ACSC Women Conclude Season

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CARY, N.C. (July 11, 2018) – The Asheville City Soccer Club’s women’s side concluded its season with a 3-2 road loss to Oak City United on Saturday.  The Blues finished their inaugural campaign with an 8-1-2 mark within the WPSL, and fell just short of qualifying for the league’s postseason. ACSC outscored its opponents by 26 goals in their 11 games.

Against Oak City (4-4-1), Megan McCallister and Molly Dwyer scored for the Blues.

(photo Shane Burke/ACSC)


Photos: Football above 7,000 Feet

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Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium – (photo – Tom Flynn)

LARAMIE, Wyo. (July 4, 2018) – If altitude is the benchmark, no team is more deserving of its membership in the Mountain West Conference than the Wyoming Cowboys. They play their home games at 7,220 feet, a fact prominently displayed on the turf along the Cowboys’ sideline at Laramie’s War Memorial Stadium

The Stadium was completed in 1950 and is the highest altitude venue for any Division I football team in the country (the highest football stadium at any level is in Gunnison, Colorado). As with many stadiums of that age or older, most of the original structure is now beneath subsequent expansions and renovations. War Memorial is still compact by 2018 standards, seating just over 29,000 fans.

The Cowboys went 8-5 in 2017, and closed out the year with a postseason victory over Central Michigan. They are 7-8 overall in bowl games, with five of those appearances coming in the past two decades, an era that saw the number of bowl games increase from 20 in 1997 to 41 in 2017. The most successful postseason stretch for the Cowboys was from 1956-1966 when they played in, and won, three Sun Bowls (1956, 1958, 1966). 

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Earlier this spring, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was drafted in the first round by the Buffalo Bills and was the seventh overall pick in the draft. With the selection, Allen became the highest drafted Cowboy in the history of the program, which began play in 1892. The NFL’s first draft was in 1936.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 22 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Central Michigan v Wyoming
Former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen (photo –  Steve Conner/Icon Sportswire)

The Cowboys open their 2018 campaign on the road on Saturday, August 25, against the New Mexico State Aggies. The Aggies are an FBS Division-I independent, while Wyoming is projected by Athlon to finish third in the Mountain West’s Mountain Division.

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Photos: A Visit to Jayhawk Country


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Inside the entrance to the Allen Fieldhouse (photo – T.Flynn)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (June 27, 2018)  The home of the University of Kansas Jayhawks looks the part, as KU venues and colors run throughout the small city of Lawrence, Kansas (pop. 87,643 – 2010).

Most famous among its athletic venues is the 1955 Allen Fieldhouse, home to the Jayhawks’ basketball program. The men’s basketball team at KU has won or shared the regular season Big-XII title for 14 consecutive seasons and 16 of the last 17 years. The Jayhawks also captured the national championship in 2008, the third time they’ve done so since the NCAA tournament began in 1939.

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Rim Rock Farm is just over 10 miles north of downtown Lawrence and is home to the Kansas cross country program. Former head track and field and cross country coach Bob Timmons donated the property to the University in 2004.

The 1965 and 1966 NCAA Division I National Championships were held at Rim Rock. The only Kansas national championship in men’s cross country came in 1953, when National Track and Field Hall of Famer Wes Santee was a member of the Jayhawks’ squad. Santee was also the individual winner that year.

Rim Rock hosted both the women’s and men’s national championships in 1998. 

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Although the KU football program has struggled in the last decade, Kansas Memorial Stadium has hosted its fair share of football history since it opened in 1921. To date, the Jayhawks have 12 bowl games on their resumé, with an even 6-6 record. Their biggest win was a 2008 Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. That year they also achieved their highest national ranking ever (#2) and finished the season at #7, the same spot that they finished in 1968.

KU has yet to win a Big-XII title and posted six Big-Eight titles between 1908-1968. The most famous player to come out of a Jayhawks’ huddle is Gale Sayers, who earned All-American honors in 1963 and 1964 and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Sayers played seven seasons for the Chicago Bears and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 at age 34. He is the youngest inductee in its history. 

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Blues Defeat Eclipse, 6-0

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 26, 2018) – On Thursday, Asheville City defeated the Lake Norman Eclipse at Memorial Stadium, 6-0, to remain undefeated in 2018. Earlier this month, the Blues topped Lake Norman on the road in Mooresville by a 4-0 margin.

Kendall Fischlein (pictured) opened the scoring for ACSC with a header off a feed from Tina Shimschock 19 minutes into the first half. 

Anna Sumpter followed with the Blues’ second goal six minutes later. A third goal followed from Lisa Marie-Woods to give the hosts a 3-0 lead at halftime. Parker Roberts, Megan McCallister, and Maddie Ramsey added second-half scores to seal the outcome.

Bryson Lee and Carrie Revlett split time in goal for ACSC to keep the Eclipse off the board for the shutout. The Blues are now 6-0-1 in the Carolinas Conference of the WPSL. Lake Norman fell to 3-3-1.

Asheville City returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts conference foe Oak City United (3-3-1) at 7:00 p.m. (photo  – Tom Flynn)

Photos: A Visit to Evansville’s Bosse Field



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Tom Hanks and Geena Davis starring in the 1992 film, “A League of Their Own” (photo – copyright Sony Home Entertainment)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (June 24, 2018) – Two of the three oldest baseball parks still in use professionally today are well-known – Boston’s Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago’s Wrigley Field (1914). Less famous but far more evocative of its distant past is Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana, the third oldest active park in the nation. Bosse is home to the Evansville Otters of the 12-team independent Frontier League.

Bosse Field

Bosse opened on June 17, 1915, as the new home of the Evansville River Rats of the Central League, a class “B” minor league circuit based primarily in Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio. Within a decade, it also served a short stint as an NFL venue when it hosted the Evansville Crimson Giants, who played there for the 1921 and 1922 seasons before folding.

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The Evansville Crimson Giants c. 1922 (photo – public domain)

Years later, Bosse had a prominent role in the 1992 film “A League of Their Own” as the home of the Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The interior of the park still has signage dating to the film, and adorning its exterior is a painting of actress Geena Davis, who starred in the movie and notably quipped afterward, “I’d rather play the baseball player than the girlfriend of the baseball player.”

The Otters have called Bosse home since they began play in 1995. They most recently won the Frontier League title in 2016. Josh Allen, a member of that team and the league’s MVP the same year, recently signed a contract with the New York Mets organization and was assigned to their AA-affiliate in Binghamton. The Frontier League, as with all independent baseball leagues, is unaffiliated with MLB but regularly sells the contracts of players to major league organizations. Allen originally made the Otters when he attended an open tryout for the team. (photos – Tom Flynn)

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Photos: Blues Take Win, Conference Lead

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CORNELIUS, N.C. (June 21, 2018) – The Asheville City Blues’ women’s side defeated the Carolina Rapids for a 5-1 road win on Sunday. For ACSC, the victory gives them the sole lead atop the WPSL’s Carolinas Conference with a 5-0-1 record. The Rapids were 5-0 coming into the contest.

Megan McAllister put ACSC ahead early, scoring the game’s first goal just two minutes into the contest.

The Blues return to Memorial Stadium tonight to face the Lake Norman Soccer Club Eclipse. ACSC previously defeated Lake Norman 4-0 on June 1.  The Eclipse also play in the Carolinas Conference and are 3-2-1 on the year. (photos – Shane Burke/ACSC).

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Photos: Asheville City Wins at Home, 2-1

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 14, 2018) – After dropping a 2-0 road decision to Knoxville’s Emerald Force FC on Saturday, Asheville City struck a return blow with a 2-1 home victory in a Thursday night rematch. 

Cameron Saul scored both goals for the Blues, and book-ended them around a sole goal by Emerald Force in the game’s 33rd minute. Saul’s second goal came just moments after Elon University’s Luke Matthews had a goal waved off following a handball call.

Keeper Bailey Spade earned the win in goal for the Blues.

The win puts Asheville City at 3-2-3 on the season, while Emerald Force is now 3-7 on the year. Both teams play within the Southeast Division of the National Premiere Soccer League’s (NPSL) Southeast Region Conference.

The Blues travel to Nashville this Saturday to face divisional foe Inter Nashville FC (3-3-1) at 7:00 p.m. (photos – Tom Flynn)

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ACSC Earns 1-1 Draw on Tuesday

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The Blues’ Sarah Jacobs in action against Beaufort FC on Tuesday evening. (photo – Shane Burke)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 14, 2018) – Asheville City remained undefeated on Tuesday night after a second-half goal from Brooke Bingham earned the Blues a 1-1 tie against visiting Beaufort FC.

Bingham’s goal came in the game’s 72nd minute, and answered an earlier score from Sha’Nya Stephens in the sixth minute of play. The goal by the visitors was the first allowed by ACSC at home this year, and just the second against the team in 2018. By contrast, the Blues have scored 21 times this season.

With the draw, ACSC remained undefeated on the season at 6-0-1, while Beaufort FC is now 2-1-2. The Blues return to the pitch, and the road, at noon on Sunday, June 17, to face the Women Premier Soccer League’s (WPSL) Carolina Rapids. The Rapids have a 5-0 mark this year following a 5-1 victory over Discoveries FC (Fort Mill, S.C.) on Sunday.

The Blues and Rapids are the only members of the WPSL’s Carolinas Conference without a loss this season.


The ACSC men’s side returns to play tonight at 7:00 p.m. against Emerald Force FC (Knoxville, Tenn.) at Asheville’s Memorial Stadium.


Photos: Greenville’s Fenway South


GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 12, 2018) – The Greenville Drive have a Green Monster in left field at their home park that’s modeled after its more famous namesake at Fenway Park. The wall at Fluor Field is 7′ shorter than its 37′ counterpart in Boston but is similar by design, as the Drive are the Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

The park opened on April 6, 2006, to serve as the home to the Drive, who played the 2005 season at Greenville’s Municipal Stadium after relocating to the city from Columbia, South Carolina. Fluor’s outfield dimensions mimic the asymmetrical confines of Fenway, and included in its structure are bricks salvaged from local mills, adding to the similarity of the two parks despite the 94-year difference in opening dates.

Upon arrival in the city, the franchise was dubbed the Greenville Bombers but changed to the Drive coinciding with the move to their new park in 2006. 

Greenville plays in the Southern Division of the  South Atlantic League (SAL) along with the Asheville Tourists. As of June 12, the Drive were 21-41 and are 4-3 against the Tourists in head-to-head competition. They host the Rome Braves (38-25) tonight at 7:05 p.m. (photos – Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)



Photos: Furman Finishes Out at NCAA Championships

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Freshman Kristlin Gear in the 3,000m Steeplechase on Thursday at historic Hayward Field. (photo – Furman Athletics)

EUGENE, Ore. (June 10, 2018) –  In Saturday’s 5,000m final at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, senior Allie Buchalski closed out her career with a first team All-America effort. Buchalski finished second overall in the event, the highest by any Paladin at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field this year, and with the finish earned the All-America designation.

Buchalski turned in a time of 15:42.77 and for the second straight year earned a spot on the first team. Last year, she finished sixth in the event.

Sophomore Savannah Carnahan finished 15th overall with a time of 15:57.42, good for second team All-America honors. Her effort helped the Paladin women’s team tie for 28th place at the meet.

Senior Frank Lara got the week off well for Furman, earning second team All-America honors on Wednesday in the 10,000m. He improved on a 19th place finish in 2017 to finish 15th this spring. 

On Thursday, Furman’s Gabrielle Jennings and freshman Kristlin Gear each earned honorable mention All-American recognition in the 3,000m Steeplechase. Jennings finished tenth in her heat and 20th overall, while Gear finished 12th in her heat and 24th overall in her first season at the collegiate level.

The top eight finishers in each event at the NCAA Championships earned first team All-American honors, with finishers nine through 16 earning second team All-American accolades.  Honorable mention All-American citations were awarded to athletes who finished in 17th through 24th place.

The visit by the five members of the team will be the last by any group of Paladins to the current Hayward Field as it is scheduled to be razed beginning in July. A new venue of the same name will be built on the site in advance of the 2021 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.

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