Category Archives: Sports

Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC Slow Play to 1-1 Draw

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Eight yellow cards and a red card were on display at PPL Park on Saturday, April 13th. In between the cards, numerous other penalties, and injury stoppages, the Toronto FC took on the Philadelphia Union on their home pitch.

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At half time, the two teams remained knotted in a 0-0 tie.

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The Union had many chances to score during the match but Toronto GK Joe Bendik was stout in goal making nine saves during the game. On the other side, Philadelphia GK Zac MacMath faced only two shots on goal. Unfortunately, the second of the two went for a score off the foot of Toronto F Robert Earnshaw in the 77th minute.

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In the 88th minute, trailing 1-0, Jack McInerney found the back of the net for Philadelphia, but the goal was called-off on a questionable penalty called on McInerney.

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However the 2013 Union, more resilient than the 2012 team, kept plugging away and McInerney scored again moments later in stoppage time to tie the game at 1-1.

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Just after the 6:30 mark in stoppage time, the Union had a chance to win the game, and walk away with three points. Antoine Hoppenot found himself with the ball, all alone behind the Toronto defense but was denied by Bendik who charged in to make the final save of the game.

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In the end, the game resulted in a 1-1 draw with both teams earning a point. It was the Union’s second consecutive 1-1 draw. Up next, Philadelphia travels to DC to take on the United on April 21st (5pm, ESPN2). Philly is 0-2-1 on the road so far in 2013 and a win against rival DC would give them a much needed boost as three of their next four contests will be played away from PPL Park.

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[Photo credit: Michael Green]

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Villanova Topples Another Top Five Foe, Beats Georgetown 67-57

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For the third time this season the Villanova Wildcats beat a team ranked in the top five in the country when they upset the fifth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas, 67-57 on Wednesday night, March 6th at the Wells Fargo Center. JayVaughn Pinkston led the way for Villanova with 20 points. Pinkston was ably aided and abetted by Darrun Hilliard, who overcame early foul trouble, to chip in 14 points, Ryan Arcidiacono who added 11 (to go along with a team high 6 assists), and James Bell with 10 points, including two big three pointers in the opening half. With the victory, Villanova snapped Georgetown’s eleven game winning streak. Georgetown had not lost a game before last night since January 19th.

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Georgetown bolted out to a quick 7-0 start to open the game. Villanova then went on a 10-2 run highlighted by Bell’s three-pointer to take a 10-9 lead. The Hoyas briefly regained the lead, only to have Bell connect on another three pointer to put the Wildcats back out in front 13-11. The Wildcats built their margin to 23-14, but saw the Hoyas rally to tie the game twice on buckets by D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Mouphtaou Yarou hit a basket to give the Wildcats the lead once again 29-27. Villanova went to the locker room leading 33-29.

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In the second half, Villanova used a tenacious defense and strong shooting from the foul line to keep the lead throughout. Several times, the Hoyas cut Villanova’s lead to a single point, the last at the 11:04 mark, on a basket by Otto Porter, Jr., 44-43. However, Porter, Georgetown’s leading scorer with 17 points, who was fouled scoring the basket, missed his free throw allowing Villanova to stay in the lead. From that point forward, Villanova clung to its lead mainly by converting its free throws and playing gritty defense. The Wildcats scored 20 of their last 23 points from the charity stripe. The lone basket being a three-pointer by Hilliard, that gave Villanova a 54-48 edge. Overall, Villanova converted 30 of 42 free throw attempts (.714%), compared to Georgetown’s hitting on 4 of 8 attempts from the free throw line. Both teams collected 24 rebounds. Yarou finished with a game high 12 boards. Nate Lubick grabbed 8 rebounds for the Hoyas. Smith-Rivera with 14 points, and Martel Starks with 12 points joined Porter, Jr. in double figure scoring for Georgetown.

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With the impressive win, Villanova closed out its regular season with a record of 19-12 on the year, 10-8 in the Big East. All three of Villanova’s wins over top-five opponents came at the Wells-Fargo Center. The previous wins were against No. 5 Louisville (January 22) and No. 3 Syracuse (January 26). Villanova next plays in the Big East Tournament in New York City at Madison Square Garden (March 12-16). Georgetown, with the loss fell to 23-5 overall, 13-4 Big East. The Hoyas conclude their regular season at home on March 9 against Syracuse.

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[Photos by Christian Hafer]

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Philadelphia Union Drop 2013 Season Opener to Sporting KC

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Despite scoring the first goal of the game to take a 1-0 lead, the Philadelphia Union fell behind in the second half, eventually losing 3-1 to Sporting KC in their 2013 season opener on Saturday, March 2nd at PPL Park.

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The 2013 Philadelphia Union starting line-up was comprised of MacMath, Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis, Carroll, Lahoud (Torres, 80’), G. Farfan, (McInerney, 20’), M. Farfan, Daniel (Casey, 84’), and Le Toux.

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Sebastien Le Toux, The Union’s career scoring leader with 26 goals was was reacquired by Philadelphia before the 2013 season began. Fittingly, he scored Philadelphia’s first goal of the season in the 17th minute.

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With time ticking away in the first half, Graham Zusi scored for KC off a rebound from Union GK Zac MacMath in the 41st minute, sending the game into a 1-1 tie at the intermission. This was a big blow to the Union who had failed to capitalize on several scoring chances following Le Toux’s goal.

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In the 66th minute, Sporting KC, the defending Eastern Conference Champions scored again on a goal by Uri Rosell to take a 2-1 lead. They would eventually score once more in the 83rd minute (Claudio Bieler) to beat the Union by 3-1 margin.

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Sporting GK Jimmy Nielsen made four saves in the game, which easily could have gone the other way had even one of those shots found the back on the net in the opening half.

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The Union will look to rebound from the opening game loss on Saturday, March 9th when they travel to Colorado before returning home the following Saturday to host New England (5pm start).

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[Photos by Christian Hafer]

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Wildcats Soar Over Golden Eagles on Senior Night, Villanova Wins Third Straight

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Villanova and Marquette squared off in a Big East Conference game at the Pavilion on Saturday, February 23rd. Marquette entered the game with a #17 national ranking. Prior to the game, Villanova honored its two senior basketball players, Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton.

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In the first twenty minutes, both teams played hard, but appeared to be offensively challenged. After Villanova grabbed a 12-7 lead, Marquette went on a 11-2 run to go out in front 18-14. The Wildcats regained the lead 19-18, then Marquette went back on top 20-19. Villanova, once again, edged in front on a Yarou bucket 21-20. At the half, the teams were deadlocked 22-22. Both teams shot less than 30% from the field in the opening half. Villanova shot 27.3% (6 for 22), Marquette 29.2% (7 for 24). Darrun Hilliard led the Wildcats with 8 points. Todd Mayo had 7 points for the Golden Eagles.

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Both teams picked up the pace to start the second half. Following several ties and lead changes, Villanova went ahead for good 31-30 on a basket by JayVaughn Pinkston. The Wildcats then went up by 8 on a three-pointer by Hilliard, 46-38. Villanova upped its lead to 10 points on another basket by Hilliard to make it 50-40. The Golden Eagles made a late charge after finding themselves down 56-45, to cut the margin to 56-52 on a basket by Junior Cadougan. The Wildcats, however, refused to relinquish the lead and held on for a 60-56 victory in the bruising Big East battle.

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For the Wildcats, Hilliard scored a game high 22 points on 7 for 10 shooting, including 3 of 5 from three-point range. Ryan Arcidiacono and Pinkston each chipped in 11 points, and Yarou added 10. Yarou was Villanova’s leading rebounder with 7. Arcidiacono and Tony Chennault each had three assists and only 1 turnover between them. For the Golden Eagles, Cadougan was their high scorer with 12 points, most of them came late in the game. Steve Taylor, Jr. led the way on the boards with 8. Villanova hit 18 of 25 shots from the charity stripe compared to 9 of 14 for Marquette.

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With the victory, Villanova, which won for the third time in a row, improved its record to 18-10, 9-6 Big East. Marquette, entered the game in possession of a share of first place in the Big East Conference, but with the loss, fell to 19-7 , 10-4 in the Big East.

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Next up for Villanova is a game at Seton Hall at 9pm on Monday night February 25th. Marquette will return to action when it entertains Syracuse on the same day.

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Wildcats Hold Court Against Knights of the Round Ball, Win 71-63

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The Villanova Wildcats took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a Big East Conference game at the Pavilion on Tuesday night, February 18th. Villanova got off to a quick start with Ryan Arcidiacono hitting two treys and Mouphtaou Yarou adding six points in the early going to grab a 14-8 lead. The Wildcats then went ice cold and Rutgers got hot, or at least Sophomore guard Myles Mack did.

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With Mack taking command, Rutgers went on a 23-7 run to close out the first half. Mack scored 14 points in a row to bring the Scarlet Knights from a 14-12 deficit to a 26-17 lead. At one point, Villanova missed 7 of 8 foul shots, including the front end of two one-and-ones.

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The half ended with Rutgers ahead 31-21. Mack completed the first half with 16 points and 6 rebounds. For Villanova, Yarou had 8 points and 10 boards in the first twenty minutes.

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Villanova picked up the pace at the outset of the second half and went on a 13-4 run to cut Rutgers lead to one, 43-42. JayVaughn Pinkston paced the Wildcats run scoring 7 points. Tony Chennault then gave the Wildcats the lead 44-43 when he converted two foul shots. After the teams exchanged the lead several times, Villanova regained the lead, 50-47, on a triple by James Bell. Bell who has made a habit of hitting big second half shots this season, did so again. Bell hit three three-pointers and scored all 11 of his points in the second half. Bell got plenty of help from his teammates as five Wildcats finished the game in double figures to help secure a 71 -63 win.

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For Villanova, Arcidiacono, Pinkston, and Darrun Hilliard each scored 14 points, Bell had 11, and Yarou added 10 to go along with a game high 12 rebounds. Impressively, Villanova did not commit a single turnover in the second half after committing seven in the opening half. Arcidiacono had 4 assists to pace the Wildcats and did not commit a turnover. The Wildcats, who shot just 30% from the field in the first half, hit 56.5% of their field goal attempts in the second half, including 6 of 10 from three point range.

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Rutgers was led in scoring by Mack with 24 points. Kadeem Jack added 12 points, and Jerome Seagears chipped in 10. Mack grabbed 8 boards; Jack had 7. Mack also had 5 assists.

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With the win, Villanova improved to 17-10, 8 -6 Big East. Rutgers dropped to 13-12, 4-10 Big East. Next up for Villanova is Marquette on Saturday night February 23 (Senior Night) at 6pm at the Pavilion. Before the game, Villanova will honor seniors Maurice Sutton and Mouphtaou Yarou. Rutgers hosts Providence the same night.

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Villanova Wildcats Channel Inner Matador, Slay South Florida Bulls

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Villanova rode a sturdy defense and a strong shooting offense to throttle the University of South Florida 68-40 on Saturday afternoon (February 9th) in a Big East conference game at the Pavilion.

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After the Bulls scored the first basket of the game, the Wildcats ran off twelve consecutive points to take a 12-2 lead, that they did not relinquish for the rest of the game. South Florida cut into Villanova’s lead on a trey by Jawanza Poland to make it 16-11, before the Wildcats went on a 23-5 run to close out the first twenty minutes.

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At the half, Villanova was ahead 39-16. The Wildcats limited the Bulls to  22.7%  shooting from the field in the opening half, allowing just 5 field goals in 22 attempts (including only 1 three pointer in 8 tries). Moreover, the Wildcats dominated the boards by a significant 21-8 margin. Villanova, on the other hand, shot a sizzling 13 for 20 (65.0%) . Mouphtaou Yarou and Darrun Hilliard both scored nine first- half points. Yarou also snatched 6 rebounds.

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In the second half, the Wildcats did not let up, particularly on the defensive end, holding the Bulls to 6 baskets on 25 attempts (24.0%). Villanova also continued to attack on offense and built its lead to as much as 34 points. Their lead was high enough in the final minutes that coach Jay Wright inserted all three of Villanova’s walk-ons (as well as rarely used Mislav Brzoja) to a roar of cheers from the crowd.

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Pacing the Wildcats was Hilliard with 17 points on 6 for 8 shooting, including 2 three pointers. JayVaughn Pinkston came off the bench to add 10 points. Yarou narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 9 points and 10 rebounds. Ryan Arcidiacono led Villanova with 4 assists, against zero turnovers. South Florida was led by JaVonte Hawkins who scored 13 points. The Bulls were missing Victor Rudd, their leading scorer, who was out with a groin injury.

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What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Bulls beat the Wildcats three times (two regular season match ups and a third meeting in the Big East tournament). This year, Villanova won both match ups against South Florida. With the win, Villanova improved its record to 15-9, 6-5 in the  Big East. South Florida’s record fell to 10-13, 1-10 in the Big East. Next up for Villanova is a game at Cincinnati at 8pm on Tuesday night, February 12th. The Bulls will return to action when they host the Providence Friars on February 13th.

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You can view video of Villanova’s post game press conference with Jay Wright, Mouphtaou Yarou, and Darrun Hilliard as well as an expanded photo gallery from the game below (click photo thumbnails to enlarge):

Wing Bowl 21: On a Wing And A Bear

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WIP’s Wing Bowl returned for a 21st year in 2013; making the event officially old enough to drink beer legally.

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As has become the standard for Wing Bowl’s in the past, WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 sold-out the Wells-Fargo Center, and fans began entering in the wee morning hours of Friday, February 1st (after several hours of tailgating outside).

Wing Bowl 20 champion, Kobayashi, did not return to defend his crown in 2013 (and record 337 wings eaten) and it was widely assumed that odds-on favorite Jonathan “Super Squibb” would once again take his place atop the Wing Bowl hierarchy. Squibb had won Wing Bowls 17-19 before coming in second to Kobayashi in 2012.

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WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 featured everything that has made Wing Bowl a Philadelphia phenomenon: floats, nicknames, eating, vomiting, celebrities, and of course, the Wingettes (yes, the breasts get even more attention than the wings).

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Even new Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly (who called the event Philadelphia’s second most important bowl after the Super Bowl) made an appearance and addressed the crowd to a roar of cheers before the eating portion of the program began.

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WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 added competitive eaters from a slew of other U.S. cities including Chicago, Boston, New York, and Dallas. Once again there was a big fat check for $20,000 awaiting the winner.

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The eating was fast a furious in the first round. When the first buzzer sounded, it was US Male (Dave Goldstein) not Super Squibb who was in the lead, having eaten 148 (Squibb had 138, The Bear had 130).

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The second round finished with the top three from round one still holding down the top spots. Squibb still sat in second place but The Bear (Jamie McDonald) had leap-frogged into first, eating 135 wings, to take a 265-253 lead over Squibb.

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Squibb was able to narrow the gap in the final round but The Bear proved too strong, eventually beating out Squibb by a mere 5 wings, 287 to 282, to take the WIP Wing Bowl 21 crown.

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