Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditSANDY, Utah (AP) — Sophie Schmidt scored on an early penalty kick and Shea Groom added a stoppage-time goal to give the Houston Dash the Challenge Cup tournament title with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday. The month-long tournament was National Women’s Soccer League re-boot after the regular season was shut down by the coronavirus outbreak. Houston, in its seventh year in the league, had never previously made the playoffs. The Red Stars went to the NWSL championship game last season, but were routed 4-0 by the North Carolina Courage. July 26, 2020 Houston was aggressive from the start. Kristie Mewis was on the run when she was fouled by Kayla Sharples for a Dash penalty kick. Schmidt nailed the PK in the fifth minute. It was the tournament’s first penalty kick in regulation. The Red Stars nearly drew even in the 15th, but Savannah McCaskill’s header off a rebound hit the post. McCaskill had another chance from distance in the 67th minute, but Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell tipped it up and over the crossbar. The Dash took a hit in the 29th minute when Mewis had to come out of the game with a hamstring injury. She sobbed as she was subbed out of the game. The NWSL was the first professional team sport to return in the United States. Eight of the league’s nine teams have been sequestered in Utah for the duration of the tournament, which started on June 27. The league’s ninth team, the Orlando Pride, withdrew shortly before the start because of positive COVID-19 tests. But there were no positive tests in the so-called bubble in Utah for the duration of the event.The Red Stars were the tournament’s sixth seed going into the knockout round. They advanced to the semifinals on penalties after a scoreless draw with OL Reign, then held off Sky Blue 3-2 on Wednesday.Chicago had just two total goals in the tournament before the outburst against Sky Blue.The Dash are the upstart underdogs of the Challenge Cup, after finishing seventh in the NWSL last season. English national Rachel Daly led Houston with three goals in the tournament and was the Challenge Cup’s most valuable player.Daly had a chance to increase Houston’s lead in the 73rd minute, but couldn’t quite get set after a cross from Nichelle Prince and the shot went wide. Daly assisted on Groom’s goal in the 91st minute. It was Groom’s third goal of the tournament. Sunday’s game at Rio Tinto Stadium, home of the NWSL’s Utah Royals and Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, was broadcast nationally on CBS, the league’s new television partner this season.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Associated Press Upstart Dash win the Challenge Cup 2-0 over the Red Stars
(BBC) – Wolves boosted their chances of claiming a place in next season’s Champions League with a comprehensive home victory over Everton.Wanderers bounced back from consecutive defeats with a victory through goals either side of half-time and a game-sealing third from Diogo Jota with 15 minutes to go.Raul Jimenez scored the first from the penalty spot in first-half injury time following a clumsy Lucas Digne foul on Daniel Podence.Leander Dendoncker headed in the second just a minute after the restart before Jota lashed in from just inside the box to put the game beyond the visitors.It moves Wolves back up to sixth in the table, three points behind Manchester United in fifth – a position that could be good enough to earn a place in Europe’s top club competition next season.Everton committed so much of their efforts to keeping the home side at bay and as a result offered little at the other end of the pitch, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison given scraps to feed off at best.The closest they came to a goal was a Digne angled drive that flashed past the far post in the second half.The defeat leaves the Toffees 11th and surely ends their hopes of securing a Europa League spot for 2020-21.And there was more bad news for manager Carlo Ancelotti, who was already without Mason Holgate and saw fellow centre-back Yerry Mina limp off in the first half with what appeared to be a thigh injury.Wolves return to winning ways in styleWolves returned to action in June in fine form, winning their first three games without conceding a goal to increase hope that a late dart for a Champions League place was on.But early July checked that optimism, courtesy of successive defeats without scoring against Arsenal and Sheffield United – opponents who are also in the mix for a place in the top five.This, then, was a necessary victory, resulting from very timely goals.Podence had already tested Jordan Pickford twice with low angled drives inside the box before he used his trickery to good effect to turn and draw a mistimed challenge from Digne.
While Halloween was Thursday, Friday at the Kohl Center gave the Wisconsin men’s hockey team a big scare. After falling in a 3-0 hole in the game’s first 4 minutes and 9 seconds, Wisconsin climbed back and salvaged a tie with Lake Superior State, scoring the tying goal with 1:22 left in regulation.Only 33 seconds into the tilt, Lake Superior State’s Alex Globke fired a shot that deflected off several players and found its way past a dazed junior goaltender Landon Peterson for Wisconsin (2-2-1). Just a little less than three minutes later, the Lakers (4-0-1) tickled the twine again, this time on a rebound power play goal by Dan Radke. But LSSU wasn’t finished, as 46 seconds after the second goal, Colin Campbell drifted down the slot and fired a weak wrister that snuck past Peterson, setting off a chorus of boos from the crowd.The large early deficit was eerily similar, almost as if time had rewound itself to two weeks ago when Wisconsin was throttled in back-to-back nights in Boston.“Well, we were hoping for a different start. As a matter of fact, when it was the way it was, it felt like we were in Boston again because the goals they scored were like the ones in Boston, hitting people. First goal hit three people and went in. The second goal was tipped in as well. The third goal, I think [Peterson] would like to have back and get a second try at it,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “But it felt like, holy smokes, we still haven’t got the demons from Boston out of our system yet.“It had its glimpses of [Boston],” Peterson said. “There were just unfortunate bounces from the point. That happens sometimes but it seems like it’s coming in pairs now. But you just got to forget about it. There’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t control it, so you just got to move forward.”Unlike the weekend in Boston, Wisconsin didn’t waiver in the face of adversity Friday and battled for one of the more memorable comebacks of recent memory.Getting his team back into the game late in the first period, senior forward Michael Mersch redirected junior defenseman Jake McCabe’s initial shot over the left shoulder of Lakers’ goaltender Kevin Kapalka with 3:39 left to cut the deficit to 3-1. Wisconsin essentially dominated play during the remainder of the game, but it wasn’t until the midway through the third period that the Badgers scored again. Senior forward Tyler Barnes cut the lead to one with 8:42 to play, and later netted the game-tying goal with 1:22 to play.With an empty Wisconsin net and an extra attacker on, Wisconsin won the faceoff in the offensive zone. McCabe blasted a drive from the right point that was stifled by Kapalka. But Barnes dug for the rebound in the crease and lofted a wrister over the Lakers’ netminder to send the Kohl Center into a frenzy.Neither team found the back of the net in the overtime session, but the tie was hardly a negative outcome for the Badgers, who outshot the Lakers 29-11 over the final two periods in a critical comeback.“I’m pumped. This is exactly what we needed for our guys – this kind of type of game to get some sound feedback that, ‘Hey, we’re a pretty good team.’ We overcame some adversity. We earned a 3-3 tie. We pulled our goalie. We did it, so that’s a good thing for us. That’s what we leave with tonight,” Eaves said.