Matt Watson, fresh off winning team MVP honors, was named to USL-1's All-League second team. He follows fellow midfielder Kupono Low, who picked up the same two awards last year.
Watson, who scored one goal and tallied four assists for six points total, played 25 games in a season in which he was often injured. He also attracted attention as an MLS prospect.
’Hawks fans hope such a career move will come later rather than sooner.
Here's the complete list of the USL-1's All-League teams.
Other than that, there aren’t many conclusions to be drawn from Saturday’s 31-3 victory over Virginia—just more questions.
The Blue Devils have quietly managed to climb out of the ACC cellar, but have done so by stepping on the piled carcasses of inferior and failing programs. They picked up their first conference win in 26 tries Saturday, but left the defense to do the heavy lifting while Thaddeus Lewis and the rest of the Duke offense again struggled through the first half. Final stats show that Duke was outperformed in nearly every quantifiable aspect of the game, and before Michael Tauiliili and the rest of the Blue Devil defense harassed Cavalier Quarterback Marc Verica into a second half meltdown, the outcome could have gone either way. And yet Duke won, convincingly.
“We made a lot of mistakes that good teams don’t make,” said David Cutcliffe at the post-game press conference, “But I’m extremely proud of our guys for doing what they needed to do to win.”
So, the Blue Devils are no longer a doormat, but are they any good?
The truth won’t begin to shake out until next week as Duke continues its long march through conference play which, N.C. State notwithstanding, sees them pitted against the class of the ACC.
Until the second half of last week’s game against Virginia Tech, it looked like the Tar Heels had a good season going. Not a national championship season, but the kind of season that can reasonably be called progress, and might even include a shot at having some fun in the ACC title race. Then quarterback TJ Yates went down with a broken ankle, consigned to the sidelines for six weeks.
Even though Yates isn’t on anyone’s Heisman list, the injury was a boot to the groin of UNC’s offense.
Forrest will have reaction to today's UNC win a bit later. In the meantime, succumb to your inner 10-year-old and enjoy the day's best de-cleater:
With every one of the Philadelphia Flyers’ past captains (with the notable exception of Eric Lindros) in attendance and the doors of the Flyers’ old haunt, the Spectrum, about to be closed to the NHL forever, Philadelphia rode an emotional high and handed Carolina their third straight loss of the preseason, 4-2, this afternoon.
The Flyers’ newly-minted captain Mike Richards’ scored two (yes, two) short-handed goals on netminder Cam Ward, who finished the game with 27 saves. Joffrey Lupul and Braydon Coburn scored the Flyers’ other two goals, and Matt Murley – who scored with only .4 seconds remaining in the first period - and Patrick Eaves lit the lamp for the Hurricanes. Eaves’ goal was the first even-strength goal for the Hurricanes in the preseason.
Lindros, who captained the Flyers on and off from 1994-2000, was unable to be in attendance due to the death of a family friend. However, every other captain, from Lou Angotti (1967) to Richards (2008), was present to give the former home of the Broad Street Bullies a fond farewell.
To read up on the Spectrum’s colorful history, click here. Many Flyers fans harbored hopes that Rod Brind’Amour would make a miraculous recovery and play in today’s game, but the Hurricanes captain remains sidelined after having knee surgery two weeks ago. Brind’Amour was a fan favorite in Philly from 1991 until he was traded to Carolina in 2000 for Keith Primeau, a former Carolina and Philadelphia captain who was also in attendance today.
The Flyers will participate in one final game at the Spectrum, against their minor-league affiliate Philadelphia Phantoms on Oct. 7. At the end of the regular season, the building will be demolished to make way for a shopping center. In the more immediate future, the Flyers will face off against the Hurricanes again at the RBC Center tomorrow afternoon. Carolina is still seeking its first preseason win.
Sixteen athletes, many of them pros, have agreed to donate their brains to science upon their death as part of a concussion study, reports the Associated Press, and printed in The News & Observer. Former Carolina soccer star Cindy Parlow is among those who've agreed to the study.
Former New England Patriots linebaker Ted Johnson is among the prospective donors. His multiple concussions from 2002 through his 2005 retirement resulted in permanent and degenerative problems with memory and depression. He is quoted in The New York Times:
“I’m not being vindictive. I’m not trying to reach up from the grave and get the N.F.L. But any doctor who doesn’t connect concussions with long-term effects should be ashamed of themselves.”
Several former NFL players have died young. Scientists analyzed their brain tissue and in most, found abnormalities consistent with repetitive brain injury.
Joni Pitkanen scored the lone goal in a game in which the Hurricanes failed to take revenge on the team that, just under four months ago, claimed their spot in the postseason. Tomas Fleischmann tallied two goals for the Capitals.
Neither team’s offensive juggernauts dressed for the game – Eric Staal and Rod Brind’Amour sat out, and Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom didn’t make the trip to Raleigh – though Washington had no trouble generating offense. Most of Carolina’s core defensemen were in the line-up, and all had NHL experience.
Instead of pointing fingers at the team's defense or youth, Laviolette criticized the overall worth ethic.
“More concerning was the fact that we got outcompeted for about 50 minutes,” head coach Peter Laviolette said.
Most concerning of all is that the preseason injury bug seems to have attacked the Hurricanes yet again. Tim Gleason, the team’s No. 1 stay-at-home defenseman, left with a leg injury and didn’t return. Laviolette that the leg is being evaluated, but that “it’s probably going to be a little bit of time.”
Laviolette praised Pitkanen, making his first appearance as a ‘Cane, but few others - not a good thing to hear if you have yet to secure a roster spot.
“I thought Jeff (O’Neill) started strong, and then the game just started to get sloppy,” Laviolette said. "I didn’t think he was bad, but everyone needed to be better.”
Despite the growing rivalry between the two Southeastern division teams and the large number of players trying to prove themselves, no fights broke out. Ryan Bayda and Matt Murley played well and Scott Walker looked particularly refreshed, even though he was skating alongside guys who were nearly half his age.
Cam Ward split goaltending duties with Justin Peters. Both allowed two goals, and Ward was disappointed by his own performance.
“At the end of the day it was just an exhibition game, but we definitely wanted to put forth a stronger effort,” Ward said.
The Canes will have a chance to rebound immediately, as they travel to face the Capitals again tomorrow night.
“Obviously we’ve got to get a little more work ethic, but that will come,” team hopeful Brandon Sutter said. “I don’t think we have to worry about it."
--- Regular Season --- ---- Playoffs ----
Season Team GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts
2004-05 Spokane Chiefs 4 0 0 0 0 - - - - -
2005-06 Spokane Chiefs 72 17 17 34 51 - - - - -
2006-07 Spokane Chiefs 61 24 19 43 55 6 2 5 7
2007-08 Spokane Chiefs 66 42 40 82 62 21 11 9 20
He signed a three-year entry-level deal with the ’Canes in July, and while he’s a long shot to crack the roster, here’s to hoping he can at least crack a smile. Here’s his mug shot for the ’Canes:
(Smile, Bowman! You might be in the NHL this year!)
Most of the scouting reports say he has a strong offensive upside, and ’Canes director of player development Ron Francis - who has watched Bowman’s progress closely - clearly believes in him.
“Drayson had an outstanding season capped off by a strong performance in helping Spokane win the Memorial Cup,” Francis said in a July press release. “He is an excellent goal-scorer with good hockey sense and is capable of competing for a spot on our roster as early as this fall.”
Oh, and good news: The kid likes to scrap.
Prior to last Saturday's home finale, the Carolina RailHawks announced their team awards, citing five players for excellence during a rocky season that nonetheless ended with a 5-2-1 record over its last eight games, good for 16 points.
Probably the biggest surprise was the choice for Most Valuable Player: midfielder Matt Watson.
Cheryl Miller, Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm can thank Mary Gerber who broke, with difficulty, the gender barriers for women sportswriters, and later, sportscasters.
Gerber died Sunday in Winston-Salem at age 92, reports The New York Times.
She covered high school and then the ACC before branching out to a wide variety of sports for Winston-Salem papers. And, as the Times reports, she covered black athletics during the segregationist era in the South.
The Times includes a humorous anecdote about the camaraderie between Gerber and a black sportswriter:
She was working at “one of the games that one of the first black writers came to — he was from the Durham paper — and he and I sat next to each other.”
“And I was feeling pretty sure of myself by that time,” she added. “So when he came in and sat down, I reached over and poked him and I said, ‘Welcome, fellow minority.’ And he laughed.”