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Sky Blue FC earns 6-0 victory in first preseason match

Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd reaching out to a teammate during a Sky Blue FC match. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Sky Blue FC opened its preseason matches with a 6-0 victory against James Madison University on Sunday afternoon.  A total of five different Sky Blue players put the ball in the back of the net with forward Carli Lloyd notching two goals and two assists in 45 minutes of work.

“We entered the match looking to solidify our core principles and re-emphasizing our playing style,” said head coach Freya Coombe. “There were some very good moments in the match where we could see our style and playing philosophy coming through.”

Sky Blue controlled the possession for much of the match, especially in the wider areas of the pitch. After several spells of possession with crosses coming from winger players, forward Nahomi Kawasumi was able to get on the end of one in the 21st minute and put the ball into the back of the net. Just four minutes later, a Sky Blue corner led to a handball in the box called against JMU. Midfielder Elizabeth Eddy stepped up and converted the penalty to put Sky Blue up by two goals.

At the thirty-minute mark, the first round of sweeping substitutions saw defender Estelle Johnson come on for Gina Lewandowski, midfielder Domi Richardson enter for Jennifer Cudjoe, and goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn come on for Didi Haracic. Sky Blue maintained most of the possession with Eddy continuing to find space in the wide areas sending in crosses consistently.

Another round of changes occurred in the 45th minute with forward Paige Monaghan entering for Kawasumi, Lloyd coming on for forward Ifeoma Onumonu, forward Midge Purce entering for Eddy, and defender Sabrina Flores for Erica Skroski. Less than a minute after entering the match, Flores sent a cross in from the right side of the pitch that was headed home by Lloyd for a 3-0 lead.

Sky Blue continued to hold the possession until the third round of substitutes occurred in the 60th minute. Midfielder Nicole Baxter came on for Sodam Lee, Cudjoe entered the match again for midfielder McCall Zerboni, Lewandowski re-entered for defender Mandy Freeman, defender Caprice Dydasco made her first appearance following an ACL injury in the 2020 preseason when she entered for Dorsey, and goalkeeper Megan Hinz entered for McGlynn.

“It was so fun to just play soccer with my friends again,” said Dydasco. “It was great to go out and play for the love of the game.”

Eight minutes later, Lloyd slotted a ball to Monaghan who slipped past the keeper for the fourth goal of the match. Less than two minutes later in the 70th minute, Lloyd notched her second assist of the match when Purce took her pass and put the ball into the back of the net.

The final substitution of the match came in the 75th minute as midfielder Taylor Aylmer entered for Richardson. During the 88th minute, as the match was nearing the end, Lloyd went 1v1 in the box against a JMU defender eventually winning and netting her second goal of the match to give Sky Blue a 6-0 victory.

“It feels great to be back here at Sky Blue and out on the pitch today with all my teammates,” said Lloyd. “I am looking forward to being back in a club environment and helping the team as we strive to win a championship this season.”

Sky Blue FC is preparing for the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup beginning on April 9 and a 24-match season kicking off on May 15. Digital Memberships are on sale now here. Season Ticket Memberships will be available at a later date.

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

Sky Blue FC – New York & New Jersey’s Women’s Pro Soccer Club

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Buffalo Sabres fall to Islanders, 5-2

The Buffalo Sabres suffered their third straight loss to the New York Islanders, in a 5-2 result in NHL action on Sunday.

Jeff Skinner was able to record his first goal of the season, but the Sabres were not able to solve the Islanders defense in another tough loss for the team. The game on Sunday concluded a set of three games in four days between these two rivals at Nassau Coliseum.

For Skinner, he was able to record his first goal since February 29, 2020, which is a span of 24 games. Thus far Skinner has been able to record a goal and an assist on the season.

Buffalo has not been able to record a victory in their last seven games, and the tough road stretch does not get any easier as the team will take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. The game between the Sabers and Flyers is set for 7:00 p.m.

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

Official Buffalo Sabres Website | NHL.com

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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins down Devils, 6-3

The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins had a comeback night against the Binghamton Devils in the team’s 6-3 victory in AHL action on Saturday.

Binghamton was able to get on the board early, but the Penguins were able to respond scoring six unanswered goals. The team now has a five-game point streak, as the team has been playing well as of late.

One of the highlights during the game was the fact that the Penguins were able to cash in on power play opportunities, as the team cashed in on three. Some of the offensive leaders were Cam Lee who recorded three assists, while Jonathan Gruden and Drew O’Connor were able to record their first AHL goals.

In the cage for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins was Max Lagace who made 18 saves. Binghamton Devils goal Gilles Senn was able to make 37 saves in the cage.

Up next for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will be a home game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Monday. Face-off between these two teams will be set for 5:00 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

For more information on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins Official Website (wbspenguins.com)

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St. John’s University Champagnie Tabbed to All-BIG EAST First Team, Alexander Unanimous All-Freshman Selection

After leading the Red Storm to its best finish in the regular season conference standings in more than two decades, Julian Champagnie and Posh Alexander have been recognized by the BIG EAST for their efforts.  Champagnie, the top scorer in the conference, was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team while Alexander, the league leader in steals, was unanimously selected to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team.

The remainder of the BIG EAST’s major end-of-season awards, including Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year, will be announced on Wednesday prior to the start of the conference tournament’s first round.

Anchored by the pair of Brooklyn natives, St. John’s finished with a winning record in BIG EAST play for the first time since 2014-15 and will enter the conference tournament with the no. 4 seed.

Champagnie, who averaged 19.9 points per game overall this season and 19.5 points per game in league play, became the first underclassman in program history and just the fourth Johnnie overall to lead the BIG EAST in scoring over the course of a conference season.  He joins Chris Mullin (1983-84), Walter Berry (1985-86) and Marcus Hatten (2001-02) as the only St. John’s players to ever accomplish the feat.

After missing the first two games of the season with injury, Champagnie finished in double figures 24 times in 24 appearances.  He scored 20 or more points 11 times, including a career-high 33 points at Creighton on Jan. 9, and recorded seven double-doubles, tied for the league lead in that category.

In addition to leading the league in scoring, Champagnie also topped the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (88.7%) while ranking sixth in 3-pointers made (2.4 per game) and 13th in 3-point field goal percentage (38.7%).  Far from just a scorer, the Bishop Loughlin product ended the regular season ranked seventh in the league in rebounds per game (7.3), fourth in steals per game (1.4) and ninth in blocked shots per game (1.0).

With his honor, Champagnie becomes the 17th player in St. John’s history and the first since Shamorie Ponds in 2018 and 2019 to be named to the All-BIG EAST First Team.  He joins Ponds, Mullin and Ron Artest as the only St. John’s players to find spots on the top all-league team as sophomores.

Alexander was unanimously selected to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team after establishing himself as one of the most exciting young talents in the country.  The 6-foot guard averaged 11.1 points per game, good enough for second the team, while leading the team in both assists (4.4 per game) and steals (2.6 per game).  Alexander’s 4.4 helpers were tops among league freshmen and sixth in the BIG EAST overall.  His 2.6 thefts led the BIG EAST by nearly one full steal, as Shavar Reynolds of Seton Hall finished in second with 1.7 per contest.  Through games played on Saturday, Alexander ranks eighth nationally overall, first among freshmen, in steals per outing.  He is the only freshman to rank inside the top 25 in that category.

In addition to his talents as a defender and a distributor, Alexander has also shown that he can pour in buckets when needed.  The Our Saviour Lutheran product finished in double figures 13 times with a pair of 20-point performances, including a season-high 21 points at Providence on Feb. 6.  St. John’s is 11-2 this season in games where Alexander goes for 10 or more.

On Feb. 16 against Xavier, Alexander nearly recorded the first St. John’s triple-double since Artest in 1999, tallying 15 points to go along with season highs of nine assists and eight rebounds while surrendering no turnovers.

Champagnie, Alexander and the rest of the fourth-seeded Red Storm will begin BIG EAST Tournament play on Thursday at 3 p.m. when they take on fifth-seeded Seton Hall on FS1.

For more information on the St. John’s University Athletics Department fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

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

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Baltimore Orioles fall to Pirates, 13-1

It was a rough Spring Training game for the Baltimore Orioles, who fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 13-1 on Sunday afternoon.

The Pirates scored early and often, as they were also able to keep the O’s off the scoreboard for the most part.

Highlights for the Pittsburgh offense was Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman who both laced doubles in the Bottom of the Second and Third Innings Respectively. Pittsburgh also found another double from Dustin Fowler in the Bottom of the Fourth Inning, that gave them a 10-0 lead.

Baltimore found their first run of the game thanks to an RBI single by Cedric Mullins, which plated Ramon Urias.

Highlights for the Orioles pitching included Evan Phillips and Dillon Tate, who both struck out two batters each.

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Post Game Video featuring thoughts from Manager Brandon Hyde along with John Means, Tony Mansolino and Yusniel Diaz

The Orioles continue their Spring Training with a road trip to take on the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, March 9. Dean Kremer is projected to start for the O’s who will be taking on Kenta Madea. First pitch between these two teams is at 1:05 p.m.

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

Official Baltimore Orioles Website | MLB.com

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Hofstra Men’s Basketball soars over Delaware, 85-75 in CAA Quarterfinals

The Hofstra University Men’s Basketball Team. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Senior Jalen Ray added to his incredible career as he poured in a career-high 34 points to lead the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team to an 83-75 victory over Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon at the Atlantic Union Bank Center. The 34 points by Ray are the fifth-most in a tournament game in CAA history. He scored 22 of his 34 points in the second half.

Sophomore Caleb Burgess nearly had a triple-double for Hofstra with 11 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, while junior Isaac Kante tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season and the 15th of his career.

The win puts Hofstra in the CAA semifinals for the third consecutive year. It marks the first time since joining the CAA in 2001-02 that the Pride has made three straight semifinal appearances.

Hofstra improves to 13-9 this year, while Delaware falls to 7-8 with the loss. This is the third straight year these teams have met in the CAA Championship with the Pride winning all three contests. The two previous meetings occurred in the semifinals.

An incredibly tight first half would feature nine tie scores and 17 lead changes as neither team took a lead larger than four points in the opening 20 minutes. Ray opened the scoring in the contest with two of his 12 first half points and it would go back and forth from there. With Delaware ahead, 15-13, with 12 minutes left in the opening stanza, Hofstra used a quick 6-1 run to take a 19-16 lead. The three-point advantage came courtesy of junior Kevin Schutte, who grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in for two. Kante would give Hofstra a narrow four-point lead, its largest of the half, with a jumper at the 9:28 mark that made it 21-17 in favor of the Pride. Another Ray basket with 46 seconds left would knot the score at 36 before Andrew Carr gave Delaware the leading heading into the break with a basket with 32 ticks left on the clock.

Delaware pushed its advantage to seven points quickly in the second half as a Ebby Asamoah three-pointer made it 43-36 just 1:10 into the second stanza. Hofstra immediately responded, though, and would score the game’s next nine points to retake the lead at 45-43 with 16:23 left in regulation. Ray, Kante, and senior Tareq Coburn all had three points during the run. A basket from Johnny McCoy gave the Blue Hens a 46-45 lead, but once again Hofstra had an answer. The Pride used a 9-1 run to earn a 54-47 lead following a Ray three-pointer with 12:41 on the clock. These two longtime rivals put together a quite a show with neither giving up any ground. The game would once again be tied, this time at 61, with 7:50 left before Hofstra took control. A Ray basket would start an 11-2 game-changing run that made it 72-63 with just 4:41 left to play. Ray keyed the run with six points as Hofstra took its largest lead of the game. That proved to be enough breathing room for the Pride, as Delaware was only able to close the gap to six the rest of the way before Hofstra earned the eight-point win.

Coburn added 12 points for Hofstra, which also got five points and nine rebounds from freshman Kvonn Cramer.

Kevin Anderson led Delaware with 22 points and five assists, while Dylan Painter had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Hens.

Hofstra advances to face either James Madison or Elon in the semifinals on Monday at 6 p.m. That game will air on the CBS Sports Network and WRHU will have an audio-only broadcast available as well.

– Hofstra leads the all-time series with Delaware, 63-34. The teams split the two regular season meetings in Newark this season with Delaware winning the first one and Hofstra capturing the Sunday contest. The Pride has won nine of the last 11 meetings and 15 of the last 18 meetings dating back to the 2014-15 season.
– Ray had five three-pointers in the game to give him 216 in his career. He moved into fourth place all-time at Hofstra, passing Eli Pemberton (215 from 2016-20).
– Ray now has 1,314 career points to move into 18th place all-time at Hofstra. Today he passed Mike Tilley (1,286 from 1963-66), Kenny Adeleke (1,296 from 2001-04), and Desure Buie (1,310 from 2015-20).

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

Hofstra University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (gohofstra.com)

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Albany NLL narrows new team name to three options

Albany NLL Sign. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

The National Lacrosse League team that recently relocated to the Capital Region, currently known as Albany NLL, today announce that fans can now vote for the official team name and identity after receiving over 1,000 submissions online.  The top submitted names by fans, along with those chosen by team executives and owners, will now be put up for a fan vote to help determine the team’s name, logo, and branding ahead of its inaugural season. The three finalists are:

  • Albany Attack 
  • Albany Black Arrows 
  • Albany FireWolves

Fans can vote a maximum of one time per day for their desired team name now at www.AlbanyNLL.comwww.Fly92.com, or www.TimesUnion.com.  The poll will close on Sunday, March 14 at 12 p.m. Once the voting is complete, team owners and executives will then select the final team name, and begin working on team logos, colors and other branding elements surrounding the selection.

“After announcing that the team was relocating to the Capital Region only one week ago, receiving over 1,000 submissions for the ‘Name the Team’ contest in that short amount of time is a great sign of the support we are already receiving and of things to come,” said George Manias, team President.  “The fans submitted some great options in conjunction with our owners and executive team, and now we are down to our final three. We encourage fans to vote and pick their ideal option as we would love their input through this process.”

The team name and identity will be revealed at an event that will be open to the public and media (New York State COVID-19 restrictions and rules will apply). The date and location of the event will be announced at a later time.

If a name is chosen that a fan submitted, the individual who first submitted that chosen name will win a prize pack from the team, including two season tickets for the inaugural 2021-22 season, a signed team jersey, memorabilia, and an on-field recognition at the home-opening game at the Times Union Center.

Fans can secure their place to have first selection of their seats by joining the team’s priority seating list.  A $50 refundable deposit grants fans the first opportunity to purchase tickets for the upcoming season once tickets are officially on sale in April.  For more information regarding tickets or the ‘Name the Team’ contest, visit www.AlbanyNLL.com or call 518-362-4900.