling pretty down right now. Drop them a line via Facebook or MySpace if you can. Looking forward to Lacrosse season from them though.

William ends his senior season 1 for 1 passing for 59 yards and touchdown, and with36 catches for 588 yards and two TDs.

For the first time a many, many years, i'm stuck after only round two without a high school team to really root for.

On the other hand with Ag basketball ranked in the top 11 and with the football team having knocked off Texas today, i do have a bit of rooting to do for a while. Plus Tivy and ITM basketball are already a couple of weeks deep into the season and i can be rooting for Nathan Tiedemann, Coach Young, Tyler Brown, Wade King, and Jeff Achee for a while.

In Any State, Texarkana Too Much For HP
By TODD WILLS / The Dallas Morning News, 08:28 PM CST on Friday, November 24, 2006

SHREVEPORT, La. – It probably wouldn't have mattered where Highland Park played Texarkana Texas High on Saturday afternoon – Tyler, SMU or even Highlander Stadium.

The state's top-ranked Class 4A team was just too good.

Ryan Mallett made the key throws when he had to, and his running game complemented his passing more often than not in Texas High's 40-24 victory over No. 2 Highland Park in a Class 4A Division I area-round game. The game was played before an estimated crowd of 10,000 fans at Independence Stadium.

After seeing its 26-game winning streak and hopes of repeating as state champion end, Highland Park (11-1) faced a three-hour bus ride to think about all that went wrong, including four turnovers and wasted scoring chances.

"I don't think the field had anything to do with it," Highland Park coach Randy Allen said. "We knew they had a lot of firepower from watching film on them."

Texas High (12-0) unleashed that firepower early and often, building a 20-3 second-quarter lead before putting the game away with 20 unanswered points in the first 13 minutes of the second half. Mallett, who finished 9-for-17 for 181 yards and two touchdowns, provided the spark.

After Highland Park had taken a 3-0 lead, Mallett struck back with a big play, a 35-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Anderson.

Highland Park quarterback William Webb followed with the first of his three interceptions. Five seconds later, Rowland Smith's 9-yard run gave Texas High a 13-3 lead late in the first quarter.

Highland Park had a chance to answer early in the second quarter, but a 10-play drive ended with Alex Carroll being stopped on fourth-and-2 at the Texas High 9.

Texas High then marched 92 yards, aided by two defensive pass interference calls. John T. Johnson scored on a 6-yard run to make it 20-3 with 6:39 left in the first half.

Highland Park took momentum into the locker room after cutting the lead to 20-10 on Ryan O'Dwyer's 10-yard run with 26 seconds left in the first half.

But Texas High was relentless in the third quarter.

Mallett converted a crucial third-and-11 on a 14-yard pass to Johnson on Texas High's first set of downs. Mallett completed three more passes for first downs on the drive, including a 31-yard strike to David Allday that set up Mallett's 1-yard sneak for a 27-10 lead.

"We needed a stop and a score right there," Allen said. "Instead, they got a score and we got stopped."

Highland Park drove to the Texas High 37 on its first second-half possession but failed to convert on fourth down.

Texas High went to its ground game on the ensuing drive, with Smith rushing for 40 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown run for a 33-10 lead.

Webb threw his final interception on a spectacular play by Anderson, who rarely plays on defense. Webb thought he had an open receiver, but Anderson came across the field for the pick at his goal line. He caught an 8-yard touchdown pass 36 seconds later for a 40-10 Texas High lead.

John Ellerman threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes for Highland Park, but it was too late to prevent Texas High's Louisiana-style celebration.

Aggies Gut Out Win Over UT
CHIP BROWN / The Dallas Morning News, 06:03 PM CST on Friday, November 24, 2006

AUSTIN – Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee threw up from heat exhaustion in the huddle on the Aggies' game-winning drive in Saturday's 12-7 upset of No. 11 Texas.

After he scored on an 8-yard run with 2:32 left to end a painful, six-game losing streak against the Longhorns, he hugged A&M coach Dennis Franchione. Told him he loved him. Franchione couldn't control his emotions. Tears of joy streamed down his face, even during a postgame television interview.

Nearly two-touchdown underdogs, A&M players flashed downward Hook 'Em Horns as they joined maroon-clad fans in a yell called "Farmers Fight" in the northwest corner of Royal-Memorial Stadium.

It was a maroon-and-white takeover, right down to defensive end Michael Bennett's helmet-to-helmet hit sending Texas quarterback Colt McCoy from the field on a cart with his head immobilized with 20 seconds left in the game.

McCoy had feeling in his extremities but was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

A&M fans took double-takes at Texas' hulking scoreboard, dubbed Godzillatron, just to make sure they had really beaten their arch rival in front of 89,102 mostly stunned fans wearing burnt orange.

That's what happens after losing back-to-back games to Oklahoma and Nebraska by one point and losing another game (against Texas Tech) with only seconds left on a long touchdown pass.

"People have said the rivalry was dead," A&M offensive lineman Kirk Elder said. "It feels great to get it going again."

A&M, which hadn't won in Austin since 1994, ended several UT streaks. The Longhorns had won 26 straight Big 12 games at home and hadn't lost back-to-back games in seven years. Texas hadn't lost a Senior Day game in 14 years.

"The implications were big for both teams," said A&M defensive coordinator Gary Darnell, who coached the Texas defense under John Mackovic from 1992 to 1996. "We're both 9-3. This levels the playing field, and it didn't take four or five years to do it. They have a little bit of a recruiting edge, but we're going to change that, too."

In the minds of many A&M fans, Darnell was a dubious choice to take over the defense. Texas fans snickered at his hiring, but Darnell's defense proved to be the difference.

Texas had the Big 12's No. 1 scoring offense entering the game, averaging, 37.6 points. But the Aggies' defense, which has dominated on third down all season, did so again.

UT converted only two of nine third downs, averaged only 2.8 yards per carry and saw McCoy picked off three times. He had totaled four interceptions in the Longhorns' first 11 games.

"This is going to change a lot of things for Texas A&M football," said Aggies safety Melvin Bullitt, who had an interception and a tackle for a 3-yard loss on a blitz.

Texas coach Mack Brown couldn't contain his disappointment in his team's inability to run. UT has failed to average at least 4 yards per carry in four of its last five games.

"We've got to re-evaluate our running game before the bowl and see why we're not running it better," Brown said.

The Texas defense came into the game ranked No. 1 nationally against the run, giving up only 42 rushing yards per game. But A&M ran for 244 yards, 72 of them on 14 carries in a decisive 16-play, 88-yard scoring drive that took 8:56 off the clock in the fourth quarter.

A&M converted five third downs on the drive and 10 of 16 for the game. The fifth third-down conversion of the drive was McGee's 8-yard touchdown run on third-and-3 with 2:32 left.

"We couldn't close the door on third down," Texas co-defensive coordinator Gene Chizik said.

Brown said he expected his defense to play better.

"I really did. I'm just disappointed," he said.

Texas' fortunes seemed to change in two plays in the first half. On UT's opening drive, running back Henry Melton was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-inches at the A&M 8.

And late in the second quarter, receiver Limas Sweed caught an apparent 5-yard touchdown pass from McCoy but was flagged for offensive pass interference. The next play, McCoy was intercepted at the 1-yard line by Bullitt with 3:50 left in the half.

"Those two missed opportunities took the life from us," UT offensive coordinator Greg Davis said.

Texas A&M appears to have locked up a spot in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against California or Oregon State, whereas Texas has sent its postseason outlook into a tailspin. The Longhorns need Oklahoma State to upset No. 13 Oklahoma today in Stillwater to back into the Big 12 title game against Nebraska.

If Oklahoma wins the Big 12 South by beating the Cowboys, Texas could end up in the Cotton, Gator or Alamo bowls.

"Any loss is bad," UT defensive end Brian Robison said. "But for us to lose a rivalry game and for them to come into your house and beat you, it does hurt more."

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

ATH: Getting some 1981 Deja Vu

Aggies Rise to 10th in Coaches' Poll, 11th in AP
For Immediate Release, Monday, November 20, 2006

COLLEGE STATION, Texas- One day after capturing the title at the inaugural Shelby Metcalf Classic, the undefeated Texas A&M men's basketball team on Monday climbed two spots to 10th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll and rose one spot to 11th in The AP rankings.

In the coaches' poll, A&M slipped past Georgetown, which fell from eighth to 12th after falling to Old Dominion (75-62), and Kansas, which fell from third to 11th after losing to Oral Roberts (78-71).

Georgetown fell to 14th in the AP poll, which Kansas remaining a notch ahead of the Aggies at No. 10. After losing to Michigan State last week, Texas fell from 18th to 25th in the coaches' poll and dropped out of the AP rankings.

Florida remains the top-ranked team in both polls.

The last time A&M was ranked in the top 10 in either poll was Jan. 3, 1979, when the Aggies were ranked 10th by The AP. The only other time A&M has been ranked in the top 10 was a four-week run in the AP poll in 1959-60. That team was ranked No. 8 one week and 10th the following three weeks.

Week 3 AP Top 25

1. Florida (66) 4-0 1,794

2. North Carolina (6) 3-0 1,720

3. Pittsburgh 5-0 1,519

4. Ohio State 4-0 1,518

5. UCLA 1-0 1,488

6. LSU 2-0 1,484

7. Wisconsin 3-0 1,335

8. Alabama 3-0 1,241

9. Duke 3-0 1,197

10. Kansas 2-1 1,114

11. Texas A&M 4-0 1,065

12. Memphis 1-0 919

13. Marquette 4-0 716

14. Georgetown 2-1 713

15. Arizona 2-1 706

16. Washington 4-0 640

17. Syracuse 4-0 571

18. Connecticut 4-0 476

19. Georgia Tech 3-0 414

20. Kentucky 2-0 400

21. Nevada 3-0 306

22. Tennessee 4-0 300

23. Boston College 1-1 266

24. Wichita State 3-0 223

25. Maryland 5-0 199


Texas 181, Gonzaga 179, Southern Illinois 126, Virginia 118, Xavier 103, Louisville 71, Michigan State 56, Creighton 47, Florida State 44, Illinois 41, San Diego State 20, Butler 12, Arkansas 11, Oklahoma State 11, Virginia Tech 10, Air Force 7, Old Dominion 6, Mississippi State 5, Kansas State 5, Oregon 4, Houston 4, Oral Roberts 3, Michigan 3, Indiana 2, Bradley 2, Purdue 2, Villanova 1, Nebraska 1.


COM: Blogarihtmic #176

From Soccer America:

Davies decides to go pro
Charlie Davies, a leading candidate for 2006 Men's Player of the Year honors, is leaving Boston College to turn pro after only his second full season with the Eagles.

Davies won the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award and is a finalist for the Hermann Trophy after scoring 15 goals in 16 games for the Eagles. He suffered a knee injury in the first game of the 2005 season and missed the rest of the season, BC's first in ACC, during which it went winless in conference play.

The 20-year-old product of Manchester, N.H., must decide between signing with MLS and pursuing European offers. According to the Manchester Union Leader, Davies will try out with Dutch club Ajax and France's Marseille in two weeks if no deal with MLS is struck. Davies said it was time to leave college soccer -- a decision he came to after lengthy discussions with veteran BC coach Ed Kelly.

"If it's a good enough offer [from MLS] and everything seems right, I probably won't go to Europe," Davies told the Union Leader.

Nov. 24

No. 2 Wake Forest (17-3-3) vs. No. 10 Santa Clara (13-4-5)
No. 4 Virginia (16-3-1) vs. No. 12 Notre Dame (15-5-2)
UC Santa Barbara (15-7-0) vs. Northwestern (14-7-0)

Nov. 26
No. 1 Duke (18-3-1) vs. No. 8 UCLA (12-5-4)

FOCUS: FSU's Mims makes most of opportunities
Most student-athletes are content to leave college with an undergraduate degree.

Ali Mims, the starting goalie for NCAA Division I women's quarterfinalist Florida State, will leave Tallahassee with a bachelor's degree in business management and master's degree in business administration.

An undergraduate degree was always in Mims' plans, but she pursued a master's degree when she lost two seasons after fracturing her leg in a preseason scrimmage in her sophomore year. She had to have 20 surgical procedures to recover from the break and the complications that followed.

"I was going to graduate in three-and-a-half years, work for a few years and then come back to school," said the sixth-year senior. "After my injury, I had to reevaluate that. I wanted to keep playing soccer so that led me into the master's program. It was a great problem to have because now I will have two degrees when I leave here. A lot of people don't ever have that opportunity."

Mims came back to start in 2005 and put together one of the best seasons ever by a Seminole keeper as Florida State advanced to the Women's College Cup after beating North Carolina in the quarterfinals. This year, the Noles have again reached the quarterfinals, where they host another ACC rival, Clemson, on Friday night. Mims has 11 shutouts in 24 games and a goals-against average of 0.58, bettering the FSU marks she set last year with eight shutouts and a 0.90 GAA.

Not bad for a player who was recruited out of Ponte Vedra, Fla, but had to walk on at FSU.

Nov. 24
No. 1 Notre Dame (23-0-1) vs. No. 2 Penn State (18-4-3)
No. 2 UCLA (20-3-0) vs. Portland (17-3-3)
No. 2 Florida State (17-3-4) vs. Clemson (11-7-5)

Nov. 25
No. 1 North Carolina (24-1-0) vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (17-5-2)

NAIA MEN: Graceland captures first title in shootout
Graceland University of Iowa captured its first NAIA men's title Tuesday when beat Azusa Pacific, 7-6, in a shootout after the final ended in a 0-0 draw.

The first five shooters for both teams converted their spot kicks, but the next four missed. In the 10th round, Azusa Pacific's Kolt Calloway missed his penalty, and Nick Gay sealed the win for the Yellow Jackets with a penalty to right side.

"I think I'm in shock," said Graceland coach Ivan Joseph. "We had to work, work, work."

Graceland keeper Isaac Unruh was named the Tournament MVP. Yellow Jacket freshman Bret Loving was named the Outstanding Defensive Player, while Azusa Pacific's Steven Lenhart was the Outstanding Offensive Player.

NAIA WOMEN: Lindsey Wilson prevails in fourth OT
Danish freshman Kristine Pedersen's goal in the 123rd minute gave Lindsey Wilson a 2-1 win over top seed Azusa Pacific Tuesday in the NAIA women's national championship game.

Azusa Pacific scored first when Sarah Yoro struck from the left flank in the 22nd minute. Lindsey Wilson tied the game 16 minutes later on a goal by Jamaica international Omolyn Davis. The gane remained tied into the fourth overtime when Pederson took a pass from Jamaican Sashsheena Stewart and shot a laser from about 15 yards out to decide the third longest women's championship match in NAIA history.

"I didn't even see where the ball went after I shot it," said Pedersen, whose goal was her 24th of the season. "It's the most important goal I've scored, and it feels really good."

The title was the second for the Blue Raiders, who also won the 2004 NAIA championship.

PREVIEW: D3 women's semis feature Messiah-TCNJ rematch
The NCAA Division III men's and women's final fours will both be played this weekend at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. In Friday's women's semifinals, Virginia Wesleyan meets Wheaton (Ill.) at 11 am ET, and Messiah faces the College of New Jersey in a replay of last year's championship game at 1:30 pm (Webcast,, live). The winners will play in Saturday's championship game. Here's a look at the four women's semifinalists:

VIRGINIA WESLEYAN (18-3-4). The Marlins lost their first two games of the season but are undefeated since mid-September, running off a 19-game undefeated streak. They came from the No. 4 seed to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Goalie Lindsey Williams made diving efforts to stop the first and the final penalty kicks by Washington & Lee and give VWC a 4-3 shootout victory after a scoreless draw in their sectional final.

WHEATON (ILL.) (22-2-0). Pete Felske won the D3 men's title as a player at Wheaton in 1984 and led the Thunder to the D3 women's title as a coach in 2004. Wheaton, which is back in the final four for the third time in the last six years, has won all four NCAA Tournament games by shutouts. The Thunder is led by junior Sarah Richardson, who has scored a team-high 18 goals, and freshman Taryne Lee, who scored in three of the four postseason games to give her 17 goals.

MESSIAH (18-2-1). Once again, Messiah has men's and women's teams in the final four. Last year, the Falcon women beat the College of New Jersey in the final as part of an unprecedented men's and women's sweep. This year's team is led by junior forward Stef Rowe, its leading scorer with 23 goals and three assists and the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year.

COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY (17-1-3). After putting 10 goals past Villa Julie in its first NCAA Tournament game, TCNJ only managed to score one goal in the sectionals but prevailed with a 1-0 win over Middlebury and a shootout victory over Amherst after their sectional final ended in a scoreless tie. The Lions' only loss this season was to Wheaton in double overtime in October. Dana DiBruno (12 goals) leads the Lions, who have nine players with five or more goals.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #175

Among things i missed this weekend was the unfortunate loss of Smithson Valley in the first round of the playoffs, 35-34 to San Marcos. That after their being the number one area team most of the season, ending the season ranked number ten in state, and knocking off a series of legendary programs during their run. So, crazy that they got knocked out in the first round, crazy that it was San Marcos who i'm pretty sure they had already beaten this season, and pretty crazy that SM was 5-5 going in against 9-1 SV. I'm sure that Spring Branch is still in shock. That's my college roommate/best friend Brad Lind coaching there. Sorry Brad and Taylor. . . Tivy lost too, apparently after losing some composure in the waning minutes of a game they led.

This weekend in the 4A Regionals it'll be a battle of Number-1 ranked undefeated teams as Highland Park takes on Texas High. I'd love to go, but too much happening here, and it's in Shreveport. Since when do they play the biggest Texas HS football game of the year in Louisiana?

Will be back in the studio in the next week i hope adding some more layers to the Vignettes CD with Garrett Whitten, Steven Toler and Zack Morris. Also hope to get Charles Bryant in, working on a Christmas CD, and will work on soundtracks for a couple of the films in progress. May sneak off with the boys to see Monte Montgomery this weekend also.

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OBT: Robert Altman

Film Director Robert Altman Dies
At a Los Angeles Hospital, According to a Spokesman

LOS ANGELES Nov 21, 2006 (AP)— Robert Altman, the caustic and irreverent satirist behind "MASH," "Nashville" and "The Player" who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions, died at a Los Angeles Hospital, his Sandcastle 5 Productions Company said Tuesday. He was 81.

The director died Monday night, Joshua Astrachan, a producer at Altman's Sandcastle 5 Productions in New York City, told The Associated Press.

The cause of death wasn't disclosed. A news release was expected later in the day, Astrachan said.

Altman had one of the most distinctive styles among modern filmmakers. He often employed huge ensemble casts, encouraged improvisation and overlapping dialogue and filmed scenes in long tracking shots that would flit from character to character.

Perpetually in and out of favor with audiences and critics, Altman worked ceaselessly since his anti-war black comedy "M-A-S-H" established his reputation in 1970, but he would go for years at a time directing obscure movies before roaring back with a hit.

A five-time Academy Award nominee for best director, Altman didn't receive an Oscar until earlier this year when he was honored for lifetime achievement.

"No other filmmaker has gotten a better shake than I have," he said in accepting the award. "I'm very fortunate in my career. I've never had to direct a film I didn't choose or develop. My love for filmmaking has given me an entree to the world and to the human condition."

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ENV: Aplomados Return Part 47

Plan to save rare falcons takes flight
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press writer

ARMENDARIS RANCH, N.M. -- Squinting, the eyes strain to see past the mesquite and yucca to catch a glimpse of a small, striking falcon that has captured the attention of wildlife experts, environmentalists and a curious rancher.

"One, two, three, four, five. There's five right here," an excited Tom Waddell says as he keeps one eye on the bumpy two-track road and the other on the northern aplomado falcons.

Waddell, who runs the Armendaris Ranch for media mogul Ted Turner, marvels at the endangered birds as some of them dive down in pursuit of grasshoppers and other insects. "They're so beautiful," he says.

That Waddell can hardly contain his excitement is no wonder: He's been waiting for them to take to southern New Mexico's skies for more than a decade.

Eleven captive-bred falcons were released on the Armendaris in August as part of a plan by the nonprofit Peregrine Fund, Turner's Endangered Species Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the birds to their historic range.

The falcons have been successfully reintroduced in parts of Texas, and Angel Montoya, a biologist with the Peregrine Fund, says all indications are that the birds will be successful in New Mexico.

It's been more than 12 weeks since the release and the birds are making themselves at home on the 360,000-acre ranch east of Truth or Consequences.

The Armendaris, along the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert, offers grama grass, yucca, mesquite and insects. Another plus is the lack of predators, such as raccoons, owls and coyotes.

Waddell, a retired wildlife biologist, says the Armendaris is perfect since it offers grassland that has been untouched for decades as well as lightly grazed parcels and state land on the other side of the fence that has been heavily grazed over the years.

The falcons can choose their habitat, he says.

As the sun sinks lower in the sky, Waddell and Montoya climb a ladder to the top of a platform where the birds were first released. It's here where Waddell puts out dinner -- specially bred coturnix quail -- for the falcons who are still hungry after a day of chasing grasshoppers and dragonflies.

The five falcons that Waddell first spotted are joined by another pair as they wait in the distance.

"So what you're looking at here are seven little biologists," Waddell says. "And they're cheap biologists -- they only cost a few quail in the evening."

"No, really," he says, turning more serious. "They are going to fly around and teach us about the aplomado falcon."

The falcons, born in captivity at the Peregrine Fund's breeding facility in Idaho, were released under a special provision of the Endangered Species Act.

Under the so-called 10-J rule, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service classified the birds as a nonessential experimental population. That means any aplomado falcons in New Mexico and neighboring Arizona are no longer considered endangered but continue to have some protections. For example, it's still illegal to shoot or harass the birds or to take their eggs.

Montoya, who has been studying the falcons for about 15 years, says the rule gives managers an ability for hands-on management.

"I think the people with the (endangered Mexican gray) wolf will tell you the same thing," he says. "Having a 10-J on the wolf allows them to manage those wolves. If it was fully protected you couldn't just go in there and move wolves around.

"It allows us the same opportunities with the aplomado falcon, it allows us to adjust our program and adjust it quickly."

But the change has its critics.

A coalition of environmental groups is suing the Fish and Wildlife Service, saying the designation as an experimental population strips the bird of needed protections and opens the door to activities -- like oil and gas drilling -- that could compromise habitat.

"To have them reintroduced at a point in time when there is more evidence than ever before that falcons exist in the wild in New Mexico, it seems to me there is something very sinister going on," says Nicole Rosmarino, conservation director for Santa Fe-based Forest Guardians.

Rosmarino says the agency should have held off for another five to 10 years before releasing any birds to do a more thorough survey. She says it's possible the birds that have been spotted in southern New Mexico -- believed to be part of a population fanning out from northern Mexico -- could begin to re-establish themselves.

"There was just no rush," she says. "The only reason I think they rushed to release the birds is because the ESA (Endangered Species Act) protections are causing a headache for the Bureau of Land Management and big oil and gas."

Environmentalists have been fighting efforts to open Otero Mesa, an area in southern New Mexico that includes North America's largest remaining pieces of Chihuahuan desert grassland, to oil and gas development. They say the area is important habitat for the falcon.

"For us it's about the falcon and the recovery of the falcon in its native habitat and that means protection of that native habitat," Rosmarino says.

But Waddell questions whether the concern of environmentalists is really about getting the bird re-established or stopping development on Otero Mesa at any cost.

Release the birds, he says. "Let's just find out what's real out here, what's really important and then we can make better decisions down the road on how to manage the landscape of the bird."

To watch the birds feeding on the platforms is surreal for Waddell and Montoya. It's something they were doubtful they would ever see during their lifetimes.

"When Ted first bought this ranch he only told me three things," Waddell says. "He said he wanted to put on the black-tailed prairie dogs, aplomado falcons and be ready for buffalo in six months. Those were my orders. Those were my only orders, very simple. It took us 13 years to get to this."

Every year, Turner would ask Waddell about the possibility of releasing the falcon. Despite the politics, bureaucratic red tape and competing agendas, Waddell says his boss told him to stay the course.

For years, Waddell had in his office only a framed illustration of an aplomado and a photo of one. Now, he can head out to the platforms in the evening to catch a glimpse of the real thing.

Still, he can't help but wonder how far along the birds would be had they been released years ago.

Montoya wonders the same thing, but he notes that his group has tried to stay focused on the falcon over the years, not all the other issues surrounding it.

"We don't get involved in lawsuits, we're not out there suing the Fish and Wildlife Service over critical habitat or anything else," he says. "We're working with the birds and trying to get the birds out.

"This landscape has changed over the last 50 to 100 years, and this may or may not be what is important to the birds," he says. "If we release enough birds out there and get them out, we feel the birds will tell us what the habitat is that they need."

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Monday, November 20, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #174

From my perch here, it was a pretty great weekend. Start off with William Lawson being a hero for Highland Park in round one of the playoffs, follow that up with good NCAA soccer news (considering most of my teams are already out), and top it off with a fine weekend in the studio. Here's some details.

HP defense rises up to clinch matchup with No. 1 Texas High
Dallas Morning News, 03:26 PM Central Standard Time on Saturday, November 18, 2006

MURPHY – McKinney North wrote the perfect script for ending Highland Park's 25-game winning streak Friday night.

It dominated time of possession. It didn't make mistakes. And with 2:32 left at Tom Kimbrough Stadium, McKinney North had the ball, two timeouts and one of the most prolific offenses in the area.

But that's when Highland Park did something it didn't do most of the night. It stopped McKinney North cold.

The final drive went nowhere, and with a 35-31 victory, Highland Park is still going somewhere. Now it will face someone it knows well, with Texarkana Texas up next in an area-round game of the Class 4A Division I playoffs at 1 p.m. Friday at Shreveport's Independence Stadium.

Highland Park (11-0) almost didn't look like it would get to a rematch with Texas High, which it lost to in 2004 and beat last season on its way to a state title. McKinney North (8-3), thanks in large part to a tremendous 14-catch, three-touchdown night by receiver David Douglas, nearly pulled the upset.

It was the game everyone expected earlier in the year, and doubted would happen when McKinney North struggled late in the season.

McKinney North rolled over its first eight opponents, setting a school record for wins and grabbing attention with a solid defense and an offense that looked unstoppable. It soared to No. 2 in SportsDay's area 4A rankings, building anticipation for a 1-2 showdown in the first round of the playoffs.

But a loss to Frisco ended McKinney North's perfect season. Then came last week's loss to Little Elm, which cost McKinney North a share of the 9-4A title, and maybe a little pride.

It got the pride back Friday night. The McKinney North team that looked disorganized two weeks ago, and disinterested last week, was sharp when it mattered.

In the first half, North didn't turn over the ball, didn't punt and didn't look one bit intimidated by the team that smashed it, 59-17, in last year's playoffs. When the teams headed to the locker room, North had scored on drives of 79, 59, 61 and 73 yards to take a 24-21 halftime lead.

But three points is a tenuous lead against any team. And against Highland Park, which averages nearly 50 points per game, few leads are ever safe.

Especially when Highland Park has luck on its side. HP certainly had that when it took a 28-24 lead early in the fourth.

On third-and-13 at the 50-yard line, William Webb threw a pass about 10 yards downfield that North safety Marqiese Milord-Sims leaped to knock out of bounds. But HP's William Lawson, who was not the intended receiver, caught the ball as he was running down the sideline and ran untouched into the end zone.

But Highland Park was more than lucky. After McKinney North took a 31-28 lead on yet another impressive drive, punctuated by Douglas' third touchdown reception of the game, Highland Park showed the underdog why it's still the big dog.

HP drove 73 yards for the winning TD. The biggest play came when Webb threw a 16-yard pass to Ross Bolin to convert a third-and-13. Four plays later, Alex Carroll scored from 5 yards out to give Highland Park the lead back.

That put the game back in the hands of the Highland Park defense, and it came through. McKinney North quarterback Eric Herbel was sacked twice on the final possession, allowing Highland Park to escape with the win.

And escape to yet another huge matchup. Texas High is the top-ranked 4A team in the state, and Highland Park is No. 2.

Another dramatic script awaits.

From Soccer America: My only men's team, Virginia, is still in the game. And those wonderful Aggie girls are still smokin', with Ashlee Pistorius scoring once again. Unofrtunately the Texas girls will be staying at home from here on out.

Men's powerhouses Maryland and Indiana fall
Maryland, the 2005 national champion, and Indiana, the 2003 and 2004 champion, fell in the third round of the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament on Saturday.

Joseph Lapira scored his 22nd goal of the season -- tops in the country -- with less than four minutes left in the second overtime to lift Notre Dame to a 1-0 victory at No. 5 seed Maryland. Lapira's goal came just 82 seconds after Stephen King came inches away from recording the golden goal for the Terps as a blast he hit nailed the left post.

No. 7 seed Indiana fell to Santa Clara, 5-4, in a shootout in Bloomington, Ind., after their game ended in a 0-0 tie.

The top three ACC seeds -- No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Wake Forest and No. 4 Virginia -- all won. Wake's 2-1 victory over Towson moved the Demon Deacons into the quarterfinals for the first time ever. Clemson, the fifth ACC team in the round of 16, lost at UCLA, 3-0.

Two years after finishing second to Indiana, unseeded UC Santa Barbara is back in the final eight after being Old Dominion, 2-1, on the road. The game turned on two missed penalty kicks. ODU's Evan Newton stopped a penalty by UCSB's Eric Avila -- his roommate at U-17 residency camp -- but Avila slotted home the rebound to put the Gauchos ahead, 2-1. UCSB keeper Kyle Reynish saved Ross Mackenzie's PK with five minutes left in regulation to preserve the victory. Mackenzie had earlier beaten Reynish with a spot kick for the Monarchs' goal.

For the third straight year, UNC Greensboro fell in the round of 16, losing to upstart Northwestern, 2-1. UCSB hosts Northwestern next Friday in a battle of the tournament's only remaining unseeded teams.

Third Round
Nov. 18

Virginia 2 (Reyering 65, 74) California 1 (Serafini 30).
Maryland 0 Notre Dame 1 (Lapira 107) (OT).
Old Dominion 1 (McKenzie pen. 57) UC Santa Barbara 2 (Perera 7, Avila 61).
Indiana 0 Santa Clara 0 (OT).
(Santa Clara wins 5-4 on penalties.)

Nov. 19
Duke 2 (Videira 20, Wadsworth 27, Grella 71) Lehigh 0.
UCLA 3 (Estrada 11, 90, Zizzo 25) Clemson 0.
Northwestern 2 (Usinger pen. 9, Alvarez 23) UNC Greensboro 1 (FitzGerald 9).
Wake Forest 2 (Curfman 65, Schilawski 76) Towson 1 (Healey pen. 90).

Schedule, Quarterfinals
Nov. 24

No. 2 Wake Forest (17-3-3) vs. No. 10 Santa Clara (13-4-5)
No. 4 Virginia (16-3-1) vs. No. 12 Notre Dame (15-5-2)
UC Santa Barbara (15-7-0) vs. Northwestern (14-7-0)

Nov. 26
No. 1 Duke (18-3-1) vs. No. 8 UCLA (12-5-4)

WOMEN: Rapinoe and Budge power Portland into elite eight
Defending NCAA Division I women's national champion Portland's long-shot bid to repeat remained alive with a 2-0 win at No. 1 seed Texas on Sunday

Rachael Rapinoe continued her torrid postseason play with the first goal just 194 seconds into the match in Austin. Natalie Budge added an insurance goal and senior keeper Cori Alexander had nine saves to lead the Pilots, who now travel to UCLA on Friday night for a rematch of the 2005 NCAA championship game in which the Pilots earned their second title with a 4-0 win. UCLA defeated Florida, 3-2, to advance.

Rapinoe blasted a shot from 35 yards out to score her fourth goal of the NCAA Tournament -- matching her regular-season output.

"My team asked me to score early to set the tempo, so I just saw the ball, set it up and put it into the side of the net," Rapinoe said. "It's always a relief to get a goal early."

Rapinoe and Budge have had to carry the attack in the NCAA Tournament. Rapinoe was moved from the backline to the attack after her twin sister, U.S. international Megan Rapinoe, was lost for the season with a knee injury in October. Freshman star Michelle Enyeart, who leads the Pilots with 16 goals, was injured in UP's second-round match against Utah and did not play against Texas.

Alexander was sensational in the first half with six saves.

"Texas did everything but win this game," UP coach Garrett Smith said. "It was a great effort from a great top seed."

Clemson is only other unseeded team to advance to the Elite Eight. The Tigers won their third straight shootout, winning at Stanford, 4-2, on penalty kicks after their game ended in a 0-0 tie.

Third Round
Nov. 17

Notre Dame 3 (Bock 16, 34, Hanks 89) Colorado 0.
Texas A&M 2 (Pistorius 20, Jones 23) Virginia 1 (Redmond 39).
UCLA 3 (Adams 8, Cheney 51, DiMartino 66) Florida 2 (Elliott 4, Bishop 88),
Stanford 0 Clemson 0 (OT).
(Clemson wins 4-2 on penalties.)

Nov. 18
North Carolina 6 (Hawkins 14, Engen, 19, Averbuch 32, Guess 57, O'Reilly 61, Moore 77) Tennessee 2 (Christoph 85, Redberg 87).

Nov. 19
Florida State 1 (Rowland 20) Illinois 0.
Penn State 1 (Aden-Buie 52) Boston College 0.
Texas 0 Portland 2 (R.Rapinoe 4, Budge 81).

Schedule, Quarterfinals
Nov. 24

No. 1 Notre Dame (23-0-1) vs. No. 2 Penn State (13-6-3)
No. 2 UCLA (20-3-0) vs. Portland (17-3-3)
No. 2 Florida State (17-3-4) vs. Clemson (11-7-5)

Nov. 25
No. 1 North Carolina (24-1-0) vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (17-5-2)

NCAA DIVISION 2: Dowling and Metro State claim titles
Dowling won its first national championship in any sport when it beat defending champion Ft. Lewis, 1-0, to win the NCAA Division II men's championship Saturday afternoon at Brosnaham Soccer Complex in Pensacola, Fla.

Ivorian Guy-Roland Kpene, the final four's Most Outstanding Offensive Player, set up 26-year-old Norwegian Morten Jensen for the game's only goal in the seventh minute.

Metro State defeated Grand Valley State, 1-0, on Kira Sharp's goal on free kick in the fourth minute of overtime to win the NCAA Division II women's national championship.

The national title is Metro State's second in three seasons. The Roadrunners won in 2004 over Adelphi.

NJCAA: Jefferson and Young Harris win D1 championships
Jefferson College of Missouri won its first NJCAA Division I men's title with a 2-1 overtime victory over perennial power Mercer County Community College in the final on Sunday in Tyler, Texas.

The Vikings didn't crack after conceding an own goal in the 56th minute. Four minutes later, Judner Joseph tied the score, and Rhamon Silva won the game in overtime. The tournament MVP was Viking Claudio Dantas.

Young Harris College of Georgia beat Iowa Western College, 2-0, to win the NJCAA D1 women's championship.

SEMIFINALS: NCAA Division 3 & NAIA Pairings
NCAA Division 3 Men
Nov. 24 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Wheaton (Ill.) (15-7-4) vs. Ohio Wesleyan (16-0-5)
Messiah (19-1-2) vs. New York U. (15-3-4)

NCAA Division 3 Women
Nov. 24 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Virginia Wesleyan (18-3-4) vs. Wheaton (Ill.) (22-2-0)
Messiah (18-2-1) vs. College of New Jersey (17-1-3)

Nov. 20 in Daytona Beach, Fla.
William Jewell (18-2-2) vs. Azusa Pacific (16-3-3)
Graceland (16-4-2) vs. Webber International (14-4-0)

NAIA Women
Nov. 20
in Olathe, Kan.
Azusa Pacific (19-1-0) vs. Concordia (Ore.) (20-1-2)
Lindsey Wilson (22-2-0) vs. Martin Methodist (19-3-0)

Adu Packs His Bags as Britain Wonders What all the Fuss is About
The Guardian
Freddy Adu shows up next week to start training with Manchester United, and the press is getting ready. Just about every major British paper has included some kind of story on the 17-year old Ghanaian American's two-week training session. They're all wondering, of course, whether the hype surrounding the kid is even justified. It's important to keep in mind that few of these reporters and columnists have ever seen him play; Major League Soccer, of course, isn't broadcast in Britain. So most point to his numbers in MLS, which columnist Ian Plenderleith points out are not bad, especially for a 17-year old. Played almost exclusively as a winger in his three years with D.C. United, Adu has scored 11 goals in 59 starts and 29 appearances as a sub. Healthy numbers, but no one in the American media is referring to Adu as a "teen phenom" anymore-that ship sailed a while ago. When Freddy signed his contracts with MLS and Nike in 2004, the U.S. media were all over him. He was on the cover of newspapers and magazines, featured on TV news programs and compared to Pele; he even made an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. However, big media haven't cared much since then, partly because America wants to see its "phenom" scoring three and four goals every game. Adu, meanwhile, has had a lot of growing up to do at D.C. United. Now a regular starter with Peter Nowak's United, he has indeed done a lot of growing up since 2004, but Adu's relationship with Nowak has never been easy. Says Plenderleith, "Whether Adu remains the victim of media hyperbole, or whether he goes on to fulfil his undoubted potential, may depend on who coaches him next."

Turner Studios, 19 November 2006, working on Vignettes
Tony Young - recording, Ryan Bailey - piano, Garrett Whitten - lead guitar, Steven Toler - guitar, Zack Morris - guitar, Charles Bryant - photography

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #173

Well crap, four of the five teams i was following in the NCAA D-1 men's playoffs lost in round two. Go Virginia!:

SMU, West Virginia and UNC men are upset
SMU, the top-ranked team in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 for most of the regular season, fell in the second round of the NCAA Division I Tournament on Wednesday night when it lost at home to UC Santa Barbara, 3-1.

Also knocked out were North Carolina, the preseason No. 1, and West Virginia, which was ranked as high as No. 2 during the season.

UCSB dominated No. 3 seed SMU, outshooting the Mustangs, 16-8, and never trailed. Freshman midfielder David Walker scored the first goal of his career to put the Gauchos ahead for good in the 44th minute after UCSB's Nick Perera and SMU's Scott Corbin traded goals. Eric Avila, who set up Perera for the first goal, added an insurance goal in the 76th minute.

"We liked the match-up with SMU from the start," UCSB coach Tim Vom Steeg said. "Our team has played in some really big games and, even though they've got a great tradition here and had an amazing season, we had the guys ready to play and believing they could beat this team. The guys played excellent tonight."

All-American Scott Jones' goal with seven minutes left in the second overtime lifted UNC Greensboro to a 2-1 victory over No. 6 seed West Virginia. It was the second winning goal in two postseason games for Jones, who scored with just 24 seconds left in regulation to lift UNCG to a 2-1 win over Virginia Tech in the opening round on Saturday.

The Mountaineers missed two penalties in the space of 10 minutes in the second half -- the first by Dan Stratford was turned away by Spartan goalkeeper Nate Berry and the second by Pat Carroll sailed wide left of an open net with Berry guessing wrong.

"It was an ebb and flow game," said UNCG coach Michael Parker. "It was a very even match-up. But I believe we were the better team in overtime."

Old Dominion's Trevor Banks didn't miss his penalty kick, scoring in the 70th minute to give the Monarchs a 1-0 win over 14th-seeded North Carolina. Carolina outshot the Monarchs, 13-3, and posted a 7-1 edge on corner kicks, but was shut out for the fifth time in its last six games.

"It wasn't much different of a game than what we have played all season long," said Carolina coach Elmar Bolowich. "We pretty much controlled the game, had more of the play, had perhaps better opportunities to go ahead and we did not convert. That puts an enormous amount of pressure on the defense. Old Dominion started believing at that point, and all they needed was that one break."

All other seeds that played on Wednesday advanced to the Sweet 16. Two games were postponed until Thursday because of bad weather: Clemson-Gardner-Webb and Saint Louis-Northwestern.

SCOREBOARD: NCAA Division I Men's Tournament
Results -- Second Round
Nov. 15
California 3 (Wilson 2, Ayala-Hil 32, 63) New Mexico 1 (Danaher 83).
Duke 2 (Videira 27, Grella 47) Brown 0.
Indiana 1 (Ackley 20) Northern Illinois 0.
Lehigh 1 (Gazda 84) Rhode Island 1 (Tumicz 18) (OT).
(Lehigh wins 5-4 on penalties.)
Maryland 2 (Hall 26, Zusi 57) St. John's 0.
North Carolina 0 Old Dominion 1 (Banks pen. 70).
Notre Dame 1 (Lapira 44) UIC 0.
Santa Clara 3 (Ustruck 43, Martin 46, Ogunbiyi 93) Washington 2 (Fischer 61, Mohn 81) (OT).
SMU 1 (Corbin 41) UC Santa Barbara 3 (Perera 32, Walker 44, Avila 76).
Towson 2 (Ruck 40, Mangione 52) Fairfield 0.
UCLA 3 (Zizzo 2, 40, Nakazawa 74) Harvard 0.
Virginia 4 (Cristman 27, Colaluca 28, Holder 44, Villanueva 49) Bucknell 0.
Wake Forest 5 (Tracy 22, 73, Schilwaksi 40, 78, Cronin 69) Hofstra 1 (Todd 79).
West Virginia 1 (Wittig 70) UNC Greensboro 2 (Patterson 52, Jones 103) (OT).
Clemson vs. Gardner-Webb-postponed.
Saint Louis vs. Northwestern-postponed

Second Round -- Nov. 16
No. 9 Clemson (12-4-2) vs. Gardner-Webb (9-7-4)
No. 11 Saint Louis (13-4-2) vs. Northwestern (12-7-0)
Third Round -- Nov. 18-19
No. 1 Duke (17-3-1) vs. No. 16 Lehigh (15-1-3)
No. 8 UCLA (11-5-4) vs. Clemson-Gardner-Webb winner
No. 4 Virginia (15-3-1) vs. No. 13 California (13-5-1)
No. 5 Maryland (16-4-1) vs. No. 12 Notre Dame (14-5-2)
Old Dominion (14-5-2) vs. UC Santa Barbara (14-7-0)
No. 7 Indiana (15-4-2) vs. No. 10 Santa Clara (13-4-4)
No. 2 Wake Forest (16-3-3) vs. No. 15 Towson (14-1-3)
Saint Louis-Northwestern winner vs. UNC Greensboro (16-7-0)

NAIA: Lindsey Wilson continues long road back
Opening as the No. 20 seed in the 20-team finals, defending champion Lindsey Wilson began the title defense of its NAIA men's title with a 3-1 win over Judson Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The Blue Raiders had to play on the opening day for the first time since the NAIA expanded to a 20-team field in 2003. They had to forfeit five wins for using an ineligible player in their first six games. The Blue Raiders lost the other game and had rebounded from a 0-6 start to enter the national championships with an 11-9-0 record.

Nathan Jafta, Tiyselan Shipalane and Carnell Learmond scored against Judson. The win set up a date for Lindsey Wilson on Thursday against No. 4 seed Rio Grande.

NCAA D2 MEN: Final four has foreign flavor
The NCAA Division II men's tournament continues Thursday with the semifinals at the 2006 DII Championship Festival in Pensacola, Fla. The final four will have a decidedly foreign flavor:

Ft. Lewis is led by Englishman John Cunliffe, considered one of the top strikers in the college game at any level. Cunliffe enters the semifinals with 27 goals and 16 assists.

Lincoln Memorial is coached by Brazilian Helio D'Anna, who starts eight Brazilians. (Former Railsplitter Frederico Moojens, another Brazilian, transferred for his senior year to Clemson, where he starts for the Tigers.)

Local entrant West Florida also has a samba touch. The Argonauts are led by a pair of Brazilians: forward Felipe Lawall (12 goals and 14 assists) and defender Eduardo Oliveira.

The fourth semifinalist, Dowling, starts players from Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden), West Africa (Guinea, Ivory Coast and Senegal) and the Caribbean (Jamaica). The Golden Lions' four Norwegian starters include 26-year-old grad student Morten Jensen, who has scored 22 goals.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #172

This email says everything:

"Hey everyone! Sons of the Rodeo won "Best Film - College Narrative" at SpinFest this last weekend. (It may be called Spindletop Film Festival, but we think it's officially SpinFest now). Check out their website:
Thanks to all again for all of your help! Hope everyone is doing well, Kristy & Laura Maurer"

From Soccer America:
The Mustangs were No. 1 most of the season but struggled to put away teams. With renewed speculation about a possible move by Coach Schellas Hyndman to FC Dallas, the pressure will be on SMU to finally win a national championship. Striker Scott Geppert is out for the year, and Brazilian Paulo da Silva has been in and out of the lineup suffering from strained abdominal muscles. The midfield is solid, however, with Chase Wileman, Adrian Chevannes and Bruno Guarda, the SMU's other Brazilian-born, Texas-educated star. UCSB has been one of the most inconsistent teams in the country. It opened with a 5-0 win over Akron, the top-ranked team at the end of last year's regular season, but bottomed out with a 5-0 loss to Big West foe Cal State Northridge in late September. The Gauchos are 8-3-0 since the Northridge debacle and have the kind of team that could lasso the Mustangs. Senior Kyle Reynish was the Big West's Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, while giant Englishman Andy Iro was once again the conference's Defender of the Year.

Videira and Lapira in race for Hermann Trophy
Michael Videira of No. 1 Duke leads the 15 players named as semifinalists for the 2006 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy.

Videira and Notre Dame Greg Dalby are the only repeats from last year's short list. Notre Dame (Joseph Lapira and Dalby), SMU (Bruno Guarda and Jay Needham), Maryland (Maurice Edu and Stephen King) are the only teams with two players named to the list.

Guarda and Virginia's Yannick Reyering are the only sophomores on the list. All other players are juniors or seniors.

The winner will be announced at a banquet in St. Louis, hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club on Dec. 2, the eve of the NCAA Division I men's final.

SOCCER AMERICA'S TAKE: Charlie Davies was the top offensive player in ACC, but the fact BC didn't make the NCAA Tournament hurts his case. West Virginia's Jarrod Smith deserves consideration but isn't well known. The award might come down to a two-way race between Videira (the lone nominee from the nation's top team) and Lapira (the nation's top scorer). (Not among the 15 nominees but deserving consideration: Wake Forest's Julian Valentin, Maryland keeper Chris Seitz and Washington junior forward Kevin Forrest.)

MAC Hermann Trophy-Men's Semifinalists
D Andrew Boyens, New Mexico, Sr., New Zealand
-- Dominating force on the Lobos' backline.
M Greg Dalby, Notre Dame, Jr. Poway, Calif.
-- Named Big East Midfielder of the Year.
F Charlie Davies, Boston College, Jr., Manchester, N.H.
-- Led the Eagles in scoring with a school record 15 goals.
M John DiRaimondo, Saint Louis, Sr., St. Louis, Mo.
-- Making his second appearance on semifinalist list.
M Maurice Edu, Maryland, Jr., Fontana, Calif.
-- Four of five goals have been game-winners.
M Bruno Guarda, SMU, Soph. Piracicaba, Brazil
-- Named Conference USA Player of the Year.
G Tally Hall, San Diego State, Sr. Gig Harbor, Wash.
-- Finished season with 1.04 goals-against average.
D Julius James, Connecticut, Jr., Trinidad
-- Big East Defender of the Year for the second consecutive season.
M Stephen King, Maryland, Jr. Medford, N.J.
-- Has never missed a start in his collegiate career.
F Joseph Lapira, Notre Dame, Jr. Lake Charles, La.
-- Leads all NCAA Division I scorers with 20 goals and 45 points.
D Jay Needham, SMU, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas
-- Named Conference USA Defender of the Year.
F Yannick Reyering, Virginia, Soph., Germany
-- Leads Cavs with nine goals and seven assists for 25 points.
F Dane Richards, Clemson, Sr., Jamaica
-- Named a first-team All-ACC selection.
F Jarrod Smith, West Virginia, Sr. New Zealand
-- First-team All-Big East pick after scoring 14 goals.
M Michael Videira, Duke, Jr. Milford, Mass.
-- Named MVP of the ACC Tournament for No. 1 Devils.

WOMEN'S HERMANN TROPHY: Hanks makes case
North Carolina forward Heather O'Reilly and Nebraska midfielder Brittany Timko have been named to the women's short list for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy for the third straight year.

Both Notre Dame selections -- midfielder Jen Buczkowski and Kerri Hanks -- are repeat semifinalists. North Carolina (Yael Averbuch and O'Reilly) and Portland (Stephanie Lopez and Angie Woznuk) are the only other teams with two selections on the 15-player semifinal list.

NCAA Division I coaches who are NSCAA members will vote on the men's and women's awards.

SOCCER AMERICA'S TAKE: Hanks probably gets the nod. She has been on a tear of late, taking over the NCAA Division I lead in points with 58. O'Reilly, the U.S. international, was edged out by Averbuch, her UNC teammate, for the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award. Adams has been hot since returning from the 2006 U-20 World Championship in Russia, but fellow Bruin and U-20 Lauren Cheney has scored six more goals. Worth noting: It's been a big year for defenders with five on the Hermann shortlist. (A sixth, Texas sophomore Kasey Moore, also figures among this year's big crop of outstanding backs.)

MAC Hermann Trophy-Women's Semifinalists
M Danesha Adams UCLA, Jr. Shaker Heights, Ohio
-- Bruins No. 2 scorer with 11 goals in only 16 games.
M Yael Averbuch North Carolina, Soph., Upper Montclair, N.J.
-- ACC's Offensive Player of the Year.
M Jen Buczkowski Notre Dame, Sr., Elk Grove, Ill.
-- All-Big East selection for third year in a row.
D Rachel Buehler Stanford, Sr., Del Mar, Calif.
-- Anchor for the Cardinal, who have had a big year.
D Marian Dalmy Santa Clara, Sr., Lakewood, Colo.
-- Led all WCC defenders with six goals.
D Laura Georges Boston College, Sr., France
-- Nominated for the FIFA Women's Player of the Year award.
F Kerri Hanks Notre Dame, Soph., Allen, Texas
-- Has had another big season (21 goals and 16 assists).
D Ali Krieger Penn State, Sr., Dumfries, Va.
-- Converted to defender by necessity and named all-Big Ten selection.
F Selin Kuralay Florida State, Jr., Australia
-- Leads the Seminoles with 12 goals and five game-winners.
D Stephanie Lopez Portland, Jr., Elk Grove, Calif.
-- Has juggled duties with U.S. U-20s and senior team.
F Heather O'Reilly North Carolina, Sr., East Brunswick, N.J.
-- Experience has been critical for young Heels' winning streak.
F Ashlee Pistorius Texas A&M, Jr., Bloomington, Ill.
-- Golden goal handed UNC its only loss.
M Brittany Timko Nebraska, Sr., Canada
-- Only Canadian on short list was co-Big 12 Player of the Year.
F India Trotter Florida State, Sr., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
-- Another player with U.S. national team experience in 2006.
M Angie Woznuk Portland, Jr., El Cajon, Calif.
-- One of college soccer's most stylish playmakers.

TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Texas moves into third round
Texas, one of four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Division I Women's Tournament, earned a shootout victory over Connecticut Monday afternoon in a game delayed 24 hours because of inclement weather and moved from UConn's Morrone Field to Yousef Al-Marzook Field on the campus of the University of Hartford.

The Longhorns edged UConn, 3-1, on penalties after their game ended in a 1-1 tie. Defender Kasey Moore gave UT the lead on a header in the 51st minute, but Lauren Ebert responded for UConn 19 minutes later.

The win sets up a date for Texas with defending national champion Portland in Austin on Sunday. The Pilots are unseeded in this year's tournament but are perfect in seven meetings against Texas. Two years ago, UP beat the Longhorns, 2-0, in the NCAA Tournament.

In NCAA Division III action on Monday, Yared Yedenekachew's golden goal gave North Carolina Wesleyan a 1-0 win over host Virginia Wesleyan.

In women's second-round action, Virginia Wesleyan outlasted Johns Hopkins, 5-3, in a shootout after their game ended in a 0-0 tie, while Wheaton (Ill.) downed Macalester, 3-0.

NAIA: Appeal on at-large bid upheld
Ever wished your school could appeal its non-selection to the Big Dance?

That's what NAIA school Oklahoma Christian University did -- and it won. It was successful in its appeal of the selection process for the 2006 NAIA women's championships and was granted a berth in the national tournament after first being overlooked in favor of Bethel of Tennessee.

The national tournament selection committee was found to have erred in its application of one of the criteria approved for the selection of at-large qualifiers. While Bethel had the edge in the TPI (Total Point Index) used for at-large berths, the teams were so close that it triggered a secondary set of criteria. One of the criteria was applied improperly, favoring Bethel. On appeal, the NAIA's Council of Athletics Administrators ruled the majority of the seven criteria should have favored Oklahoma Christian.

The NAIA tournaments begin on Wednesday -- the men in Daytona Beach, Fla., and the women in Olathe, Kan.

PROGRAMS: Central Arkansas drops men's soccer
Another Division I men's soccer program has been dropped. The University of Central Arkansas has announced the elimination of the men's intercollegiate soccer program, which played its first season of Division I ball in 2006.

The move stems from UCA's failure to find a D1 soccer conference in which to play. Athletic Director John Thompson said the men's soccer team did not receive an invitation to join either the Missouri Valley or Conference USA. (MVC coaches had supported a move to expand.) UCA had also approached the Mid-American, which is in danger of losing its automatic bid in 2007 because it will have only five teams playing men's soccer.

Faced with the alternative of again playing as an independent, UCA chose to drop the program.

UCA joined the Southland Conference and moved to NCAA Division I effective July 1 of this year. The Southland offers women's soccer, but does not offer men's soccer as a championship sport. Thompson said that UCA would continue to play women's soccer.

NJCAA MEN: High-scoring GPC begins title defense
Top-ranked Georgia Perimeter looks to defend its NJCAA Division I men's title at the national finals that kick off Thursday in Tyler, Texas.

The Jaguars (21-0-1) are led by a pair of freshmen from the Miami area, Martin Nunez and Heber Hernandez, who ranked No. 2 and No. 4 nationally among JC scores and have combined for 54 of GPC's 114 goals. Another freshman, Lucas Rogue, leads the nation's two-year colleges in assists with 21.

Yavapai and Mercer County, two long-time JC powerhouses, square off in Thursday's quarterfinals. Yavapai has won five national titles, beating Mercer in the 2002 and 2003 final. In 2004, Mercer beat Georgia Perimeter in the final for Coach Charlie Inverso's fifth NJCAA title and Vikings' eighth overall. Both schools have a long tradition of producing players who move on to the pros. Trinidad & Tobago World Cup playerrs Stern John and Avery John went to Mercer and Yavapai, respectively.

Nov. 16 in Tyler, Texas
#1 Yavapai (22-0-1) vs. Mercer County (13-2-3)
#3 Louisburg (15-1-3) vs. Northern Oklahoma -Tonkawa (17-3-0)
#4 Illinois Central (17-1-0) vs. Jefferson (18-3-2)
#1 Georgia Perimeter (21-0-1) vs. DuPage (15-1-4)

NJCAA WOMEN: Monroe goes for three-peat
Monroe Community College is seeking its third straight national title in the NJCAA Division I women's championship that begins Thursday in Albany, Ga.

The Tribunes, this year's top seeds, feature Northern Ireland international Roisin Havelin and Aveann Douglas and Ayana Russell, who are on Trinidad & Tobago's roster for the Women's Gold Cup that starts this weekend in Miami. Monroe is 17-0-2 with its only ties coming against No. 2 seed Young Harris and No. 8 Navarro, its opening-game opponent.

Young Harris features a third JC player, Kennya "Ya Ya" Cordner, named to T&T's Gold Cup roster.

Nov. 16 in Albany, Ga.
#1 Monroe (17-0-2) vs. #8 Navarro (9-6-3)
#4 Laramie County (15-4-1) vs. #5 Iowa Western (18-1-1)
#2 Young Harris (14-1-1) vs. #7 Harford (16-2-0)
#3 Schoolcraft (14-0-2) vs. #6 Mesa (15-2-2)

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