UM men defeat UVa., 1-0, to earn ACC tourney title
Midfielder Jeremy Hall scored less than three minutes into the final of the Atlantic Coast Conference men's soccer tournament, and that goal was all that second-seeded Maryland needed to defeat fourth-seeded Virginia, 1-0, yesterday in Cary, N.C., and secure an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Terps (18-3) pulled off their first title since 2002 and third overall by recording their third shutout of the tournament. They also extended their winning streak to 11. Casey Townsend drove down the near sideline and floated a pass leading Hall into the middle of the field for the close-range score 2:38 into the game. It was the 13th goal of the season and the second in the tournament for Hall, who was named the ACC tournament Most Valuable Player. Three other Maryland players were named to the all-tournament team: junior Omar Gonzalez and freshmen Zac MacMath and Townsend. Virginia, which also lost to Maryland in the 2002 ACC tournament final, fell to 11-8-1. The seedings for the NCAA tournament will be announced today.
Northeast Conference: : Tournament MVP Samson Malijani scored three goals and added an assist as Fairleigh Dickinson routed Mount St. Mary's, 7-2, in the men's final in West Long Branch, N.J., denying the Mountaineers (9-10-1) an automatic bid to the NCAAs. Mount St. Mary's, which was making its first NEC tournament trip since 1999, cut the deficit to 4-2 on Chris Wheeler's second goal with 3:33 left in the first half. But Malijani scored twice for the Knights (13-5-2) in the second half.
NCAA Division III tournament: : A shutout effort by goalkeeper Matt Mierley lifted the Johns Hopkins men's team to a 1-0 shootout victory over previously unbeaten and host York. The Blue Jays (12-5-4) prevailed, 4-3, on penalty kicks over the Spartans (18-0-2). ... The Johns Hopkins women's team advanced to the third round for the first time after defeating visiting Virginia Wesleyan, 1-0. It marked the first time the Blue Jays (18-0-4) defeated the Marlins (14-3-4) in three appearances, all coming in the NCAAs.
Terps beat Devils, 8-5, to reach national semis
Katie O'Donnell scored a goal and added four assists as host Maryland defeated Duke, 8-5, to advance to the NCAA semifinals for the eighth time in 10 years. The top-seeded Terps (20-2) rolled out to a 5-1 halftime lead and cruised from there over the eighth-seeded Blue Devils (15-6). The Terps will face either Michigan State or Iowa on Friday in Louisville, Ky. The Michigan State-Iowa game was suspended yesterday with a tie score because of snow and will resume today in the second half.
Hall, winner of 10 medals at Olympics, has retired
Ten-time Olympic medalist Gary Hall Jr. has officially retired from swimming and turned his attention to a new challenge: helping those with diabetes lead long, productive lives. Hall, who suffers from the disease, was expected to leave the sport after just missing out on making his fourth Olympic team this summer. Hall, 34, made it official in conjunction with World Diabetes Day, which was recognized on Friday. Like his father, Hall was a three-time Olympian who won two golds, two silver and one bronze in individual competition. He also captured three golds, one silver and one bronze as part of relay teams.
More swimming:: American Randall Bal set a world record in the 50-meter backstroke, one of three world records to fall on the final day of a short-course World Cup meet in Berlin. Paul Biedermann broke Ian Thorpe's 8-year-old record in the 200 freestyle by finishing in 1 minute, 40.83 seconds, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:41.10. Bal broke the 4-day-old record in the 50 backstroke with a time of 20.87, beating American Peter Marshall by 0.03. Marshall had set the record of 23.05 on Wednesday in Sweden. Marieke Guehrer set the third record, clocking 24.99 in the women's 50 butterfly. That was 0.32 faster than the mark set by Therese Alshammar on Wednesday.
Tennis: : Third-ranked Novak Djokovic won the ATP Masters Cup for the first time by defeating Russian Nikolay Davydenko, 6-1, 7-5, in the season-ending final in Shanghai, China. It's the Serb's first title since winning the Rome Masters in May, leaving him 10 points behind second-ranked Roger Federer in the rankings.
Golf: : Annika Sorenstam nearly holed her third shot on the par-5 18th, then lipped out an 8-foot birdie try to give Angela Stanford a one-stroke victory in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico. Sorenstam, making her second-to-last start before she leaves the LPGA Tour, holed out from a bunker for birdie on the par-3 16th to get to 12-under par - a stroke behind Stanford - but settled for pars on the final two holes. Stanford, the Bell Micro LPGA Classic winner in September, closed with a 3-under 69. Sorenstam also had a 69.
Cycling: : Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong plans to meet with Tour officials before deciding to compete in the 2009 race. The Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong's team director at Astana, said the pair had asked for a meeting. Armstrong announced his comeback from a three-year retirement in September and joined the Astana team. Bruyneel teamed with Armstrong for all seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005.
Baseball: : One week before trading slugger Manny Ramirez in late July, the Boston Red Sox were preparing to suspend him without pay for his unwillingness to play, ESPN.com reported, citing multiple sources. Ramirez had been complaining of a sore knee as the reason he did not play at time that month, although the slugger couldn't remember which one was hurt on the way to an exam during that period, sources told the Web site. The extraordinary measure of suspension was not taken because the Red Sox traded Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, ESPN.com reported. ... The New York Yankees hope that starting pitcher and former Oriole Mike Mussina will decide in the next few days whether he wants to pitch in 2009 or retire. Also, the Yankees have reached an agreement in principle to sell right-hander Darrell Rasner's contract to a Japanese team for $1 million.
Hockey: : Devin Setoguchi's power-play goal with 4:15 left gave the San Jose Sharks a 6-5 victory over Chicago, the Blackhawks' first home loss in regulation this season. The Sharks improved to 9-1-1 in their past 11 games. ... The Philadelphia Flyers broke the visiting Atlanta Thrashers' five-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory. ... Darryl Sydor returned to the Dallas Stars in a trade of veteran defensemen that sent Philippe Boucher to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Skiing: : Bode Miller was edged by France's Jean-Baptiste Grange in the slalom opener by 0.79 of a second, finishing second in 1 minute, 45.28 seconds, in Levi, Finland. It was Miller's best slalom finish since a victory four years ago in Sestriere, Italy.
From Sun staff and news services