This archived article was written by: Jeremy Jones
It’s that time again, to become informed on news that is happening outside our little box of a campus. Baseball and soccer lead our headlines this week in sports.
Women’s World Cup: Despite much criticism before the tournament that the United States squad is too old this year to perform as they have in the past, the U.S. women’s soccer team started their World Cup title defense strongly against Sweden on Sunday, defeating the Swedes 3-1.
Mia Hamm, veteran of four World Cups, led the way for the U.S., assisting on all three goals scored. Hamm’s first assist was to Kristine Lilly, fellow veteran of four World Cups, for a 15-yard blast past Sweden’s goalkeeper giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
Just eight minutes later, Hamm kicked a corner kick and found Cindy Parlow streaking in for a header, another goal, and a 2-0 lead.
Sweden was able to answer in the 58th minute with a goal from forward Victoria Svensson, but 20 minutes later, Hamm again kicked a beautiful corner kick, this time finding newcomer to the U.S. squad Shannon Boxx, who used her head to find the back of the net.
One setback to the U.S. team was that starting defender Brandi Chastain broke her ankle in the first half. It is still unknown when she will be able to return. The U.S. plays their next game tonight against Nigeria and it will be televised on ESPN starting at 5:25 pm.
Baseball: As the season is winding down, the playoff race is becoming more defined, but there are still some questions to be answered with the final few games.
The NY Yankees are out in front of everybody in the American League and, most importantly, six games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. Oakland and Minnesota are leading their respective divisions. The Red Sox have the lead in the AL wild card race with the Seattle Mariners trailing by only 2.5 games. The Chicago White Sox, Toronto and Kansas City are all still in the wild card hunt.
In the National League, the Atlanta Braves have clinched the NL East and the San Francisco Giants are the champs of the NL West. The Houston Astros are leading the central division, but only by .5 a game over the Chicago Cubs.
Florida, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, the Cubs and the Astros are all very much in the wild card hunt. And by the time you read this, it may all be decided, or it might not be. We’ll all just have to wait and see.
NASCAR: Ryan Newman notched his seventh victory of the 2003 Winston Cup series Sunday, winning the MBNA America 400 in Dover, Delaware. Newman benefitted from a recent rule change that he had previously voiced his opinion against.
Now, it is illegal to race back to the flag stand under a caution flag. Instead, the highest-scored car, not on the lead lap, is awarded an extra lap.
This rule change helped Newman gain one of the two laps he had lost early in the race due to a flat tire.
Newman gained the other lap by using all of his fuel up during the race and, thanks to two late caution flags, was able to go the final 106 laps without a pit stop.
The win moved Newman to fifth on the overall points scale behind Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and points leader Matt Kenseth.
Women’s Boxing: Laila Ali, daughter of boxing great Mohammad Ali, destroyed Christy Martin in a highly publicized fight.
Before the fight, Ali predicted that the fight would not go past the fifth round. She was right. Ali came out strong in the first round and nearly sent Martin to the canvas with a series of rapid uppercuts in the final 20 seconds of the fight.
Martin held on until the third round when Ali put her on one knee with yet another series of short uppercuts. Martin got back up and struggled through the round.
In the fourth round, Ali’s size took over. She pinned Martin up against the ropes and dropped her for the last time.
The win took Ali to an unprecedented 16-0 with 13 knockouts. The loss dropped Martin to 45-3-2 with 31 knockouts in her career.