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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Puerto Rico Islanders derail Carolina RailHawks 3-1 on aggregate, win USSF D-2 championship

Posted By on Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Carolina RailHawksPuerto Rico Islanders celebrate USSF D-2 championship win Carolina RailHawksWAKEMED SOCCER PARK / CARY — Saturday evening began as one of extraordinary positives for the Carolina RailHawks. The club hosted the first league championship in its four-year history before a crowd of 5,074, unofficially the largest attendance for a league match at WakeMed Soccer Park in three years. Unfortunately, the RailHawks’ successful season and exhilarating playoff run ended in disappointing fashion as Carolina drew 1-1 with the Puerto Rico Islanders in the second leg of the USSF D-2 Pro League championship. When combined with the 2-0 Islanders’ win over...

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Hurricanes' home shutout streak gets spooky as Penguins win 3-0

Posted By on Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Horge/ Wiki CommonsThe face mask of Hall of Fame goalkeeper Jacques PlanteRBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—Maybe the Canes could make an omelet with all these goose eggs. The Pittsburgh Penguins dropped handfuls of home-ice frustration into the Carolina Hurricanes' trick-or-treat bags last night, handing them their second straight 3-0 loss before the Raleigh faithful. Pascal Dupuis netted a pair of goals off Sidney Crosby passes, Brent Johnson placidly foiled 33 shots and the Penguin penalty killers snuffed eight Carolina power plays in the kind of efficient road victory that the Canes had authored only a night before against the New York Rangers...

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shocker! Renfree almost pitches a perfect game as Blue Devils sink host Navy

Posted By on Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Sean Renfree is apparently back. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke quarterback Sean RenfreeDuke’s sophomore quarterback completed his first 16 passes of the game, finishing an unlikely 28-for-30 for 314 yards and a touchdown and running for two more as the Blue Devils stunned homestanding Navy 34-31. Duke (2-6) snapped a six-game losing streak as well as a 10-game slide against Division I-FBS opposition. But the Blue Devils almost had a disaster, as the Middies (5-3) scored three touchdowns and made the two-point conversion each time in the fourth quarter....

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Tar Heel comeback foils William & Mary upset bid

Posted By on Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 7:37 PM

(Photo by Rob Rowe)Tar Heel quarterback T.J. Yates hugs a wounded Tribe quarterback Mike Paulus after North Carolina comes back to beat William & Mary.KENAN STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL It’s homecoming day in the “Southern Part of Heaven,” and today UNC will take on an old, old rival from back in the Southern Conference days. The visitor is William & Mary, which was founded in 1693 and is America’s Oldest University. Harvard is older as an institution, but W&M was a university first. And there are also always some bragging rights on the line here. Most North Carolinians know that UNC is...

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Keys to the game: Carolina RailHawks to meet Puerto Rico tonight

Posted By on Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Keys to the game for tonight's USSF-D2 Pro League championship. This is the return leg of the two-legged final. The RailHawks lost 2-0 on Sunday in Puerto Rico. The winner is determined by aggregate score, so... 1. The RailHawks must outscore the Islanders by at least two goals. At the end of normal time, it's that simple. If they're level on aggregate after 90, two 15-minute periods will ensue, to be followed by penalty kicks. 2. Can the defense stay organized? Although the patchwork defense has been pretty good overall, they simply cannot afford to make the awful lapses on...

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Long journey for RailHawks to culminate in biggest crowd of season tonight

Posted By on Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 12:15 PM

File David FellerathAfter the victory over Montreal two weeks ago, the players and coaches huddle on the field.On the eve of tonight's season finale and USSF-D2 Pro League championship game between the Carolina RailHawks and the Puerto Rico Islanders, I think back to the way the season began with a pratfall at WakeMed Socccer Park. It wasn't the RailHawks that landed on their butt—it was an expansion team, AC St. Louis, coached by Nicolas Anelka's brother Claude, that became the object of derision in the soccer world. They started that game with 10 players, a condition that remained the same...

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I am Mike Vick: Why we should give the sanctimony a rest

Posted By on Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 6:46 AM

Keith Allison/ Wiki CommonsMichael Vick, seen in 2006 before his legal troubles beganAfter eight weeks and an untimely rib injury, Micahel Vick is poised to return to the field this Sunday. If his initial five-game stint is any indication of what we can expect from him, it seems safe to proclaim that Michael Vick is “back.” More than that, he seems to be a much-improved version of the Falcons incarnation we saw four years ago. What seems equally obvious at this point is that people will either love him or hate him, almost irrespective of how he performs on the...

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Mudcats open 2011 season at home on April 7

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 4:27 PM

The Carolina Mudcats have announced their 2011 schedule, which will begin with a five-game homestand against the Mobile Bay Bears at Five County Stadium starting April 7. The Cincinnati Reds’ affiliate in the Double-A Southern League will host three weekday games including Education Day on April 11 at 11:00 a.m. against Mobile and “Businessperson Specials” on July 7 at noon against Jacksonville and Aug. 25 at 11:00 a.m. again against Jacksonville....

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Wilson runs for three TDs and passes for the winner as Wolfpack knocks off Seminoles

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 12:16 AM

(Photo by Rob Rowe)N.C. State's Russell Wilson scores a touchdown, starting a Wolfpack comeback.CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM N.C. State plays one of its biggest football games in a very long time tonight as Florida State visits the Wolfpack’s jam-packed house. If the Wolfpack can win its remaining five games, it will win the Atlantic Division and play in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 4 in Charlotte. If the No. 16 Seminoles win, NCSU, which hasn’t won in the series since 2006, can only hope to finish up a good season on a strong note. Plenty of bowl scouts are here, as...

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tar Heels strong favorites, Blue Devils underdogs on an odd non-conference day Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 7:17 PM

(File Photo by Rob Rowe)Tar Heel quarterback T.J. Yates receives the snap in the UNC-ECU contest earlier this season.Saturday is a totally coincidental, late-season non-conference day for two of the Triangle’s three ACC football teams. Both UNC and Duke will play at 3:30 p.m., with N.C. State of course having the day off following Thursday night’s 28-24 win over Florida State at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Tar Heels (4-3) will be solid favorites over William & Mary (6-1), which is ranked No. 4 in the most recent Division I-FCS poll but has never beaten the Tar Heels and has just two...

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Canes drop home opener to Washington Capitals, 3-0

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:24 AM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeEric Staal assumes the captain's role, speaking to media after a practice two weeks ago. RBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—Lying down on the job worked out well for David Steckel. The Capitals' center, skidding across the ice on the seat of his pants after tangling with Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward, still managed to move the puck across to Matt Hendricks for a controversial first-period goal that was the difference until the final minutes as Washington spoiled Carolina's long-awaited home opener with a 3-0 win on Wednesday night. "I don't think its a goal," Canes coach Paul Maurice...

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Wolfpack has a shot at ACC title - if it can beat Florida State tonight

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 1:06 AM

File Photo by Kristy ShaeferN.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson runs for extra yardage during the Boston College game.N.C. State really does have a clear shot at playing for the ACC football championship, but first the Wolfpack has to pull off a must-win upset tonight. If Tom O’Brien’s club can knock off visiting No. 16 Florida State, the Wolfpack would play in the ACC title game on Dec. 4 in Charlotte if it wins its remaining four games. “Our football team is excited about the opportunity to play Florida State,” said Coach O’Brien, whose team has had 12 days to lick...

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue Devils picked to finish atop ACC again, Tar Heels second and Wolfpack sixth

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 1:53 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM/GREENSBORO Duke won the ACC women’s basketball title in pretty convincing fashion last season, and the Blue Devils have plenty of believers at today's annual media rouser. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke guard Jasmine ThomasJoanne P. McCallie’s club, the choice of 24 of 33 voters for the top spot, is the preseason pick to repeat as the conference champion. The Blue Devils’ floor leader, senior guard Jasmine Thomas, was named preseason player of the year while freshman forward Richa Jackson and guard Chelsea Gray are on the six-player “newcomer watch list.” UNC, which has pre-season All-ACC senior forward Jessica Breland...

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Carolina RailHawks out-everythinged by Puerto Rico Islanders 2-0 in 1st leg of USSF D2 championship

Posted By on Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 9:25 PM

WEBCAST—Under a waning hunter’s moon over Bayamón, Puerto Rico, the Carolina RailHawks fell prey to a ravenous Puerto Rico Islanders squad that prevailed, 2-0, in the first leg the USSF D2 Pro League championship series. Carolina manager Martin Rennie made good on his promise that the RailHawks would adopt a conservative approach for the away match, with the intention of keeping the score close entering next week’s second leg at WakeMed Soccer Park. The RailHawks’ starting lineup included Matt Watson, Floyd Franks, Amir Lowery and Josh Gardner at midfield, with Etienne Barbara and Tom Heinemann responsible for the attacking third....

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Freshmen shine as Duke women get a hard workout in Blue-White game

Posted By on Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 7:44 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM It’s finally basketball season. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke freshman guard Chloe WellsSort of, anyway. Duke was the first of the local ACC women’s basketball teams to put its product on display, with its annual Blue/White Scrimmage at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’s a “Fan Fest” as well, with games for the kids and free popcorn and some giveaways and a post-game autograph session. And there are perhaps a thousand fans in the house. Last season the Blue Devils were so banged up in preseason that Coach Joanne P. McCallie put her team up against the male players that...

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Finals preview: RailHawks to take field in Puerto Rico tonight

Posted By on Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Carolina RailHawksAll-league midfielder Daniel Paladini, seen against Puerto Rico in August, a 3-2 loss.Today is surely the biggest day in the four-year history of the Carolina RailHawks soccer franchise. The fact that it will likely pass unnoticed by most Triangle residents fixated on the N.C. State Fair, or gridiron football, or raking leaves, doesn't diminish the importance for the several thousand who avidly follow the RailHawks. For those just tuning in, the Cary-based RailHawks are playing for the championship of second-division soccer in North America and the Carribean. After steadily picking up their stride after opening the season in uncertain...

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McCallie unveils Duke 2010-11 women's hoops with Blue/White game today

Posted By on Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Duke women’s basketball will hold its annual Blue/White game today at 2 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium, with admission free to the public. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke guard Jasmine ThomasCoach Joanne P. McCallie’s club, ranked as high as No. 6 nationally in preseason publications, will try to defend its ACC title after a 30-6 mark in 2009-10. The Blue Devils return three starters in Jasmine Thomas, Karima Christmas and Krystal Thomas, and its freshman class Chelsea Gray, Richa Jackson, Haley Peters, Tricia Liston and Chloe Wells has been ranked No. 1 nationally by HoopGurlz....

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tar Heels on wrong end of blowout at Miami

Posted By on Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 10:56 PM

UNC’s recent domination of Coach Butch Davis’ former team is over. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC running back Johnny WhiteJacory Harris completed 21 of 32 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns as No. 25 Miami drubbed the Tar Heels 33-10 on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium. Miami (5-2, 3-1 ACC) had lost its last three meetings with the Tar Heels, who fell to 4-3 and 2-2 after having their four-game winning streak snapped. It was the Tar Heels’ first loss of the season by more than six points....

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Duke handles St. Augustine's quickly, confidently

Posted By on Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 8:25 PM

DURHAM, NC—With more than 13 minutes left in the second half during a season-opening exhibition against St. Augustine’s University Saturday night, the Duke University Blue Devils—last year’s national champions and, thanks to several returning stars and a promising fleet of young guards, ESPN’s pre-season favorite—broke the 100-point barrier. That benchmark gave the Devils a 59-point lead over the visiting Falcons. Indeed, the Devils essentially won the game about a half before, when they sprinted to 30-1 lead with a mostly perfect eight-minute opening sequence. During that decisive gambit, outstanding-as-promised freshman Kyrie Irving, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee combined for four...

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Another long day for Duke as Hokies roll 44-7

Posted By on Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Duke had a very long Saturday in Blacksburg. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke coach David CutcliffeTyrod Taylor completed 13 of 17 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns as No. 23 Virginia Tech pounded the Blue Devils 44-7 at Lane Stadium. Tech (6-2, 4-0 ACC) continues to lead the ACC’s Coastal Division while the Blue Devils are in last place at 1-6 and 0-4. Duke has lost 10 straight games against Division I-FBS competition. Taylor added 47 rushing yards on six carries. Darren Evans and Ryan Williams added rushing touchdowns for the Hokies....

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting serious about concussions: How guaranteeing contracts can help

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Wiki CommonsAn unknown football team from the 1910s, shortly after reforms made the game significantly saferLast weekend was one of the most violent displays of football in memory. In the college ranks, Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down after a head-on collision during the fourth quarter of a game against Army. Across the NFL a slew of nasty hits left players dazed or unconscious. In the wake of this carnage, the NFL announced that it would begin suspending players for blows to the head and “devastating hits.” The issue of head and neck injuries has...

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Tar Heels face a tough road challenge while Duke's appears to be even tougher

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 12:54 AM

File photo by Rob RoweJheranie Boyd (87) celebrates a UNC touchdown with teammates Johnny White (34) and Erik Highsmith (88)UNC will try to stretch its winning streak to five games. Duke is in major damage-control mode. And N.C. State will get a weekend off. That’s what’s going on with the Triangle’s ACC football teams as they go into Saturday’s action. Butch Davis’ beleaguered Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1 ACC), who found out Wednesday that senior cornerback Kendric Burney is not yet eligible to play and junior cornerback Charles Brown will have to sit out the season, will visit No. 25 Miami...

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

As Renfree has gone this season, so have gone the Blue Devils

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 11:00 PM

BROOKS FOOTBALL BUILDING/DURHAM Despite his very public struggles in a couple of tough losses for Duke over the past few weeks, Sean Renfree is still Duke’s starting quarterback and Coach David Cutcliffe is happy about that. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke quarterback Sean RenfreeThe sophomore has had his roughest times in two winnable games at home, throwing two interceptions to set up Army touchdowns in a 35-21 loss to the Cadets on Sept. 25 and five more in Saturday’s 28-13 loss to Miami. He and the Blue Devils (1-5, 0-3 ACC), who have lost nine straight games against Division I-FBS opposition,...

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Monday, October 18, 2010

N.C. Central football coach Mose Rison fired, replaced by assistant Darryl Bullock

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 4:48 PM

N.C. Central athleticsMose Rison earlier this seasonThis season's drama in local college football coaching circles has been focused on UNC's Butch Davis and his ability to keep the support of university administrators, trustees and boosters amid multiple scandals. But the first head coach to lose a job this year is N.C. Central's Mose Rison. Although a press release from the school employs the euphemistic term "replaced," the implication is clear: After two straight losing seasons and a 2-4 start to the current one, time has run out on Rison. Rison began his N.C. Central career in 2007 after starting as...

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Carolina RailHawks soften the Montreal Impact 2-1 on aggregate; advance to USSF D2 championship

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 6:30 AM

Carolina RailHawksTom Heinemann celebrates his series-winning goal over the Montreal ImpactWAKEMED SOCCER PARK / CARY — Like sands through the hourglass, so are this year’s matches between the Carolina RailHawks and the Montreal Impact. The four-game regular season series between the two clubs was highlighted by handballs called, handballs not called, player and coach suspensions, and multiple postgame police forays onto the pitch. The last meeting between the clubs at WakeMed Soccer Park ended with a scuffle between Etienne Barbara and Impact defender Adam Braz that resulted in Barbara delivering a glancing blow to the side of Braz’s head that...

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