Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
May 10, 2022 - Major Arena Soccer League (MASL)
This past week the North Carolina Courage won its first National Women's Soccer League Challenge Cup Championship; the Peoria Riverman won its first Southern Professional Hockey League President's Cup Championship; and the San Diego Sockers won back-to-back Major Arena Soccer League Ron Newman Cup Championships. Highlights from this week come from the National Women's Soccer League, USL Championship, Southern Professional Hockey League, American Hockey League, North American Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, United States Hockey League, XFL, Canadian Football League, Indoor Football League, Fan Controlled Football, National Lacrosse League, Premier Lacrosse League, Women's National Basketball Association, NBA G League, NBL Canada and Major League Rugby.
National Women's Soccer League
The North Carolina Courage won the NWSL Challenge Cup Championship with a 2-1 victory against the Washington Spirit at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday. The game was televised nationally on CBS. "The game was a battle; it was about competing," said North Carolina Courage Sean Nahas. "One thing we talked about was finding ways not not lose but to win and I told the team that it was a cumulation of learning from our previous games. I couldn't be more proud of our team."
Here are the highlights
NJ/NY Gotham FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced that Thirty Five Ventures (35V), co-founded by two-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant and entrepreneur Rich Kleiman have joined as minority investors of the club. Since March, 35V has been the third group of investors to take a stake in the franchise, joining fellow minority owners Kristin Bernert and Karen Bryant in March and Carli Lloyd in April.
Major Arena Soccer League
The San Diego Sockers are back-to-back champions of the Major Arena Soccer League. With a 4-3 victory over the Florida Tropics on Sunday Night in front of a crowd of 3,105 at Pechanga Arena, the Sockers secured their second straight Ron Newman Cup championship and the sixteenth title in franchise history. "It's a great feeling," said team captain Kraig Chiles, who scored the game-winning goal, appropriately at 6:19 of the third quarter. The San Diego native had a team-leading eight goals in the playoffs earning Finals MVP honors, including the curving strike that put the Sockers ahead for good at 4-3.
United Soccer League Championship
The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 8 of the 2022 regular season with Birmingham Legion FC midfielder Prosper Kasim voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball as he scored both goals in Legion FC's 2-1 victory against the Charleston Battery last Wednesday night at Protective Stadium.
Southern Professional Hockey League
It was a storybook ending. The Peoria Rivermen rallied from two goals down to defeat the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs 3-2 in overtime to clinch their first-ever President's Cup at the Berglund Center. Goaltender Jack Berry, who made 31 saves, was named playoff MVP. The Rivermen finish their historic 40th season making more history and leaving a legacy that will echo for ages. A storybook ending indeed.
Peoria Rivermen return home with first SPHL championship. Their first championship in 22 years.
SPHL champs paraded through downtown Peoria
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League announced that Dustin Wolf of the Stockton Heat is the winner of the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL's outstanding goaltender for the 2021-22 season. Named to the AHL All-Rookie team and the AHL First All-Star team last week, Wolf finished his first pro season with a record of 33-9-4 and ranked among the league's leaders in wins (first), minutes played (2,809 - second), saves (1,341 - second), save percentage (.924 - fourth) and goals-against average (2.35 - eighth).
Rochester Americans win overtime thriller, secure first playoff series since 2005
The ECHL announced that the 2022-23 season will begin with eight games on Friday, Oct. 21, continues with 13 games on Saturday, Oct. 22 with Opening Weekend concluding with six games on Sunday, Oct. 23. Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 28 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces playing 1,008 games from Oct. 21, 2022 to April 16, 2023.
North American Hockey League
Plays of the Week
Western Hockey League
WHL Top 10 Plays of Round One
Ontario Hockey League
OHL Playoffs round one recap
United States Hockey League
Dubuque Fighting Saints head coach Greg Brown has accepted the position of head coach of the Boston College Eagles. He will take over for his longtime mentor, Jerry York, who announced his retirement from BC on April 19, 2022, after 28 seasons at the helm at The Heights. Brown led the Fighting Saints to a 40-16-6 record in his sole season as bench boss in Dubuque. That record earned the Fighting Saints an eleventh consecutive playoff berth. Those 40 wins stood as the second-most victories in a single season in the Saints' Tier I era, behind the 2012-13 season's 45.
Premier Hockey Federation
The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) announced that commissioner Reagan Carey has appointed Melody Davidson to the role of Director, League and Hockey Operations. Davidson is a pioneer within the sport and widely regarded as the most important figure in Canadian women's hockey history with a legendary career at Hockey Canada that spanned 26 years with roles in almost every major international triumph for Canada's National Women's Team. Her experience and passion for the game will be applied to a new position for the betterment of the PHF.
United States Football League
Check out the top ten USFL plays from Week 4, including Michigan Panthers' Reggie Corbin, Tampa Bay Bandits' Jordan Ta'amu, and appearances from the New Jersey Generals and Philadelphia Stars' Case Cookus.
Vinny Papale of the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits reflects on his relationship with his father, former NFL player, Vincent Papale, and how he pushes and supports him in the game of football.
The XFL announced it will host a series of player showcases across the United States in June and July. In partnership with American National Combines ("ANC"), these showcases will give prospective football players a chance to exhibit their skills in front of XFL coaches and personnel directors. Players will be evaluated based on performance for inclusion in the XFL Draft player pool for the upcoming 2023 season. "We are excited to kick off this showcase series and begin opening more doors for aspiring football players across the entire country,"' said Dany Garcia, Chairwoman and Owner. "Our intentional showcase locations, such as Jackson State, one of the largest HBCUs in the country, and our Hawai'i Showcase in Honolulu, are direct reflections of our XFL core values of diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. As an organization and league we will continue to push the boundaries and unlock new opportunities to advance the game of football."'
XFL Showcases Announced!
The XFL announced that Erica Muhleman has joined the League as Senior Vice President, Team Services. Muhleman will serve as a liaison between the League's business operations departments "" ticketing, communications, marketing and content "" and all eight teams to implement best business practices and create synergistic opportunities, while also curating to each of the markets' unique demands. She will report to Janet Duch, Chief Marketing and Content Officer.
Canadian Football League
The Canadian Football League (CFL) is proud to welcome Tyrell Richards as the first overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft. The Montreal Alouettes traded up to select the Syracuse linebacker and Brampton, Ont., product.
The Edmonton Elks have inked former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, the Club announced. Jones' signing by the Green and Gold was accompanied by the >transfer of former Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett to the retired list.Jones was originally a fourth-round selection (139th overall) by the Buffalo Bills in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jones had a short stint on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before landing with the XFL's DC Defenders in 2020, throwing for 674 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions in five games.
It was a forgettable season in 2021, but a complete overhaul in the front office and on the roster has re-inspired those in Edmonton. Can the return of Chris Jones bring the swagger back to the Elks? Marshall Ferguson breaks it down in his first team preview of 2022, stay tuned for more!
Indoor Football League
The Indoor Football League is excited to announce a three-year partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights and Dollar Loan Center to host the IFL National Championship game in Henderson, NV for the 2022-2024 seasons. This season's event will take place August 13 at The Dollar Loan Center, the new 5,567-seat arena just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip that is home to the IFL's Vegas Knight Hawks. The event formerly known as The United Bowl will be rebranded as The Dollar Loan Center IFL National Championship.
The road to The Dollar Loan Center IFL National Championship starts now.
Fan Controlled Football
The Not Top 5 of Week 3
National Lacrosse League
The Top 10 plays from April, presented by Gait Lacrosse
Premier Lacrosse League
ESPN announced the television and streaming schedule for the 2022 Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) powered by Ticketmaster season, featuring coverage of 47 games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+. The 2022 Premier Lacrosse League season schedule will include 12 games on ESPN linear platforms - ABC (3), ESPN (3), and ESPN2 (6) - with all 47 games, the most in PLL history, to be streamed live on ESPN+.
Scott Ratliff is one of the most skilled and creative long stick midfielders at lacrosse's highest level. However, accomplishing his life long dream to be a professional athlete would prove to be the foundation for another idea to form. Driven to fill a creative void within himself, Scott has embarked into poetry to discover how creative writing can unlock a greater mental approach to lacrosse and his life.
Women's National Basketball Association
Destanni Henderson, the 20th overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft, drops team-high 19 points to go along with 3 assists for the Indiana Fever.
The Aces starting five all score in double digits to lead Las Vegas past Seattle. A'ja Wilson: 20 PTS, 15 REB, 5 BLK - Dearica Hamby: 10 PTS, 19 REB - Jackie Young: 19 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST - Kelsey Plum: 18 PTS, 7 AST - Chelsea Gray: 12 PTS, 4 AST
NBA G League
The Wisconsin Herd, the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, was recognized with the inaugural 2021-22 NBA G League President's Choice Award. Herd Team President Steve Brandes was also recognized as 2021-22 NBA G League Team Executive of the Year. "The entire Herd organization and I are honored to receive this award," said Steve Brandes. "This year was challenging after not playing last year and battling many variables due to the pandemic. I am proud of our team for all their hard work and effort to make this season successful."
South Bay Lakers Top 10 Plays of the 2021-22 Season
Westchester Knicks Top 10 Plays of the 2021-22 Season
Oklahoma City Blue's Top 10 Plays of 2021-22 Season
A Recap of NBL Canada's Historic All-Star Weekend Event, featuring TBL
A Recap of NBL Canada's All-Star Game
Major League Rugby
Damian Stevens of NOLA Gold Rugby earned his second Rhino Rugby USA Try of the Week for an impressive effort down the pitch for the try!
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Major League Rugby has been running a month-long campaign - MLR Mental Fitness.
Did we miss anything newsworthy or downright fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.
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Major Arena Soccer League Stories from May 10, 2022
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.