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Today's Sports

  • Peng pulls off another U.S. Open...

    NEW YORK (AP) — Peng Shuai beat another seeded player at the U.S. Open to reach her second straight Grand Slam round of 16.

    Two days after upsetting fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, Peng defeated 28th-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3 on Friday. The Chinese veteran had gone two years without making it past the second round at a major tournament before her Wimbledon run this summer. But she didn't meet any seeded players in the first three rounds there before losing to eventual champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets.

    This time, Peng, ranked 39th, will face 14th-seeded Lucie Safarova or 22nd-seeded Alize Cornet to try to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

    Ninth-seeded Jelena Jankovic also advanced by routing Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-0. The 96th-ranked Larsson had upset Sloane Stephens in the second round.

    The 31-year-old Vinci had made the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open the last two years but lost in the opening round at the first three major tournaments of 2014.

    With third-ranked Li Na sidelined by a knee injury, Peng's success is giving the fans in China something to cheer.

    On the men's side, 20th-seeded Gael Monfils beat Alejandro Gonzalez 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

  • Hilltoppers have a lot to prove

    There is no shortage of things to prove for the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team heading into the 2014 season.
    Los Alamos will have a new, solid district opponent this season, a revamped backfield and, most notably, a new signal-caller heading into the opener.
    The Hilltoppers open their season Friday night when they take on the Pojoaque Valley Elks at 7 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
    Along with all the issues so far, Los Alamos’ turnout for the opening day of football practice was skimpy. The number has improved over the course of the preseason — there are now 30 players on the team’s regular roster.
    Hilltopper head coach Garett Williams said that while it’s not a huge group, it’s one with some experience coming back, particularly at the line of scrimmage. Offensive line fixtures Jonathan Schueler, John Dermer and Zack Sturgeon should help make the transition on offense go a little more smoothly.
    Los Alamos features 17 seniors heading into the opener, almost all of which have played regularly at one time during their Hilltopper careers.

  • Sharapova survives after losing...

    NEW YORK (AP) — A year ago at this time, Maria Sharapova was sitting out the U.S. Open, getting checked by doctors and having tests on the surgically repaired right shoulder that has troubled her off and on.
    On Wednesday, Sharapova found herself down by a set and facing a break point early in the second at Flushing Meadows, bothered by the whipping wind, her own off-target strokes and an opponent who wasn’t backing down.
    As dusk fell and the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights came on, Sharapova came through the way she so often does in the crucible of a third set, beating 95th-ranked Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the tournament.
    Sharapova won in part because of her big shots, yes, but also because she had more in the tank when it mattered.
    “Overall I felt like in the end I was in much better shape than she was, and I could have played another few sets,” Sharapova said. “Mentally that helped me a lot.”
    It helped that Dulgheru had played one set over the past five weeks because of inflammation in her right wrist, which was operated on in May 2013 and flared up recently.
    Dulgheru, though, pointed to Sharapova’s grit as a key factor, too.

  • LA to meet Goddard in opening...

    There’s been a change of plans for the opening round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    The Cernicek Invitational tournament is one of the big early-season tournaments around the state and his hosted annually by the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team.
    Due to some logistical challenges — five of the eight teams in this year’s field are traveling a long way to attend — the Goddard Rockets will be the first team up for the Hilltoppers Friday morning. Originally, the Hilltoppers were scheduled to face the Santa Fe Prep Blue Griffins to open the tournament.
    Games this year will be played at both Sullivan Field and at Los Alamos Middle School.
    The Hilltopper-Rocket contest will be a rematch of their first round Cernicek game in 2013. That game went right down to the wire before Los Alamos prevailed.
    “That game went into PKs (penalty kicks),” Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. “I’m going to remind the boys about that. That game should’ve never gone into PKs.”
    After that tough contest, which Goddard led 2-1 until the final two minutes of regulation, Los Alamos topped Clovis in the semifinal round before getting hammered 6-2 in the championship game against Roswell.

  • Sports Briefs 08-27-14

    Gattiker is top predictor at Pace Race

    Katie Gattiker was the top predictor in this week’s Pace Race.
    The Pace Race, hosted by the Atomic City Roadrunners, was Tuesday night. It was held on the trail behind the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    Gattiker earned the win with her prediction error of just five seconds. That prediction beat Jessica Baumgaertel, who was second with a 48-second differential and Jackie Marr, who was off by 92 seconds.
    Marr was the top female finisher on the 1-mile paved course with her time of 14 minutes, 6 seconds. Diego Leonard, who is 4 years old, finished with a time of 12:29 on the paved course.
    On the 3-mile paved course, Nikol Strother was the fastest finisher (19:57). Ted Romero had the top finish on the 3.4-mile trail course and Bob Weeks was the fastest finisher on the 1-mile paved course (16:17).
    The next Pace Race will be Tuesday. The race will start at the Estante Way Trailhead in White Rock.
    For more information, call 672-1639 or visit the club’s website, atomicrunners.com.

    Isotopes drop another contest

  • 'Toppers fall to Bobcats in...

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team earned a late goal from its top player to force overtime against the Bosque School Bobcats in its home opener Tuesday.
    Unfortunately, the Bobcats pounced in overtime to spoil the Hilltoppers home debut.
    After a relatively uneventful first half, Bosque scored early in the second half to take a 1-0 lead, then with about 15 minutes left in regulation, added a go-ahead goal which appeared like it would hold up.
    However, with just seconds left in regulation, Los Alamos’ top scorer, Catie McDonald, scored off a direct kick chance from the right side of the goal to tie the score at 2 and force overtime.
    In overtime, Bosque returned the favor, scoring from 25 yards out on a direct kick to earn the victory.
    Despite his team slipping to 0-2 on the young season, Los Alamos head coach AJ Herrera said he likes most of what he’s seen so far.
    “We felt like we dominated,” he said. “But right now we have to tighten up some loose ends.”

  • LA drops season opener to Bosque

    In time, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team may turn some heads. But the 2014 season opener was not one of those times.
    Los Alamos dropped its season opener at Sullivan Field Tuesday to the Bosque School Bobcats. The Bobcats, a very tough program, picked up a goal in each half and, after an initial offensive push by the Hilltoppers, limited the home team’s chances in a 2-0 victory.
    There was nothing alarming about Tuesday’s loss, Hilltopper head coach Evan Gartz said, but there wasn’t much that impressed him, either.
    “It was an OK game,” he said. “Their goals were mistakes of ours. Those were things that are correctable, which is nice.”
    Gartz said a defensive breakdown led to the first Bobcat goal, something which is inclined to happen to teams early in the season. The second goal, however, was a little less acceptable.
    In the second half, Bosque was awarded a corner kick. The kick sailed over the heads of three Hilltopper players and to the far post, where it was knocked in.
    Los Alamos had a notable height advantage over the Bobcats (2-0), but the Bobcats were consistently beating the Hilltoppers to balls in the air, something that displeased Gartz.

  • 'Topes continue their...

    The Albuquerque Isotopes continued their limp to the finish of the 2014 season Monday with a loss in the second game of their series against Oklahoma City.
    The Isotopes were shut out against Oklahoma City’s RedHawks 3-0. A quartet of RedHawks pitchers combined to hold the Isotopes to six hits for the game.
    Albuquerque’s Matt Magill (7-6) and Bruce Billings, the only two pitchers to make appearances for the team Monday, also allowed just six combined hits. But Oklahoma City scored twice in the bottom of the eighth on a walk to force in a run and a sacrifice fly.
    Magill allowed just one earned run in 5-2/3 innings.
    With Monday’s loss, the Isotopes (59-77) have dropped three straight contests and four of their last five. For the month of August, they are 6-18.
    The Isotopes will play their final two road games of the season today and Wednesday.
    Thursday, Albuquerque will return home for the final three games of its season. It will face the Las Vegas 51s Thursday, Friday and Sunday to close out the year.
    The 51s have already already clinched the Pacific Southern division’s championship and will advance to the 2014 PCL playoffs.

    Pederson joins exclusive club

  • LA drops decision to Scorps

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team dropped its first game of the season Saturday afternoon to the Farmington Scorpions.
    Los Alamos fell 4-3 to the Scorpions in Farmington. Farmington (1-0) scored three goals in the second half to Los Alamos’ two to take the victory.
    The Hilltoppers (0-1) won’t have much time for a turnaround, either, as they were scheduled to play a tough team in the Bosque School Bobcats this afternoon at home.
    Saturday, Los Alamos’ top offensive threat, Catie McDonald, got her season off to a fast start with a hat trick. She scored all three of the Hilltoppers’ goals, two of them assisted.
    Abby Schmalz and Charlotte Leonard earned the assists on two of the goals.
    Saturday was also the first start in the career of eighth grade goalkeeper Anna Lemke. Lemke, who earned the starting job during the preseason, played all 80 minutes for Los Alamos and made five stops.
    Today’s game will be the season opener for Bosque School.
    The Bobcats were 11-10 last season and advanced to the second round of the Class A-3A playoffs.
    Like Los Alamos this season, Bosque is a young team.
    It features just two seniors and three juniors on its 2014 roster.
    Following today’s game, the Hilltoppers will be on the road again to face Moriarty Thursday. 

  • Lobo soccer issues hazing apology

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — University of New Mexico women’s soccer team has apologized for a hazing case that sent two players to the hospital for alcohol intoxication.
    The team said Monday in a statement that players are sorry for disappointing the school and the city of Albuquerque, and will try to use the embarrassment as a learning opportunity.
    Last week, the University of New Mexico suspended women’s soccer coach Kit Vela for a week without pay and suspended 22 players for one game over the hazing episode.
    Athletic director Paul Krebs said assistant coaches Jorge Vela and Krista Foo also will receive letters of reprimand.
    School officials say last week’s hazing involved seven true freshmen and two were taken to the hospital.