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College championships this week

May 10, 2021
Source: UNC Tar Heels/Twitter
Source: UNC Tar Heels/Twitter

 🏑Field hockey: Behind a clutch overtime goal from junior Erin Matson (her second of the game!), No. 1 North Carolina defeated No. 2 Michigan in a thrilling 4–3 contest for the national title last night. North Carolina is 65-1 in their last three seasons, winning three straight national titles. Talk about dynasty.

🏐Beach volleyball: In a battle of LA’s best, No. 2 USC defeated reigning champ No. 1 UCLA 3–1 yesterday to give the Trojans their third beach volleyball national championship. USC’s duo of Sammy Slater and Julia Scoles delivered the final blow, when Slater served this ace to secure the title. (Southern) California girls women, they’re undeniable.

⚽️Soccer: The women’s soccer semifinals are set. After advancing on penalty kicks, No. 1 Florida State kicks things off against unlikely underdog Virginia on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. The other semi features two teams who advanced behind narrow 1–0 wins, with No. 2 North Carolina taking on No. 11 Santa Clara Thursday at 8:30 p.m ET. Can’t wait.

🏈Football: Don’t call it a comeback. No. 2 Sam Houston rallied from a 21-point deficit to earn their 38–35 win over No. 3 James Madison in yesterday’s FCS semifinal. Meanwhile, No. 1 South Dakota State pummelled Delaware 33–3 en route to clinching South Dakota’s first ever FCS national title game appearance. A brand new winner will be crowned Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

Portland Thorns win 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup

May 10, 2021
Source: Christine Sinclair/Twitter
Source: Christine Sinclair/Twitter

 NWSL: On Saturday, Portland Thorns FC won the second inaugural Challenge Cup on penalty kicks  over NJ/NY Gotham FC. Thorns and CanWNT superstar Christine Sinclair opened the scoring (her 60th NWSL goal, no less) eight minutes in, becoming the league’s leading goal scorer among active players in the process.

  • In the second half, Gotham’s Carli Lloyd of USWNT lore tied it up at 1–1. And because there’s no overtime in the Challenge Cup, the match went through seven rounds of penalty kicks before Portland won 6–5 in the shootout.
  • Luckily, we don’t have to wait long for more NWSL excitement: the regular season starts on Saturday, so be sure to keep your eyes out for our special guide to the season then.

Women’s Super League: Before your Super League flashbacks flare up, a quick reminder that England’s top tier women’s club soccer is called the Women’s Super League (WSL), the counterpart of the men’s Premier League. And this weekend, Chelsea won the league title for a record fourth time.

  • Chelsea is now halfway to a rare quadruple win: winning the WSL and Continental League Cup (Conti Cup) already, having qualified for the FA Cup, and waiting to play in the Champions League final against Barcelona on Sunday. Domination.
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New York: Knicks and Nets on the road

May 10, 2021
Source: Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports
Source: Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports

🏀Knicks: Everyone — and we mean everyone — is loving this Knicks team right now. With their 106–100 victory over the LA Clippers yesterday, our beloved Knickerbockers will return to the Garden having won at least half of the games on their intimidating trip out West. 

🏀Nets: The Nets toughed it out against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, winning 125–119 and ending their four-game skid. This one came down to the wire, with the Nets overcoming a 21-point deficit in the fourth to take their first lead since the start of the game. The cherry on top? Keep an eye out for a Big Three reunion soon. *crosses fingers*

⚾️MLB: Despite some confusing rodent drama (apparently the boys don’t know the difference between a rat and a raccoon), the Mets shone in their sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend. They’ll ride their five-game win streak into a two-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles, starting tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. ET. 

  • Meanwhile, thanks to Giancarlo Stanton’s bottom-of-the-ninth RBI, the Yankees captured two back-to-back walk-off wins this weekend against the Washington Nationals. Next up, the Yanks will face the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. ET. 

🏒Rangers: The Rangers wrapped up their season in Boston this weekend, beating the Bruins 5–4 on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Broadway Blueshirts will be watching the Stanley Cup playoffs on the couch with the rest of us. At least one New York hockey team is still hobbling into the postseason.

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Chicago: Gabby Williams traded after suspension

May 10, 2021
Source: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune
Source: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

 🏀Sky: The Sky suspended Gabby Williams for the 2021 season (for salary reasons, not disciplinary ones), then traded her to the LA Sparks in a move that surprised everyone — including Williams. The Sky’s 2018 first-round pick is a reliable power forward who will likely play for France at the Tokyo Olympics. 

  • The Sky, already undermanned due to their salary cap, couldn’t risk Williams missing the bulk of their season for overseas commitments, so they suspended her contract, then sent her to LA. No official comment from Williams, but her Twitter makes her seem…less than pleased
  • In exchange, the Sky snagged this year’s No. 10 overall pick, Stephanie Watts, as well as the rights to Leonie Fiebich. We’re sad to see Williams go but are excited about this fresh young talent. 

⚾️MLB: The Cubs may have lost 6–5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, but we’re still psyched because Beth Mowins made herstory as the first female broadcaster of a regular season Cubs game. Drinks and burgers on us next time, Beth!

  • Meanwhile, the surging Sox swept the Kansas City Royals, allowing only four runs in the three-game series. Let’s see if they can keep things going against the Minnesota Twins this week, starting tomorrow night at 8:10 p.m. ET/7:10 p.m. CT. 

🏒Blackhawks: The ’Hawks missed the playoffs for the third time in the last four years. Welp. Catch them one last time before they hit the golf course when they host the Dallas Stars tonight at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. 

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Philadelphia: 76ers win over Pistons

May 10, 2021
Source: 76ers.com
Source: 76ers.com

 🏀76ers: The 76ers made it look all too easy this weekend in their 118–104 win over the Detroit Pistons. As expected, Joel Embiid led the squad with 29 points and six rebounds. Pleasantly surprising? Outstanding play from rookie Tyrese Maxey, who usually rides the bench but stepped up to start for Ben Simmons, who was out with back tightness. 

  • Maxey had 22 points, five rebounds, two steals and one block on the evening, earning high praise from Embiid and Dwight Howard (who also had himself a night).
  • The Sixers have won eight straight and hold a comfortable three-game lead for the top spot in the East. Clap your hands, everybody!

⚾️Phillies: The Phillies closed out their three-game series in Atlanta tonight, falling to the Braves 6–1. Between Friday’s 12–2 blowout win and Saturday’s humiliating loss with multiple blown leads, we feel like we have whiplash

  • Hopefully the Phils can get back on the horse in their upcoming series with the Washington Nationals this week, starting tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Hanging it up:

  • 🏒The Flyers missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the last nine years. Womp. Catch them one last time before they hit the golf course when they host the New Jersey Devils tonight at 7 p.m. ET.

🎓⚽️ The Penn State men’s soccer team couldn’t overcome Georgetown’s early lead in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, losing 3–2. Bummed, but proud.