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NWHL: Taylor Marchin Inks Deal with Connecticut

After a strong rookie season, defender Taylor Marchin has signed a contract for 2019-20 with the Connecticut Whale.

“This is a great opportunity to continue playing the game I love, and it is important that female hockey players have as many opportunities as possible,” said Marchin. “I’m excited to be back for another season with the NWHL and the Whale.”

A steady stay-at-home defender, Marchin helped bolster the Whale’s blueline last season, appearing in 13 games. She joined Connecticut after a stellar career at Yale, earning Second Team All-Ivy League honors and a share of the team MVP award as a senior. In 123 games with the Bulldogs, Marchin recorded 57 points (21-36- 57).

“I would describe myself as a player as a reliable defenseman and teammate, who isn’t flashy but loves to rip a slapshot,” said Marchin. “I always look to bring a strong work ethic and a calming presence in the defensive zone to my team.”

A native of Algonac, Michigan, Marchin returned to her home state this past season with five other members of the NWHL to run a clinic for youth hockey players at Detroit’s historic Clark Park. She played youth hockey in the area in the Little Caesars program, serving as a captain in 2010 and helping her teams to silver medals at National Championships in 2010 and 2011.

She then did a postgraduate year at Choate Rosemary Hall and won the 2013 National Championship with Assabet Valley.

“We’re very excited to have Taylor back with the Whale,” said Connecticut general manager Bray Ketchum. “She’s a strong defender who brings energy to the locker room. I’m looking forward to working with her.”

In addition to playing for the Whale, Marchin works as an investment banking analyst for Pickwick Capital Partners.

Said Marchin: “My goals for the season are to never stop getting better and to have fun every minute I spend with the team.”

About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) Established in 2015, the NWHL became the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players and share in revenue from select apparel sales. The mission of the league is to promote and develop women’s hockey, increase participation and interest in the sport at all levels, and shine a light on the role models that fill the rosters of all of its clubs. The league is made up of the Boston Pride (2016 Isobel Cup champions), Buffalo Beauts (2017 champions), Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters (2018 champions), and Minnesota Whitecaps (2019 champions). For more information, please visit NWHL.zone

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Liberty’s School Day Will Feature Anti-Bullying Speaker Aija Mayrock Tuesday vs. Sparks

The New York Liberty will host the Los Angeles Sparks for its annual School Day on Tuesday, June 4, at 11 a.m. This will be the team’s second regular season home game and the first year that School Day will be held at Westchester County Center.

The Liberty’s annual School Day is one of the most exciting games of the season for both the students and players, as the student’s energy will radiate through the stands. Students from across the city and Westchester County will be Liberty Loud for the exciting East versus West matchup.

The game, which will air on YES Network, will be a display of New York fans’ continued support for the Liberty. The team is coming back from a loss on the road against the Indiana Fever, as they gear up to face the Sparks.

For 15 years, School Day has been an opportunity for the team to inspire students across New York. This year, the game will feature Aija Mayrock, author of The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen. Mayrock wrote her book while in high school after dealing with eight years of relentless bullying. Her book is geared toward navigating the diverse and ever-changing world of bullying, covering everything from in school bullying to cyber bullying.

Bullying impacts the lives of millions of students across America and the Liberty are taking a step to have an open conversation at School Day. The New York Liberty continues its commitment to being involved in the community and throughout the New York tri-state area. Teaming up with Mayrock will provide a platform for students to learn how to combat and eliminate bullying in their own lives.

For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com or call (914) 908-5980.

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

https://liberty.wnba.com/

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Second-Half Subs Power New York Cosmos To Victory Over New York Athletic Club

Second-half substitutes Bledi Bardic and Ricardo Bocanegra scored late goals seven minutes apart to lift the New York Cosmos to a 2-0 victory over New York Athletic Club in National Premier Soccer League action on Travers Island on Sunday evening.

The Cosmos (7-0-0, 21 points), who lead the North Atlantic Conference, recorded their 17th consecutive regular-season win dating back to the start of the 2018 season. NYAC, which has given up only eight goals this season, fell to 1-4-1.

Bardic, who replaced Joey Sanchez in the 61st minute, powered a 28-yard shot into the upper right corner to snap a scoreless tie in the 79th minute off a Bocanegra pass.

Bocanegra, who scored his first goal as a Cosmos in the team’s 5-1 home triumph over Hartford City FC on Saturday night, connected for his second of the season in the 86th minute, drilling an Aaron Dennis feed home for a two-goal cushion.

Goalkeeper Santiago Castano recorded the shutout.

Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes made nine changes to his Starting XI from Saturday night. Only left back Pedro Galvao and central midfielder Junior Burgos were the only players who started both matches.

The Cosmos will play three consecutive matches on the road at the Brooklyn Italians on June 8, at Boston City FC on June 15, and then at the Rhode Island Reds FC on June 16.

They return to Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y., to start a four-game homestand against the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds on June 23 at 8 p.m.

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

https://www.nycosmos.com/

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NOTES & QUOTES: Columbus Crew SC 2 – 2 New York City FC

New York City FC headed to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday to face off against Columbus Crew SC as the team looked to extend their singular season record unbeaten streak which stood at eight.

Coming into the matchup, Head Coach Dome Torrent made two changes to the Starting XI. Ben Sweat and Ebenezer Ofori made their return to the lineup for the Boys in Blue.

The Crew started the match maintaining possession and taking a shot on goal five minutes into the match. David Guzman threatened the NYCFC goal with the first attempt of the game, but Sean Johnson was there to make a strong save down to his left.

Although the home team had a brighter start to the match, the defense held strong, with James Sands especially dominant in the City backline.

Unfortunately for NYC, Columbus Crew notched the first goal of the night on a penalty kick from Gyasi Zardes in the 28’ minute.

Alex Callens was adjudged to have made the foul leading to the spot-kick and VAR upheld the decision, much to the Copa America-bound Peruvian’s frustration.

Right before going into the half, Ofori’s addition to the lineup nearly paid off as the midfielder took the team’s first meaningful shot on goal which flashed just wide of goal.

NYCFC retired to half-time down by one.

Coming into the second half, the team’s urgency to score the equalizer was clear.

First half substitute Ismael Tajouri-Shradi was influential when it came, connecting with Maxi Moralez, who crossed the ball to Héber for NYCFC’s first goal of the night, tying up the game at 1-1 in the 57’ minute.

It was the Brazilian’s fourth goal for NYCFC and it came at the end of a breathtaking counter-attack.

The Crew, four minutes later, responded to City’s goal with a goal of their own from Pedro Santos, regaining the lead on their home turf, 2-1 in the 61’ minute.

The hunt for the equalizer resumed for NYCFC, and Torrent made a bold move, bringing in another attacker in the shape of Castellanos from the bench.

The attempts kept flowing in from the road with vicious shots from Alexandru Mitriță and Tajouri-Shradi, but Zack Steffen was there to make the saves on his farewell appearance for Columbus, before taking up gloves for our sister club in Manchester.

However, the moment of the night was still to come and it was the addition of Castellanos which paid off in fine style in the 76’ minute as he scored one of the goals of the season so far, taking aim from all of 35 yards and finding the bottom corner with a rocket of a shot.

That’s how it stayed, meaning NYCFC extends their unbeaten streak to nine games.

QUOTES

NYCFC Head Coach Doménec Torrent

On getting another draw…

“In the first half, especially, the plays were better. It was similar to what happened in Chicago. After that we changed the system and we played much better. We played with five offensive players in the last 25 minutes because there is nothing else for us. I’m happy for the players because when you are on the table to win the game, it is important to win points, you know? For us it’s not easy to play four games in a row and we get eight points and a win. Right now, we have the possibility to play four games in a row in Yankee Stadium. We’ll miss some players [for international duty]…and we have to adapt quickly.”

On reaction after first half sub…

“In that moment, the game was for Columbus and we have to react, and not just players, even the coaches. I’m happy because when we react – in Chicago and here – we get the point at least. It’s not bad, it’s not bad. I prefer to get three points. I think we played, especially in the second half to win the game. Our intentions are to win the game, but, you know, it was a tough game against Columbus. It’s not easy to get points here and okay, we are not very, very happy, but it’s not bad.

On whether Valentin Castellanos rewarded Torrent’s faith in him…

“I am very happy with him, I said to you that he deserved to play and I kind of said to you that he would play the next game 100% against [FC] Cincinnati. Everybody deserved to play, but he showed me every single game he’s ready to play.”

NYCFC Forward Valentin Castellanos

On his overall thoughts on the match…
“In the second half we started to play in a different way. It was difficult, we knew they played well with the ball, but it’s fine, we came out with a tie that felt like a victory. Playing not so well in the first half and going on to tie the game is important.”

On how he feels about scoring a goal…
“It was set up for me to shoot it from outside (of the box) and I am very happy to have been able to score it.”

On how he feels about coming in and having an impact on the game…
“It’s good that when the times comes that I do well. I always show strength when the coach puts me in to play, like here [against Columbus Crew SC]. I feel like I’m playing well and at a good level and hopefully I can keep on playing.”

NYCFC Forward Héber

On how his goal changed the momentum of the game..

“We started the game not so good and Columbus has a good team with quality, and they kept possession of the ball and we didn’t know how to get behind them, and they scored. After the first change of our formation, it got better, then better and better and we scored, but sometimes in football it doesn’t make sense. I think we deserved to win the game today, we created more chances. We have to keep working this way and we need to think now about the next game.”

On why the team needs to change formations mid-game…

“I think it’s the opponent and our coach is clever and a smart guy, and he sees the game is not so good for us, and he change the formation and we started to play better.”

On New York City FC’s second goal…
“It was a very nice goal, huh? It’s too long, it’s too far from the goal, but he deserved that because he [Valentin Castellanos] works very hard all week. He doesn’t play so many minutes, but when he comes in the game, he always gives everything and he deserves this goal. I hope he scores more like that and helps us.”

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

https://www.nycfc.com/

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Five Liberty Players Scored Double Figures in 92-77 Loss to Fever

Five New York players scored in double figures in the Liberty’s second loss to the Fever in the last eight days: Charles (15 points), Nurse (14 points), Durr (12 points), Zahui B (11 points) and Reshanda Gray (11 points). Han Xu added 7 points off the bench.

Tina Charles led the team with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Charles entered the game with 5455 career points, making her only 14 points away from passing Angel McCoughtry’s scoring record and placing her as 15th overall in league scoring. Her 15 point performance moved her up one spot in the record books.

The Fever jumped out 11-0 to open the first few minutes of the game. Despite outscoring the Fever 22-19, the Liberty trailed by 16 going into the second half.

Liberty Notes:

Tina Charles is now only 19 points away from becoming the Liberty’s overall leader in scoring.

Tonight was Asia Durr’s first career start during the regular season. She scored a career-high 12 points.

Reshanda Gray finished with one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 9 boards off the bench.

Liberty shot 34.7% from the field and 29.2% from three.

New York outrebounded Indiana 39-31. The Liberty snagged 17 offensive rebounds in the game.

Han Xu got her first basket of the regular season, with a deep three point shot. She finished with 7 points in 11 minutes of play.

Despite outscoring the Fever 22-19, the Liberty trailed by 16 going into the second half.

Fever Notes:

Kelsey Mitchell scored 14 of her game-high 23 points in the third quarter.

All Fever players who appeared in the game scored at least 2 points.

The Fever shot 52.3% from the field and 43.8% from three.

NEW YORK QUOTES:

Head Coach Katie Smith

“Energy wasn’t good enough and we didn’t hit shots. [Indiana] hit shots and shot 60-something percent, so the first quarter literally was the ballgame.”

“We worked on defense all week, about our help-side and being in and ball pressure and getting into players, and at spurts we did that, but as a unit for 40 minutes we were not consistent enough. At the other end, we need to put the ball in the hole. We need to put the basketball in the hole. We’re getting good shots, we have good shooters. We need to put the ball in the hole and we need to stop turning the ball over.”

Kia Nurse

On comparing the two meetings with the Fever

“For [Indiana], they were able to play another game and gain the experience from that. Other than that, the play calls change. That’s about it.”

Asia Durr

“We started off slow. Our defense wasn’t great tonight. We missed some shots. As the game went on, we had some people come in and make some runs, get some stops. We had our spurts but we started off slow tonight.”

On playing a team twice in eight days

“It gets harder each time. The game gets faster, so we’ve got to become a better team. That’s pretty much it.”

INDIANA QUOTES:

Head Coach Pokey Chatman

“It was nice to get another W, especially at home; and especially when we had another player not available [Shenise Johnson]. We are developing a little bit of depth and that is always important. I thought it was really important that our starters stepped up early, especially on the defensive end of the floor [NY scored seven points in first quarter], and we never dropped off.”

(On limiting Tina Charles and good defense in general)

“I thought it started with Candice Dupree. She never let her get into her comfy spots on the block. And I thought our guards helped, too, by getting into the passing lanes. I don’t think we ever let them get comfortable. I think that was a key.”

(On preparing for next week’s games)

“We need to continue to work on the defensive end of the floor. What we are preaching is to stay connected to our mentality as a blue-collar type of team.”

(On getting second win on June 1; compared to July 3 last year)

“Please don’t remind me! You know, I think it stems to the sick feeling everybody went away with from here last year. I think they took that attitude with them abroad. Candice and E-dub [Erica Wheeler] both had huge seasons and successes for teams that weren’t supposed to be that competitive. We added Betnijah Laney who helps us so much with her size and defense, and Stephanie Mavunga is another player with a great year overseas. Our young players came back more mature and they all brought that attitude back with them.”

Kelsey Mitchell

“We battled throughout the full 40 minutes. With the turning point in the second half we showed that we belong. We showed them our growth, we showed them our defense. We didn’t have any drop-offs. The people that came in the game played just as well.”

“It felt good, I felt good. I wasn’t hesitant at all in the first half, just trying to see where to take my shots, not forcing anything up. Take and see what I think I can make.”

Erica Wheeler

“Just be aggressive. Keep pushing the ball down their throat. And that’s what we did. We were making shots. Playing good defense on Tina [Charles] and of course she’s going to get what she’s going to get, but we made it tough for her.”

On reaching the 1,000-point mark as a member of the Fever

“Listen, I didn’t even know. That’s amazing I just keep getting accolades each year and this is just amazing. I just keep going up and my teammates are helping me and [head coach Pokey Chatman] is helping me, so it’s just an amazing feeling.”

“That loss in Connecticut really, we didn’t play defense very well and that was our main goal, to come out and play defense and the offense would come and that’s what we did. We got in the passing lanes and that gave us a 10-0 run and it set the tone for the game. The team is ready and we played hard.”

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

https://liberty.wnba.com/

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New York Cosmos Dominate Hartford City FC

The New York Cosmos remained unbeaten in National Premier Soccer League action Saturday night, recording a 5-1 victory over 10-man Hartford City FC at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

Second-half substitute Aly Hassan scored twice while Junior Burgos and Ricardo Bocanegra added single tallies for the Cosmos (6-0-0, 18 points), who remained atop the North Atlantic Conference. New York’s first goal was a Hartford City (2-4-2, 8) own goal before a crowd of 4,125.

The Connecticut club became the first team to score against the Cosmos during the run of play in the seventh minute off a corner kick. Sebastian Stezewski fired a shot from the left side of the penalty area past goalkeeper Paul Blanchette to boost the visitors into a 1-0 lead.

The Cosmos equalized in the 19th minute off a corner kick of their own. Ansi Agolli started the scoring sequence, sending the ball into the penalty area. A scramble ensued on the left side of the box before the ball deflected off a Hartford defender past goalkeeper Evan Daddona for an own goal for a 1-1 deadlock.

After a Hartford City foul, Burgos boosted the hosts into a 2-1 advantage as he drilled a low, 20-yard free kick into the lower right corner in the 28th minute. It was Burgos’ third goal that he scored off a free kick.

In the 37th minute, Blanchette made a vital save as he came out of the net to deny an open Tyler Carlos in a 2-on-1 situation.

Hartford City was forced to play the remaining 34 minutes a man down after defender Andre Morrison severely fouled Burgos at midfield in the 56th minute.

Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes immediately replaced the El Salvadoran international with Giuseppe Barone.

Several minutes later, Bocanegra exacted a measure of revenge by converting a penalty kick for his first Cosmos goal after defender James Thompkins fouled midfielder David Diosa in the box.

The Cosmos weren’t finished. Only five minutes after he replaced Aaron Dennis, Hassan scored a nifty goal from the left side of the penalty area to up the lead to 4-1 in the 68th minute.

Hassan recorded his second when Daddona ventured out of the goal and the forward shot into an empty net for a 5-1 margin in the 84th minute.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, the Cosmos will visit the New York Athletic Club at Travers Island for another NPSL match.

After this weekend’s games, the Cosmos will play three consecutive matches on the road at the Brooklyn Italians on June 8, at Boston City FC on June 15, and then at the Rhode Island Reds FC on June 16.

They return to Mitchel to start a four-game homestand against the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds on June 23 at 8 p.m.

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

https://www.nycosmos.com/

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Aston Palicte training in high-altitude camp to fight 4-time World Champion Kazuto Ioka for vacant WBO junior bantamweight World title

World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 1-ranked contender “Mighty” Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs) is currently training in Baguio, Philippines, for his June 19th showdown with three-division world champion Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs) for the vacant WBO Junior Bantamweight World Championship, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, Chiba, Japan.

UFC Fight Pass® has the worldwide live streaming rights outside of Japan. Palicte vs. Ioka will be the first world boxing championship streamed live on FIGHT PASS, which recently finalized an agreement with Palicte’s promoter, Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing Promotions (RJJ Boxing), to live- stream up to 72 professional boxing events on FIGHT PASS through 2021.

Palicte vs. Ioka is co-promoted by RJJ Boxing and Reason Taki Promotions.

“Everything is in place to have the first World Title fight ever shown on UFC FIGHT PASS,” RJJ Boxing CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre said. “Promoting the first World Title fight on the UFC platform is big and I promise fireworks will be in full force with Palicte vs Ioka.”

“Ioka is a very solid boxer who has good head and foot movements,” noted living legend Roy Jones, Jr., co-founder of RJJ Boxing. “He also counter-punches well. So, Aston will have to be on his ‘A’ game. He will have the edge in power, but he can’t allow Ioka to make him punch himself out.”

The first half of Palicte’s training camp for the Ioka fight was held in Manila. “Camp has been good,” Palicte reported. “I got in some sessions with my teammate, Kristian Hernandez, and American Ernel Fontanilla, in Manila. We’re training in Baguio for several reasons: focus, high altitude and sparring with Philippine National Team members.”

The 28-year-old Palicte knocked out his previously unbeaten Puerto Rican opponent, Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez, this past January 31st in the second round of their WBO title eliminator. Palicte become the mandatory challenger for the then WBO champion and fellow Filipino, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, who subsequently relinquished his title belt rather than accept a Palicte rematch to pursue more lucrative fights than a rematch with his countryman.

Nietes and Palicte had fought to a controversial 12-round draw last September for the then vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title. Nietes, ironically, captured the title last December 31st in Macao, China, winning a controversial 12-round split decision.

“Fighting Nietes for the world title helped a lot,” Palicte added. “It taught me how to be composed and focused under pressure.”

The No. 2-rated Ioka, 30, is a four-time, three-division world champion having already captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight, WBA light flyweight, and WBA/World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight championships.

His only two losses as a professional, both by way of 12-round split decisions, have been in world title fights to Nietes and Amnat Ruenroeng for the International (IBF) flyweight title in 2014.

Ioka, who has a 13-2 (3 KOs) record in world title fights, is on a mission to become the first Japanese boxer to be world champion in four different divisions. The only other members of this elite Nippon club are Hozumi Hagegawa, Koki Kameda, Akira Yaegashi and Naoko Fuijioka, the lone female in the group.

“Ioka is definitely a top contender and I will not look past that,” Palicte remarked. “He’s going to give it his all just as I will. We’ll stick with our game plan and everything else about his past is just background for us.”

A victory over Ioka will allow Palicte to join Filipino world boxing champions, past and present, such as Nietes, Manny Pacquiao, Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, and Nonito Donaire, among others.

Palicte has received tips and words of encouragement from some of his world champion Filipino boxers and he isn’t concerned about fighting Ioka in Japan. “The common words everyone has given me is to put in the work,” Palicte concluded, “because training camp determines the outcome of every fight performance.

“Ideally, of course, we’d rather fight in the states, but we also have nothing but the utmost respect for Japan and its culture. We are all looking forward to the experience.”

INFORMATION: