Sport Shorts

first_imgThe Middletown Babe Ruth Challenge 2000 will be held July 14-26 at McMahon Park, Middletown. This double-elimination baseball tournament will have the following age groups: 8-year-olds, 10-year-olds, 12-year-olds, 13-year-olds and 15-year-olds. Fee is $300 per team for 15-year-olds and $275 per team for all others. For more information, call John Finnegan at (732) 291-8535. Summer Camp 2000 will be held by the United Soccer Academy for all abilities between 3 and 14 years old in Fair Haven for the week of Aug. 14 -18. For more information, check out their Web site at www.USAsoccer.net or call (908) 781-8887. The Jersey Shore Summer Duals wrestling tournament will be contested from 6-10 p.m. July 17-20 at Matawan Regional High School. Team competitions will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, culminating in the crowning of the team champion. The top two teams will qualify for the Super Summer Duals in Toms River on Aug. 2. Thursday will be the individual competition, which is a double-elimination tournament. Weigh-ins will begin at 5 p.m. Awards will be given for first through fifth place. For further information, call Art Perri (732) 566-0154. Celine Cunningham, girls’ lacrosse coach at Colombia University, New York, will direct a lacrosse camp at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, from July 10-14. Cunningham, an All-American and national champion at the University of Maryland, also played for the U.S. National Team and was an assistant coach at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. The camp will focus on developing fundamental skills through drills, small-sided games and scrimmages. For information and an application, call (732) 224-2823. Jersey Shore Baseball Academy, in conjunction with Middletown Babe Ruth League, Hazlet Youth Athletic League and Holmdel Youth Athletic Association, will hold summer baseball/softball camps at McMahon Field in Middletown for the weeks of July 10-14, July 17-21, July 24-28, and July 31 through Aug. 4. Camps will be held at the HYAL Field in Hazlet the weeks of Aug. 7-11 and Aug. 14-18. Camps will be held at the Village School in Holmdel the week of July 17-21. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the cost is $90 per child. The staff is composed of former professional players, high school coaches and college players and coaches. Call (732) 291-7701 for more information or to register. Middletown Babe Ruth will begin registration for its ninth annual Fall Ball program for baseball divisions ages 10-16 and softball divisions ages 10-17. Games will be played in September and October. Cost is $60. Call Al Auerbach at 495-6608 for additional information and registration. The league is limited to 400 children, so registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Recreational teams are welcome.last_img read more

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Sports Shorts

first_imgRyan Cuming, Anthony Indelicato and James VanRiemsdyk, all of Middletown, along with their teammates on the Brick Hockey Club 16U team, won the Atlantic District Championship in Aston, Pa., which qualified them to participate in 2005 USA Hockey National Championships in Richmond, Va., March 30 to April 3. Only 12 teams throughout the country qualify to represent their region and participate in this prestigious tournament. The Brick Hockey Club will represent the Atlantic District states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Both Cuming and VanRiemsdyk attend Christian Brothers Academy while Indelicato attends St. John Vianney. Cuming, 16, is a goaltender, Van Riemsdyk, 15, a forward, while Indelicato, 16, plays defense. Cuming and Van Riemsdyk both started their hockey careers together. This past summer Cuming participated in the Hockey Night in Boston Major tournament, where he was selected for their all-star team. Van Riemsdyk qualified and played for the Atlantic District Festival team. The Brick Hockey Club team is coached by Alex DePalma and is composed of boys from Monmouth and Ocean counties. Members are Sean Betterly, Anthony Bongermino, Ryan Colwell, Alex DePalma, Brett DePalma, Jeff Farr, Justin Ferguson, Connor Field, Steven Goldblatt, Kevin Higgins, Adam Houli, Kevin Kolbensclag, Jerry Malanga, Frank Ryan and Joey Tumolo. The team secured first place in the New Jersey Youth Hockey League and won the Atlantic District playoffs March 6 by defeating the Wilmington Typhoon 3-2. Mac’s Fun Ball Basketball League sign-ups will be held at Crazy Johnny’s Barber Shop on Main Street in Port Monmouth (on the bay side across from Route 36) April 9, 10, 16 and 17 from 9 to 11 a.m. only. The league will be made up of high school and college-age players, and will feature high school and college referees. Games will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, early June through August. The 16th Annual Jersey Shore Summer Duals team and individual wrestling competition will be held June 27-30 at Holmdel High School from 6 to 10 p.m. The tournament does not include 2005 graduates. The top two teams will advance to the Super Summer Duals competition at Toms River South High School, at no additional cost. USA Wrestling card not necessary. Thursday will be the individual tournament, which is a double-elimination event. Awards will be given to first through fifth place. For more information, call Art Perri at (732) 566-0154 or e-mail huskysport@aol.com. The Central Jersey Hawks Shore Shootout girls basketball tournament will be held May 27-29. There is a four-game guarantee, and the cost is $425 per team. The boys tournament will be held June 3-5. Contact Bill Cantelli at (732) 946-0122 or visit the Web site @www.centraljerseyhawks.org. The Aberdeen/Matawan Twisters U14 girls Mid-Jersey Flight 3 team is seeking one experienced field player and one experienced keeper for the spring season. Please contact (732) 566-7166 or kcdoobie@aol.com. The Jersey Shore Thunder (U11) baseball club will hold make-up tryouts March 30, 31 and April 1 from 3 to 5 p.m. and April 2 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Library Field in Little Silver. Players cannot be 12 years old before Aug. 1. Players will be playing on a 50/70 field. This team will play a spring and summer schedule. The JS Thunder Club has been serving the Monmouth County area for 10 years and will enter a U12 team into the Cooperstown DreamsPark tournament each year. For more information or in the event of bad weather, call (732) 924-9023, e-mail JSThunder@Comcast.Net or go to http://home.comcast.net/~jsthunder/JSTHUNDER1.html for updates. Rider University junior Gene Crimoli, Shrewsbury, (Christian Brothers Academy) was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week for all games played March 14-20. A first baseman, Crimoli batted .471 last week with eight hits and 11 RBIs in six games. Crimoli homered against Hofstra, hit a three-run triple in a victory over Long Island, and had three RBIs in the victory at Florida A&Mlast_img read more

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CBA hockey falls in Non-Public semis

first_img BY DOUG McKENZIE Correspondent Colts fall to St. Augustine, 6-4 You get the feeling that if the Christian BrothersAcademy and St.Augustine ice hockey teams played each other 20 times this season, they’d split the series 10- 10. JEFF GRANIT staff Christian Brothers Academy’s Trevor van Riemsdyk (No. 6) controls the puck as Notre Dame’s Christian Crawford moves in during an early round NJSIAA Non-Public state championship game. The Colts’ playoff run ended Sunday night with a 6-4 loss to St. Augustine’s. In fact, the Colts and Hermits did split their season series, 2-2, this winter. Unfortunately for the Colts, St. Augustine’s two wins came when there wasmore at stake in the postseason. After beating CBAjust a couple of weeks back to knock them out of the Gordon Cup semifinals, the Hermits did it to the Colts again on Sunday, beating first-year head coach Ryan Bogan’s team, 6-4, in the semifinals of theNJSIAANon-Public Tournament at the Mennen Arena in Morris Township. As the defending champs, theHermits (18-6- 3) willmove on to face top-seeded Delbarton (26-1-1) in the finals this Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark. Like the first three contests, this was a well-played game between two very skilled opponents. After being one of the top defensive teams all season, led by one of the state’s top goaltenders in Tyler Jackson, CBAfound itself in a shoot-out with an experienced Hermits teamthat returned plenty of talent and firepower from last year’s 23-0-0 championship team. The first two times around, the Colts were the better team; however, once the postseason came along, St. Augustine took its game to another level – one the Colts could not quite match. CBAtook the lead early on Sundaywhen senior TomMollica scored on a one-timer off a nice feed from Mark Rivera just 2:16 into the game. St. Augustine then came back to tie it up at the 4:52 mark on a power-play goal from Zach Stern off a feed from Ryan Mara. The score remained tied until the Colts got a power-play goal of their own at the 12:04 mark from Rivera, who deflected a Mike Zuppe shot to beat Hermit goalie Justin Farrell. CBA then padded its lead just 2:49 into the second period, when junior Kyle McAteer scored off a pass fromseniorNick Spagnole, who won a race to the puck behind the St. Augustine net and set McAteer up perfectly. Up 3-1, theColts seemed to be on their way to the championship game, especially with the way they’d been able to protect leads throughout much of the season. However, once again St. Augustine responded with a furious offensive display, scoring three goals in the next 8:23 to jump ahead, 4-3. Stern notched the first goal after beating Jackson to a loose puck at the 5:09 mark to make it 3-2. Mara then added the next two goals, with first coming off a rebound froma Stern shot at the 1:08mark, and the second coming with just 1:28 to play in the second period. The second goal came on a deflection of a Sean Magrann shot that slipped between Jackson’s pads. CBAproved resilient, though, once again tying the score at 4-4 with a Matt Jensen goalwith just four seconds to play in the second period. Jensen’s goal came on a power play off a rebound of a Tim Clifton shot. It set up a winner-take-all third period. For most of the third, the two teams traded few scoring chances, playing an intense period of hockey that thrilled the crowd throughout. However, at the 12:11 mark, the Hermits got what would prove to be the winning goal, when senior Dave Macalino beat Jackson with a wrist shot to put St.Augustine up, 5-4. TheHermits then added an empty net goal from Rob DeSimonewith just 16 seconds left to play for the final margin. In the end, it was an evenly matched game, with St. Augustine holding a slight edge, 28-24, in shots on goal.While allowing six goals, Jackson did stop 22 shots and was better than the score would indicate. The difference in this game was the line ofMacalino,Mara and Stern,who combined for five goals and five assists. After playing most of the season as the team’s top-ranked team, thanks in large part to a 17-game unbeaten streak, the Colts (19- 4-2) could not carry their regular-season dominance over to the postseason, going 3-3 over the final weeks of the campaign. While they likely will dwell on the disappointment of the two recent losses to St.Augustine for a while, in time they will able to reflect on all that they were able to accomplish this season. They won 19 games in the super-competitive Gordon Conference, earned a trip back to the semifinals of the state tournament, and helped develop a seamless transition from longtime head coachMike Reynolds to Bogan. Though they lose eight seniors to graduation, CBAwill return a number of talented players next year, when they will again look to be one of the elite teams in the state.last_img read more

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Pitching, defense have Matawan vying for title

first_imgBY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent A close divisional race has developed in the Shore Conference’s Class A Central, as six teams were within one game of first place at the start of the week.Matawan Regional’s baseball team helped its cause on Monday, defeating rival Raritan, 12-4. The Huskies (12-4, 7-4) had a critical match-up with St. John Vianney (7-6, 7-4) on Tuesday afternoon. The Huskies and Lancers were tied for first place, and the winner of Tuesday’s game would clinch at least a share of the A Central Division title.The Huskies defeated St. John Vianney, 4-3, back on April 7.“Our fate is in our own hands,” Matawan head coach John Kaye said. “It has been a very competitive division. There is a lot of parity in the division this year. On any given day, one team can beat the other.”Senior lefthander Vinny Manzella is part of a Matawan pitching staff that Kaye credited with keeping the team competitive each game. Manzella tossed two consecutive complete games against Shore Regional and Raritan.“Our strength is pitching and defense. With pitching and defense, we can play with anybody. We have done a good job holding on to two- and three-run leads,” Kaye said. “In order to be successful this time of year, you need to be able to throw quality pitchers every day.”For the Huskies, pitching and defense have remained strengths all season, but Kaye lauded the team’s offensive depth as well.“There is not a real hole in the lineup,” he said.Senior Ken Santamauro (second base), who leads the Shore Conference in stolen bases, is the sparkplug atop Matawan’s lineup.“When he gets on, things happen,” Kaye said. “He has been the key to our offense.”That offense showed its true potential against Raritan on Monday. Junior Nick Fulop (outfield), who also serves as the team’s closer, was 4-for-4 with three doubles and five RBIs. Senior Joe Uricouli (outfield) had five hits in five plate appearances, driving in two runs and stealing three bases.“When the lineup is top-heavy, you only have so many innings to score. Having offensive depth has helped us a lot. We are able to move guys around and go with the hot hand,” Kaye said.“We are a well-rounded group, and we should get a decent seed in the Shore Conference and state tournaments. With the pitching we have lined up, we should do well,” he added.last_img read more

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US Open results (Baghdatis through to third round)

first_imgMen’s Singles Round 2 matches on Friday9-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) 7-5 7-6(8) 6-4Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) beat 17-Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 6-2 6-2 6-2 Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) beat Peter Gojowczyk (Germany) 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-33-Andy Murray (Britain) beat Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 7-5 6-1 3-6 6-1Florian Mayer (Germany) beat Donald Young (U.S.) 7-5 6-3 6-420-Andreas Seppi (Italy) beat Somdev Devvarman (India) 7-6(8) 6-4 7-5Tim Smyczek (U.S.) beat Alex Bogomolov Jr (Russia) 3-6 7-6(6) 2-6 6-4 6-4Joao Sousa (Portugal) beat Jarkko Nieminen (Finland) 1-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-45-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) beat Denis Kudla (U.S.) 7-6(3) 7-6(3) 6-3Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) beat Tobias Kamke (Germany) 6-4 6-2 6-21-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat Benjamin Becker (Germany) 7-6(2) 6-2 6-2Marcel Granollers (Spain) beat Rajeev Ram (U.S.) 3-6 4-6 6-2 6-3 7-531-Julien Benneteau (France) beat Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-4 6-3 6-412-Tommy Haas (Germany) beat Lu Yen-Hsun (Taiwan) 6-3 6-4 7-6(3)21-Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) beat Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) 7-5 6-1 6-3Women’s Singles Round 3 matches on Friday18-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) beat Zheng Jie (China) 6-2 6-48-Angelique Kerber (Germany) beat 25-Kaia Kanepi (Estonia) 6-0 6-49-Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) beat Kurumi Nara (Japan) 6-4 7-6(5)15-Sloane Stephens (U.S.) beat 23-Jamie Hampton (U.S.) 6-1 6-324-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) beat 16-Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 6-4 7-53-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) beat 32-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) 6-4 7-6(1)5-Li Na (China) beat 30-Laura Robson (Britain) 6-2 7-5last_img read more

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Five lessons that Premier League newcomers need to learn in order to succeed

first_imgBy Graham MatthewsThe World Cup is done stealing all of the football limelight, which means that fans can revert back to focusing on every in and out that’s going on at their club.Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez, Lazar Markovic and er, Dionatan Teixeira to name but a few will all be making their Premier League debuts next season after catching the eye of their new clubs.As the greatest league in the world, the Premier League is also thought of as the toughest. So in order to avoid becoming the next Djemba-Djemba, here are seven things every player making their Premier League debut in 2014/15 needs to know.5. Don’t treat every game the sameObviously footballers, like accountants and every other professional out there, should give their all in every game and challenge they encounter. However, there are some matches in England where players really should give 110%, namely local derbies and cup matches.Most English football fans know about Spain’s El Clasico and Italy’s Derby della Madonnina, but how many Italian fans and players are aware of the Tyne-Wear rivalry for example?Score a hat-trick for one against the other and it’s a fast track to becoming a club legend. Likewise, scoring an own goal or making a major mistake will have even more severe repercussions than in any other league match.New players need to be aware of the importance such games hold, so reading up on club history is vital.4. No team is unbeatableArsenal went unbeaten in 2003/4, but since then no team has come close to matching that spectacular season in the Premier League.In Spain it’s pretty much a given that Barcelona and both Madrid teams will hardly drop any points against teams in the bottom 15, while in Germany, France and Italy it’s a similar situation.As Manchester United proved last season, by losing to West Brom, Newcastle and a few others for the first time in decades, in England no team is ever guaranteed to win.Stoke have frustrated Arsenal numerous times and Aston Villa always prove tricky for Chelsea, each club has its bogey team. It’s what makes the league so exciting and keeps the bookies thriving.3. Show some characterThere’s nothing that gets the fans more interested and behind a player than if he shows some personality in post-match interviews or harmless antics off the field, especially given the English media’s constant coverage of a player’s life.David Luiz may not have been a consistent performer at Chelsea, but his presence on social media made him a cult hero with some Blues fans. Likewise, Jonás Gutiérrez was/is far from spectacular at Newcastle United, but his early Spiderman mask celebration endeared him to the fans at the start.English fans are often willing to defend players more if they can see a human side to them, so if a new signing can show a bit of personality, then it’s more likely they’ll make it as a fan favourite.2. Toughen upIt has become a bit of a cliché to promote the stereotype of the English game being rougher than other countries, but stereotypes aren’t built on nothing.While Premier League matches aren’t the battlefield some media outlets make out, there’s definitely more of a physical presence in games than abroad.Most new players who are less used to the Premier League’s physical approach will soon adapt, but there are always those susceptible to injury who just can’t come to grips with it.Rather than annoying fans by being the club’s record signing who spent half the season on the physio’s bench before returning to Spain in the summer, man up and throw yourself about a bit.1. Stoke away isn’t so scaryAnother popular cliché to be churned out when talking about foreign players in England – “That Messi bloke’s alright, but get him playing against Stoke on a rainy Wednesday evening and we’ll see how good he really is.”Not only does this do a disservice to Stoke (it doesn’t always rain on Wednesdays there), but it’s also not the hardest test a Premier League player will have to face.There will be far more intimidating games for Alexis Sanchez to take part in, namely the north London derby and there’s no reason that he can’t use his pace and skill to the same effect in both games.Of course, any newcomers playing for Stoke will want to help keep the illusion of the Britannia Stadium turning into a fortress every time it rains alive. For more articles and the latest soccer news, check out FTBpro.comlast_img read more

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Captain Misbah hits century as Pakistan rally against England

first_imgCaptain Misbah hits century as Pakistan rally against EnglandBy Matt SmithPakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq made an unbeaten century as the resurgent hosts reached 282-4 at close of the opening day of the second Test against England in Dubai on Thursday.Following a draw in the series opener, Misbah helped steady his side after two brilliant morning catches by the indomitable Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson’s 418th Test wicket from the first ball of the afternoon had reduced Pakistan to 85-3.At that moment, Misbah, 41, may have been regretting his decision to bat after winning the toss, but he and Younis Khan (56) put on 93 from 179 balls before Pakistan’s record run scorer was caught behind by England wicketkeeper Joss Buttler off Mark Wood.Asad Shafiq, 46 not out, joined Misbah at the crease. The skipper will resume on 102 after chalking up a ninth Test century by slogging Moeen Ali for 15 off the day’s final over that included two sixes.Pakistan, playing in their adopted home of the UAE, were heavy favourites going into the series after whitewashing England 3-0 here in 2012.Yet the tourists were disappointed not to seal an unlikely win in Abu Dhabi last week, bad light stopping play when England were 25 runs from victory with six wickets in hand after a frenzied final day.In Dubai, Pakistan again batted first on expectation the pitch would become harder to play as the Test progresses.Openers Shan Masood and Mohammad Hafeez raced to 47-0 from 15 overs after making only two runs in the first three overs.England captain Alastair Cook, who named an unchanged side, switched seamers Anderson and Stuart Broad with spinner Moeen and paceman Mark Wood as he sought an early breakthrough.Moeen struck first, tricking Hafeez (19) into edging a turning delivery onto his pads. The ball looped up for Bairstow to make a diving catch as Pakistan slipped to 51-1.Next in was Shoaib Malik but he lasted only nine balls for his two before trudging back to the pavilion.The all-rounder, a double-centurion in Abu Dhabi, slogged at Ben Stokes and the ball cannoned off Bairstow’s midriff at short-leg.The fielder’s reactions were cat-like as he sprang forward to snatch a one-handed catch.Pakistan progressed to 85-2 at lunch but immediately after the interval Anderson fooled Masood (54) into nicking a ball into Buttler’s gloves, which lifted the 33-year-old to ninth on Test cricket’s all-time wicket-taking list.That proved to be rare moment of afternoon joy for England as Pakistan exploited the tourists’ aggressive close field to score briskly.Adil Rashid – who veered between hopeless and mesmeric in the first Test – again struggled, the leg-spinner ending on 0-60 from 13 overs.Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah, the fastest man to 50 Test wickets in his country’s history, returned to the hosts’ line-up after missing the first test with a back injury, Rahat Ali making way.Sharjah will stage the final Test from November 1.last_img read more

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Brazil still improving, says Coach

first_imgThe Brazilian ladies bowed out of the world cup yesterday after losing to Japan 3-1 in the quarterfinals played in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.    Translated by a translator, Bueno said, heading into the match, they knew Japan would be a tough team to play as they play fast and are a defensive team.    “They scored in the first end of first half, and in the second half we needed to score that is why we were open.”Bueno who has been at the helm of the U20 Brazil Women’s team since 2014 said the team did not qualify a final in the World Cup for 8 years, and will learn from the defeat to improve.He said one thing they will take out of the competition is that the current team has 5 players eligible to play in the next world cup in 2018.“That is something I learnt in 2014 and if continue to develop in that way we will develop to be better,” Bueno said.last_img read more

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Venus into WTA Finals last four

first_imgThe American world No 5 advanced to her fifth semi-final at the season finale after a determined 7-5 6-4 victory in one hour and 41 minutes.Wiliams’ win, which acts as some form of revenge for her Wimbledon final defeat to Muguruza, sees her finish second in the White Group behind Karolina Pliskova and the seven-time Grand Slam champion will next meet either Caroline Wozniacki or Caroline Garcia.”I was happy to win the last point,” Williams said. “It is not easy out here, you have to play every point well otherwise you lose the game. “I had some great coaching coming into the game, I hope we can win some more.”The first set was a tight affair with both players fighting off break point opportunities before the Spanish world No 2 claimed the opening break of serve in the seventh game of the match only to hand the advantage back straight away.Both players then held serve until the 12th game of the match when the 37-year-old Williams, who has qualified for the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009, broke Muguruza to claim the opener on her third set point.Muguruza began the second set with a positive reaction breaking Williams’ opening service game only to once again hand the advantage straight back to the American.Both players struggled to gain a stranglehold on their serve and despite Muguruza securing her third break in the second set to move 4-3 clear, the Wimbledon champion then lost three unanswered games in a row to fall to her second successive round-robin exit at the tournament.Meanwhile, Ostapenko finished her maiden appearance at the WTA Finals with an impressive straight-sets victory over the in-form Karolina Pliskova, who had already booked her place in the semi-finals.The French Open champion won the White Group dead rubber 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes over her Czech opponent thanks in part to her greater initiative from the back of the court.Pliskova, who had already clinched first place in the group, put in a subdued performance and suffered her first loss to the powerful 20-year-old.”It was really tough to push myself and play my best tennis when you know you’ve qualified,” the 25-year-old said. “I haven’t ever been in this situation. I didn’t know how I was going to feel and how she was going to play. I think she played amazing.”Ostapenko, who fired 25 winners during the contest, broke her opponent three times in the opening set while the second set was one-way traffic.The Latvian secured a further two breaks of serve and grew in confidence behind her delivery to secure the comprehensive victory with a love service hold.”I think it is great to finish the season this way,” Ostapenko said. “Today I had nothing to lose as it was my last match here. I just tried to enjoy it as I really love to play here.”last_img read more

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Female coach sets bar in soccer

first_imgMargaret Aka, from West New Britain Province, is setting the bar for women and girls who are passionate about soccer.The former international is the first woman in PNG to receive an OFC B Licence. She is also the first woman to coach a soccer team in the 2018 National Soccer League.So what drove this dynamic but humble woman to greater heights?“What drives me the most is helping kids to realise their full potential not only in football but life in general,” Aka told Loop PNG.“I watched a lot of football on TV and I noticed that a lot of professional players come from world over, mainly Europe, Africa, South America and maybe a handful from Asia.“Most countries in these regions are developing countries like PNG. They invested in kids, football in this case, and have produced superstars.“It is not impossible. We are just beginning to realise how much potential we have in sports and I hope we can start thinking about the future and invest well in our children.”The 42-year-old started off her career in 1992, playing for the Sogeri National High School in the Port Moresby Soccer Association competition.“The team was pooled in the Women’s Division 2 competition,” reminisced Aka.“In that year we won the grand final under coach Michael Woodlock, who was a teacher at Sogeri National High.“I then joined Telikom Soccer Club in 1995 – 2006 under coach Francis Moyap. Between 2006 and 2008, I played for Gap Football Club in Brisbane in the Women’s Premier League while I was on an AUSAID scholarship.“I took up coaching in 2013 as a volunteer coach and here I am at PNG Football Association, since 2014.”Apart from completing her OFC B Licence last August, Aka has an impressive list of achievements under her belt, including coaching the PNG U14 girls where they competed at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China.She also coached the U17 girls to the Oceania Football Confederation qualifier in Cook Islands (2016).In the domestic competition, Aka coached the Erima Flyover Men’s Division 2 team in PMSA competition, where they went on to win the grand final last year.“I am now attached to Southern Strikers for 2018 NSL season,” says Aka.It has not been – and will never be – smooth sailing for a woman who sets out to conquer a male-dominated arena.Therefore how did this humble, soft-spoken woman leap over the societal and cultural barriers?It’s all about trust!“You have to earn the trust, confidence and respect of players in what you do and what you say as a coach,” Aka told Loop PNG.“You have to make sense and be logical.“I try to be positive all the time and that helps to keep me aware of the challenges I am faced with.”Coach Aka’s encouragement to passionate female footballers is: “Your willingness to sacrifice and commitment can help you to become who/what you want to be.”(Picture: PNG National Soccer League Facebook page)last_img read more

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