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Washington Spirit win on road 2-0 against Racing Louisville FC

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Washington Spirit Post Match Press Conference from 7/25. This was after the team’s 2-0 victory against Racing Louisville FC. Video features thoughts from Head Coach Richie Burke along with stars Sam Staab and Ashley Hatch

The Washington Spirit defeated Racing Louisville FC in their eleventh match of the 2021 NWSL regular season this evening, 2-0. 

The Spirit wasted no time breaking the draw in this match. In the fifth minute, Tara McKeown set up a streaking Ashley Hatch who tucked the ball perfectly into the back corner of the net for her sixth goal of the season. 

Action stagnated following the early Spirit goal until the league-mandated hydration break in the 33rd-minute, as both teams struggled to find many legitimate chances on goal. Louisville landed a couple of shots on goal; however, all of them were promptly snuffed by Aubrey Bledsoe. Their two corner attempts were fruitless as well. 

Despite four additional shots during this stretch, the Spirit played mostly on their own side of the field, struggling to possess the ball – quite unlike a Richie Burke-coached team. Racing Louisville controlled over 60-percent of play for much of the first half and forced the Spirit to play a defensive-minded half. 

Just before halftime, Racing Louisville FC flirted with their best chances at goal. In the 43-minute, a Louisville corner attempt set up Lauren Millie whose shot in the box was blocked. Seconds later, Louisville’s Gemma Bonner sent a laser towards goal which was saved by Bledsoe, her third save of the half. Prior to this spurt, Louisville had two more attractive scoring opportunities, both times being snubbed by offside rulings from the side officials. 

Coming out of halftime, the Spirit once again wasted no time attacking. A Trinity Rodman tackle led to a breakaway opportunity that was ultimately thwarted. Moments later, Hatch weaved just outside the box and struck a ball that connected with the top post, mere inches away from finding the back of the net. 

The Spirit’s persistence was rewarded again in the 58th-minute when a Teagan McGrady corner set up Sam Staab in the box, who headed the ball into the right corner of the net. Staab’s goal was her first of the season. 

Later in the half, Louisville nearly broke its drought after a series of attempts inside the box following two corners. One of these shots on goal was blocked by Bledsoe who made a leaping attempt to send the ball over the crossbar and out of play. 

Action stalled for the remainder of the half as the Spirit settled into more conservative play in order to limit Louisville’s offensive chances. There were no real scoring threats made by Lousiville and the Spirit were unable to sink any of their remaining attempts on goal. 

The score remained 2-0 through stoppage time and the Spirit took a crucial three-points on the road for its fifth win of the season. 

For their next league fixture, the Spirit will continue on the road against Chicago on Sunday, August 1 at 6:00 pm ET at SeatGeek Stadium and will be broadcast live on Paramount+ (USA).

For more information on the Washington Spirit fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

Washington Spirit » Professional Women’s Soccer in DC

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U.S. Olympic 3×3 Team Earns Bye Into Semfiinals

After fighting its way to a 17-13 win over Italy (2-4) earlier in the day, a game-winning 2-point shot from Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington/Poway, Calif.) gave the U.S. Olympic 3×3 Women’s Basketball Team (6-0) a thrilling 21-19 victory over China (4-2) on Monday night at Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.

With one game left to play in the preliminary round, which will be against host Japan at 12:30 a.m. EDT on July 27, the USA at 6-0 has secured the No. 1 seed into the medal round. The USA awaits the winner of the A4/A5 quarterfinal game, which will be played on July 27, for its semifinal at 4 a.m. EDT on July 28. Streaming and broadcast information is available at the USA Basketball Olympic schedule page.

Neither the USA or China led by more than two points in the game, and the U.S. made the offensive plays down the stretch to earn the victory.

“We knew it was going to be a battle,” said Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut/Port Jervis, N.Y.), who had three points and six rebounds against China. “They were physical, probably the most physical team we played. But we were able to just keep playing our game, keep battling and made big shots, like Kelsey made that big shot at the end.”

The game was tied up a total of nine times, including at 17-17 when Dolson scored at 1:33 to push the U.S. ahead 18-17. China again evened the score 18-18, but Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/South Carolina/Sandersville, Ga.) countered on the following possession with 48 seconds to go to lift the U.S. ahead 19-18. China tied the score at 19-all with 41 seconds left, and Plum ended the affair with her game-winning 2-pointer with 34 seconds left on the clock.

Plum scored a game-best 10 points in the win, Gray added five points, five rebounds and three blocked shots, while Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces/Notre Dame/Princeton, Ind.) contributed 3 points and two boards. The USA outrebounded China 18-9.

“I pride myself on being ready when my number is called and trying to make some plays,” Plum said of her game-winner.”

“They played really super physical,” Plum added about China. “For us, it is tough. This is a hard tournament, and you do not have an easy game. There is no rest. I thought we battled through things, and there were no mistakes. And they hit some big shots, so credit to them for putting up a good fight.”

Against Italy in the USA’s first contest of the day, the game was tied three times in the first few minutes. But with the USA holding a 7-6 lead midway through the contest, Dolson scored six consecutive points to put the Americans in front 13-10. Italy fired back with its second straight 2-pointer, however, to close within one point, 13-12. After swapping baskets, Plum made it 15-13 with under a minute to play, and neither team was able to connect from the field from there. With 18.7 seconds remaining and Italy over the foul limit, Gray swished in two free throws to give the USA a little breathing room and a 17-13 lead. Italy missed on the next possession, and Plum shot a final attempt as the game clock expired.

“Just knowing that we needed them,” Gray said of what she was thinking when she stepped to the line for her two free throws. “You look at the score, if they were to make a 2, it would be a tie ball game. So, the biggest thing with me is just to focus in and make my free throws”

The USA has won six games in three days and is hoping to play three more games over the next two days.

Following the preliminary round, in which all eight teams play each other once, the first and second placed teams earn an automatic berth into the semifinals on July 28, and the third through sixth placed teams will meet in semifinal play-in games on July 27 at 7:30 a.m. and 8:50 a.m. The seventh and eighth place teams after the preliminary round conclude their Olympic play.

On July 28, in addition to the USA’s 4 a.m. EDT matchup (all times listed are EDT), the second semifinal is set for 5:10 a.m. EDT. Also on July 28, the semifinal losers will meet in the bronze medal game at 7:45 a.m., and the semifinal winners will play in the gold medal game at 8:55 a.m.

The USA coach is Kara Lawson (Duke University). In FIBA 3×3 basketball, coaches are not allowed during games.

For more information on Team USA fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

USA Basketball’s Olympic Hub

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AEW Donates $100,000 and Announces Initiatives to Support ‘Safe Alliance’

 Continuing its commitment to supporting local communities and charities, AEW  announced that at the FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN event in Charlotte, N.C., this Wednesday, July 28,  the company will be donating $100,000 to Safe Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to  providing hope and healing for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.  

Additionally, AEW will be donating a percentage of proceeds from the limited-edition FIGHT FOR  THE FALLEN T-shirts to Safe Alliance as part of the initiative. In the spirit of FIGHT FOR THE  FALLEN, which has raised money for the other organizations in past years, AEW also encourages  fans to donate what they can to Safe Alliance at: www.AEWFightfortheFallen.com 

“Safe Alliance is thrilled to partner with All Elite Wrestling and their annual FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN  event,” said Tenille Alexander-Banner, Safe Alliance Director of Corporate and Community  Engagement. “Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault survivors have to ‘fight’ each day to heal  from the trauma and abuse they’ve endured. Without support from the community, our work  would not be possible. We appreciate AEW’s generous gift and thank them for providing hope to  survivors in the greater Charlotte area.” 

“Giving back to the community and helping make a difference in people’s lives is an ongoing goal for AEW, especially with our annual FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN event,” said Tony Khan, AEW CEO, GM  and Head of Creative. “We’re proud to share this donation with Safe Alliance, and through this  initiative, we hope we can come together with fans to further Safe Alliance’s important mission.” 

For more information on AEW fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

AEW | All Elite Wrestling News, Videos & Events | Official Website

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Mets Bring Back Banner Day with Digital Fan Celebration

The winning Banner from the 2012 Mets Banner Day. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

The New York Mets announced recently the return of Banner Day, a long-time Mets fan-favorite tradition.  With access to the field limited due to safety protocols, this year’s Virtual Banner Day will be a monthlong digital fan celebration starting today 7/26 at noon with the Mets announcing the winner August 26.

Fans can submit their banners in the form of a photo or video starting today at 12:00 Noon at Mets.com/BannerDay. Submissions will close on August 9.

Fans planning to submit a banner must follow these guidelines:

  • Fans must submit their banners on Mets.com/BannerDay either in the form of a photo or video
  • Banners must not contain any inappropriate material and must follow all submission guidelines. Specs and instructions will be provided on Mets.com/BannerDay to ensure that all banners are created and uploaded correctly.
  • All official submissions must be entered through the Mets.com form. Fans are then encouraged to share their banners on social media using #MetsBannerDay

The Mets will unveil the top 20 submissions August 11 and fans will vote on those submissions August 12-20 to determine the winner.  The Mets will announce the winner August 26.

The first-place winner will receive a Pete Alonso autographed baseball, a Mets goodie bag, tickets to a 2021 game and a 2022 private tour of Citi Field (along with tickets to a game next season).

Banner Day was a Mets tradition from 1963 to 1996 with fans of all ages parading on the field showing their homemade banners made from bed sheets that professed their love for the team.  Banner Day returned in 2012 as part of the Mets’ 50th Anniversary season and last occurred in 2015.

For more information on the New York Mets fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

Official New York Mets Website | MLB.com

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Gonzaga and UCLA to meet in the 2021 Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire

 The top two teams in the country, Gonzaga and UCLA, headline the 27th annual Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire, which will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 22nd and 23rd. Joining them will be Central Michigan and Bellarmine.

Gonzaga and UCLA will meet on Tuesday, November 23 in a rematch of the epic national semifinal overtime thriller that ended in Gonzaga’s banked buzzer beater to beat the Bruins 93-90.

“We look forward to presenting the most anticipated game of the season.” said Rick Giles, President of The Gazelle Group. “The opportunity to have a rematch of a historic Final Four game with teams expected to be ranked #1 and #2 entering the season is unprecedented. Both teams are returning many players from that game and Gonzaga also welcomes Chet Holmgren, the most exciting incoming freshman since Zion Williamson.”

The complete schedule for the event is as follows:

November 22
T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
UCLA vs. Bellarmine
Gonzaga vs. Central Michigan
November 23
T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
Gonzaga vs. UCLA
Central Michigan vs. Bellarmine

ESPN networks, game times, and ticket information for the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire will be announced at a later date.

For further information about the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire, visit empireclassic.net and follow us on social media @EmpireClassicBB.

Gonzaga (Head Coach: Mark Few, West Coast Conference) – Gonzaga advanced to its sixth-straight Sweet 16 in 2020-21, the longest active streak in the nation, before ending the season in the program’s second national championship game appearance. The Zags won 31 games, going 15-0 in West Coast Conference play, winning the league regular season title for the ninth straight season. The Bulldogs welcome back a talented team in 2021-22, led by trendy preseason national player of the year pick Drew Timme. Last season’s West Coast Conference Sixth Man of the Year Andrew Nembhard is back, along with Anton Watson who started in 17 games. Multiple media outlets have ranked GU in the Top-5 in their early preseason projections. Gonzaga brings in one of the best recruiting classes in program history. Fellow incoming signees include the nation’s top overall prospect Chet Holmgren, Hunter Sallis (No. 6 ranked recruit), Nolan Hickman (No. 22), and Kaden Perry (No. 62).

UCLA (Head Coach: Mick Cronin, Pac-12 Conference) – UCLA will return every player who competed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins won five consecutive games last March to advance to the NCAA Final Four. Head coach Mick Cronin will begin his third season as the Bruins’ head coach, having compiled a 41-22 record through his first two years in Westwood. The Bruins welcome back a 10-man rotation that saw action down the stretch last season, including top scorer Johnny Juzang (16.0 ppg), first-team All-Pac-12 selection Tyger Campbell (10.4 ppg, 5.4 apg) and top rebounder Jaime Jaquez Jr. (12.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg). UCLA went 22-10 overall in 2020-21, recording a 13-6 record in the Pac-12 before advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s “First Four” as a No. 11 seed. The Bruins registered NCAA Tournament wins against Michigan State, BYU, Abilene Christian, Alabama and Michigan before dropping an overtime contest to Gonzaga (93-90) in the Final Four.

Central Michigan (Head Coach: Tony Barbee, Mid-Atlantic Conference) – A new era in Central Michigan basketball was ushered in on April 23, 2021 when Tony Barbee was named the 21st head coach in program history. Barbee came to CMU from Kentucky where he has spent the last seven seasons as a member of John Calipari’s staff, serving in three roles: associate to the head coach (2020-21), assistant coach (2015-20) and special assistant to the head coach (2014-15). Barbee’s career includes head coaching experience at both Auburn and UTEP; at UTEP, he was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading the Miners to a conference regular-season title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010. Barbee and his high-energy, veteran staff have reshaped the Chippewas roster, building the identity of the program on the principles of sacrifice, accountability, respect, communication, winning and a family environment.

Bellarmine (Head Coach: Scott Davenport, ASUN Conference) – The 2021-22 Knights welcome back the vast majority of last year’s squad with Pedro Bradshaw being only the player logging significant minutes not coming back. The four returning starters include the backcourt tandem of 1st Team All-ASUN point guard Dylan Penn and CJ Fleming along with frontcourt players Ethan Claycomb and Nick Thelen. Newcomers are four freshmen including 2021 Kentucky Mr. Basketball Ben Johnson. Bellarmine made its NCAA Division I debut last season, compiling a 14-8 overall mark including a 10-game conference win streak that propelled them to a runner-up finish in the ASUN regular season standings. The Knights earned an invitation to a postseason tournament, playing in the 2021 College Basketball Invitational where they won their opener against Army but fell to eventual CBI Champion Pepperdine in the semifinals.

In the 2020 2K Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored a career-high 28 points in the Championship game, leading #3 Villanova 83-74 over #18 Arizona State. In the semifinals, the sophomore had 18 points, 10 rebounds, earning the tournament MVP award.

About the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project
First played in 1995, the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire is acclaimed as college basketball’s premier early-season tournament. Featuring teams from across the nation, the Empire Classic annually attracts the top programs in the sport.

About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project (@wwp ) is the beneficiary of the Empire Classic. With the mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.

About the Gazelle Group
The Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized events, such as the Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper, the Gotham Classic, the Sunshine Slam, the inaugural Holiday Face-Off, the Abe Lemons Classic, and the College Basketball Invitational. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit gazellegroup.com.

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Gotham FC Earns Huge Victory over Chicago, 2-1

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Gotham FC Post Match Press Conference from 7/25. This video is after the team’s 2-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars in NWSL action at Red Bull Arena. Video features thoughts from Head Coach Freya Coombe along with stars Gina Lewandowski and Allie Long.

Gotham FC was looking for momentum and a victory over a red-hot Chicago Red Stars, a combination of stellar defensive play along with some smart decision making on the pitch allowed the team to earn a 2-1 victory in NWSL action on Sunday.

At first Chicago had the momentum with the ball on the offensive side, but Gotham was able to figure out how to counter and was rewarded for their grit and effort on a beautiful goal by Allie Long in the 48the minute, which was assisted by Caprice Dydasco.

Gotham was able to shut down a stellar Chicago offense to end the first half and walk into the locker with a 1-0 lead. Things remained at that tally until about the 70th minute when Margaret Purce was able to find the back of the net and make things 2-0.

From there Gotham continued their stellar defensive showing only allowing one goal in the extra frame by Makenzy Doniak. Gotham was able to shut things down from there and earned a huge three points in what was a humid day at Red Bull Arena.

Gotham FC has been on a roll as of late, as the team has not lost a match this season when scoring the first goal, as the team holds a 4-0-2 record.

In addition, the team has been playing an exciting brand of soccer earning some huge wins and points along the NWSL season.

Up next for Gotham FC the ladies will next be in action on August 1, when they go on the road to take on the Houston Dash for a match that is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

For more information on Gotham FC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

NJ/NY Gotham FC

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St. John’s To Host Kansas For First Basketball Game At Brand New UBS Arena

St. John’s Men’s Basketball Team Huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will play the first-ever basketball game at the brand new UBS Arena when the Johnnies host Kansas as part of the 2021 BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. Originally scheduled for Dec. 2, the contest has been moved to Friday, Dec. 3, at the state-of-the-art facility currently being constructed at Belmont Park. Game time and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

The future home of the New York Islanders will play host to one of the marquee games of the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle.  St. John’s is 1-0 in the inter-conference series following a victory over West Virginia at Madison Square Garden in 2019.  That year, BIG EAST teams went 8-2 against the Big 12.  Last season, the conferences split six games while four others were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. 

This year’s meeting will be the 14th all-time between the programs and the first since the 2000 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden.  St. John’s is 5-8 all-time against the Jayhawks in a series that dates back to 1950. 

Head Coach Mike Anderson, the 2021 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, returns a core of letterwinners who helped lead St. John’s to a 16-11 overall record and fourth place finish in the BIG EAST last season. Julian Champagnie was named First Team All-BIG EAST and the conference’s Most Improved Player after becoming just the fourth player in program history to lead the league in scoring. Posh Alexander earned both BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors while Dylan Addae-Wusu appeared in all 27 games and averaged 6.5 points per game during his rookie campaign. The trio will be joined by a highly regarded group of newcomers featuring six Division I transfers and three freshmen.

UBS Arena is a $1.1 billion multi purpose venue under construction adjacent to the Belmont Park racetrack. The world class entertainment venue, with its timeless and classic design, will bridge its iconic past with today’s advanced technology and amenities. In addition to being the new home to the famed New York Islanders Hockey Club, UBS Arena is designed with a sharp focus on music and will create special experiences for both artists and audiences. The state of the art arena, opening in the fall, will deliver an unmatched live entertainment experience with clear sightlines and premier acoustics to even more guests than ever before. 

St. John’s Basketball season tickets are on sale now and are available by calling 1-888-GO-STORM or by visiting RedStormTix.com.  Fans can also email redstormsports@stjohns.edu to secure their spot for the 2021-22 campaign.

For more information on the Red Storm Athletics Department fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

St. John’s University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (redstormsports.com)