After having its NCAA-record winning streak snapped against Stanford earlier this month, the second-ranked women’s water polo team fell for the second time in three games on Saturday, losing to No. 1 UCLA 11-7 in Westwood. The top-two clash began in predictably neck-and-neck fashion. The Bruins struck first thanks to Maddie Musselman, but USC struck back within minutes. Set up with a six-on-five advantage, freshman driver Denise Mammolito cannoned a shot off the crossbar before junior utility Hayley McKelvey pounced on the rebound to tie the game.UCLA pulled ahead once more with 30 seconds left in the first quarter, but the Trojans responded promptly again with a goal from senior driver Stephania Haralabidis.It appeared the back-and-forth would continue throughout the game, but the Bruins then scored four unanswered goals to put USC in a 6-2 hole at the half. Alexa Tielmann added UCLA’s seventh less than a minute into the third quarter to extend the lead even further before senior 2-meter Brigitta Games ended the Trojan drought with her first goal of the game.Games’ effort would kick off a streak of three unanswered USC goals. Haralabidis added her second of the game after the Trojans killed ashorthanded six-on-five, and freshman utility Maud Megens pulled her team within two with three minutes left in the third quarter. It was as close as USC would come, however, as UCLA responded with a goal of its own just 20 seconds later. The Bruins then converted a power play to extend their lead back to four scores. The Trojans narrowed the margin to two in the final period thanks to second goals from Megens and Games, but the comeback bid ultimately fell short. USC was unable to cash in on twosix-on-five opportunities in the fourth quarter while the Bruins padded their lead en route to the 11-7 victory. USC had won three in a row against the Bruins before the weekend, but the Trojans’ first defeat to their archrivals since 2015 locked UCLA into the top seed and a first-round bye at this week’s MPSF Tournament, which the Bruins will also host at the Spieker Aquatics Center. USC will enter the bracket on Friday as the third seed, taking onsixth-seeded San Jose State at 12:45 p.m.
Team captain, Jebor (left) and Russian-based Nimley at the SKD during Liberia vs DR Congo game on September 9.(Image: Anthony Kokoi) With 10 days left for the Lone Star’s next game against Congo Brazzaville in Group G of the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, head coach Thomas Kojo has named a 20-man squad that will travel to Brazzaville, Congo, for the encounter.The 20-man squad, headed by team captain William Jebor, comprises 13 foreign-based players and seven local players. Both Lone Star and the Red Devils of Congo Brazzaville will be hoping to secure their first win after collecting a single point from their first two games.The first leg between the two teams is October 11 at the Stade Alphonse Massemba Debat in Brazzaville, before the return leg in Monrovia on October 16 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex.Terrence Tisdell and Mohammed Sangare, who missed out on the DR Congo game on September 9, because of work permit issues, are among the 13 foreign-based players Coach Kojo has invited.South Korean-based Sekou Konneh was the only foreign-based player dropped from Coach Kojo’s previous list of players for the DR Congo game.According to the LFA, the foreign-based players’ invitations were sent to their clubs weeks ago and received a positive response.On September 25, Russian club Spartak Moscow confirmed via their website that forward Sylvanus Nimely had been invited by his national team from October 7-17.The invited players include Anthony Snoti Laffor, Boison Wynney de Souza, Joel Johnson, Adolphus Marshall, Murphy Dorley, Sam Johnson, Kpah Sherman, Sylvanus Nimely, Tonia Tisdell, Terrence Tisdell, Allen Njie, and expected debutant Mohammed Sangare.Local players include goalkeepers Ashley Williams and Tommy Songo, Kemoh Kamara, Teah Dennis, Alvin Maccornel, Aloysius Simujla, and Saah Nyumah.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic could be on his way to Manchester United this week.ESPN FC says the current Europa League winners are desperate to wrap up a deal quickly before they fly to the United States on July 9 for the start of their pre-season preparations.Matic has emerged as Jose Mourinho’s key defensive midfield target, and could bring him to Old Trafford in a deal worth around £40million.After seeing his chances of bringing Tottenham man Eric Dier to the Red Devils dwindle after being quoted £50 million, Mourinho is now turning to the Serb.He was re-signed by the 54-year-old for £21 million in January 2014 from Benfica and has since went on to win two Premier League titles with the Blues.