Out of the Park: Finding a remedy in my favorite USC sports moments of the last year

first_imgDespite my disappointment in the abrupt ending to USC’s spring sports, I find comfort in reminiscing on these memorable moments. Reflecting on some of USC’s craziest contests in recent years has me even more excited for the return of NCAA competition, whenever that may be. UCLA entered the game undefeated and sat at No. 7 in the nation. USC entered the game 0-5 in Pac-12 play. Although it looked to be a lopsided matchup, I figured a rivalry battle in front of packed student sections from both schools could lead to a close game. That being said, I definitely did not expect that the Trojans would scrape by the Bruins in double overtime. It looked like USC would handily put away yet another opponent as it carried a 9-5 lead heading into the final frame. However, UCLA wasn’t done yet — the Bruins scored 3 unanswered goals to put USC on edge for an exciting last few minutes. Spieker Aquatics Center was packed, and the UCLA-dominated crowd did everything in its power to push its team toward an equalizer. But the Trojans held on to secure a 9-8 victory and earn the No. 2 seed in the 2019 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. Jan. 17, 2020 Amanda Sturges is a sophomore writing about the impact of sports. She is also a features editor for the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Out of the Park,” typically runs every other Tuesday. The Trojans didn’t know at the time that it would be their last game of the season, but Mathews couldn’t have picked a better way to go out. It was a storybook ending that USC men’s basketball fans are unlikely to forget anytime soon. The stakes were high — UCLA entered with a seven-game win streak, but USC needed a victory to boost its chances of securing a higher seed in March Madness. The game was tight throughout, but it looked like the Bruins had the final word as they led the Trojans 52-51 with nine seconds left on the clock. There was a lot of sighing going on in the press box this past football season, especially as USC’s defense failed to hold up when it mattered time and time again. As the Trojans surged to a 28-7 lead over Arizona State in the first quarter, no one could have guessed that this lead would nearly evaporate by the end of the game. In the first quarter, freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis shattered the school record for passing yards in a quarter with 297. He also added four passing touchdowns, including a 95-yard connection with sophomore receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Trojans looked like a new team after getting annihilated by Oregon at home the previous weekend. Women’s basketball vs. UCLA  I never would have guessed that just three days later, my time covering basketball in Las Vegas would be cut short as the NCAA canceled the Pac-12 Tournament on March 12. In the days before students were displaced from USC’s campus due to the threat of coronavirus, I attended a USC basketball game, a Los Angeles Wildcats game and a Los Angeles Kings game. At each of these events, the impact of coronavirus seemed far away — I didn’t see a single person wearing a protective mask. The game heated up in the third quarter as UCLA outscored USC 24-13, narrowing the Trojans’ once-commanding lead to just 2 points. The back-and-forth battle in the fourth quarter and beyond was electric on and off the court, as the USC student section tried to help the Trojans regain their momentum by outcheering UCLA’s spirit squad. It was nearly impossible to pick just one game from a 2019-20 men’s basketball season that included so many nail biters. After the Trojans made a nearly impossible comeback to defeat Stanford in overtime Jan. 17, I tweeted that it was “the craziest game I’ve covered hands down.” That title stood until I witnessed USC’s final game of the season against UCLA. USC rose to the challenge, ending the first half with a 12-0 run to lead UCLA by 13 going into the third quarter. I was in the student section, and while we were all excited about the apparent upset in progress, some of my peers who are less interested in sports wanted to leave the game early because it was turning into a blowout. Football vs. Arizona Statecenter_img It looked as though the Sun Devils could put the game away as they drove past midfield with under a minute left. But sighs of despair turned to sighs of relief from Trojan fans in the press box as redshirt senior defensive lineman Christian Rector came away with a diving interception to secure a 31-26 victory and, just barely, the Trojans’ bowl eligibility. This game will certainly be remembered for its roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. I’ll be honest, as fun as the women’s water polo team is to watch, you can usually expect USC to destroy its opponents. That’s why I look forward to the crosstown rivalry games with UCLA so much. Although I was a bit irritable after navigating public transportation to Westwood for the first time, it was difficult not to smile at the outcome of this game. Here are a few of those. USC finally came away with the hard-fought win — its first Pac-12 victory of the year — and I’ll never forget the joy of a young team which had just proved it could contend with anyone. In front of the sold-out crowd in his last game at Galen Center, senior guard Jonah Mathews nailed a stepback 3-pointer with only one second remaining to seal the Trojans’ victory. The team was so excited about the basket that they nearly forgot to defend UCLA’s final shot, and the cheering from the home crowd left my ears ringing. Nov. 9, 2019 But it seemed all of this was too good to be true. A 62-yard touchdown by ASU kickstarted the Sun Devils’ momentum in the second quarter. We shook our heads in disbelief as the Trojans failed to capitalize on a forced fumble and again on an interception. And as if it couldn’t get any worse, Slovis left the game with a calf cramp in the third quarter, so the Trojans were depending on redshirt junior Matt Fink to take the snaps until the freshman returned in the fourth. April 20, 2019 Women’s water polo vs. UCLA I convinced them to stay for the second half, and boy, I’m glad I did. The 2019 Trojan squad was littered with new and old stars, including two Cutino Award finalists in then-senior goalie Amanda Longan and then-sophomore driver Paige Hauschild. Longan ended the game with 12 huge saves, while Hauschild put up a clutch 4-goal performance. Now that it’s been a month since that fateful day in Vegas, I’ve been doing some reminiscing on some of the craziest, most memorable games I’ve attended since coming to USC in August 2018. It looked like the Trojans would emerge victorious after the first overtime, but a buzzer-beater from UCLA redshirt junior guard Natalie Chou sent the game into double overtime. Men’s basketball vs. UCLA March 7, 2020last_img read more

All the coaches who have managed Tottenham Hotspur in the 21st century

first_imgThere is a new boss in North London as Jose Mourinho makes a return to football coaching duty after being named the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspurs.After five years in charge of Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino was shown the exit door for failing to deliver trophies and a poor start to the season, just five months after taking the club to its first UEFA Champions League finals.Despite losing to Liverpool in Madrid by a lone goal, the incredible story of their Champions League campaign and a first-ever final will forever be remembered.Now the love story between Argentine and the club is over and former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho has been appointed as manager until 2023.But, how many permanent managers have Tottenham Hotspur appointed for the first team since the start of the 21st century?While some appointments were on a short-term basis, many others were given permanent deals but could not stand the test of time at the club.Here is the list of coaches Spurs have had in the 21st centuryGlenn Hoddle (2001-2003)Hoddle was named Spurs’ manager in March 2001, taking over from John Graham. He lasted just two years at the club.PIC ALAN WALTER 220202TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR V SUNDERLAND FA PremiershipSpurs manager GLENN HODDLEHe took the club to the League Cup final, where they lost to Blackburn Rovers. In his stint at the club, he guided Tottenham to ninth and tenth place finishes respectively.Jacques Santini (2004-2004)The Frenchman’s reign is perhaps the shortest in the history of the club.Santini after 13 years resigned from the post due to personal problems. However, after his departure, it was widely reported that he left because of a series of disagreements with the then Sporting Director, Frank Arnesen.Speaking in 2005, Santini said he quit partly because he felt agreements with the club were broken, but he admitted he “dug his own grave” by agreeing to join the club before the end of Euro 2004.Martin Jol (2004-2007)After the resignation of Jacques Santini, Martin Jol, his assistant was named as his successor on November 8, 2004.He led Spurs to ninth position after taking over the club.In the summer of the 2005/2006 season, he signed a new three-year contract.He led the team to its highest finish since 1990, fifth.The club board sacked Martin Jol on 25th October, 2008 after Spurs’ 2-1 defeat to Getafe in the UEFA Cup.Juande Ramos (2007-2008)Spanish international, Juande Ramos took over from Martin Jol.He helped the club to its first trophy since 1999 after beating London rivals, Chelsea in the League Cup.After a poor start to the 2008-2009 season where he won just two points in eight matches, he was dismissed together with his assistant, Gus Poyet on October 25, 2008.Harry Redknapp (2008-2012)Harry Redknapp immediately replaced Juande Ramos at the club. He led the club to their second-highest finish in three years.On June 13, 2012, he was dismissed after failing to agree to new terms with the club over a pending contract.André Villas-Boas (2012-2013)André Villas-Boas was named the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur on 3 July 2012, taking over from Harry Redknapp.He helped the club accrue its highest points after earning 72 points.After a series of poor results in the Premier League including a 6-0 loss to Manchester City and a 5-0 defeat to Liverpool, he left his position as the manager.He left the club on December 16, 2013.Tim Sherwood (2013-2014)Tim Alan Sherwood assumed first-team duties on 16th December 2013, replacing Villas-Boas.A week later, he was given a permanent 18 months.Sherwood achieved a sixth-place finish in the league with Spurs with a total of 69 league points. He was, however, sacked by Chairman Daniel Levy on 13 May 2014.Mauricio Pochettino (2014-2019)On 27 May 2014, Pochettino was appointed head coach of Tottenham Hotspur on a five-year contract, replacing Tim Sherwood.He took the club to another League Cup finals in January 2015 but lost to Chelsea by 2-0.On 12 May 2016, Pochettino agreed to a contract extension.He had guided Spurs to their first Champions League final five months ago.Despite turning Tottenham into a consistent top-four team in the Premier League and a title contender, Pochettino has been criticized for failing to win any silverware in his time at the club.Jose Mourinho (2019-?)last_img read more

Didi Dramani rues missed chances as Kotoko held

first_imgMas-Ud Didi Dramani is now concerned about Asante Kotoko’s ruthlessness at the other end after a frustrating 0-0 draw with Hearts of Oak on Sunday.The Glo Premier League champions dominated possession after a slow start at the Baba Yara Stadium but failed to convert clear-cut chances as they wasted the opportunity to join the top-four of the table.Kofi Nti Boakye, Michael Helegbe, Ben Acheampong, Michael Akuffu and Daniel Nii Adjei all missed opportunities for Kotoko although the visitors were fortunate to survive, courtesy a solid performance from goalkeeper Tetteh Lugard.The Porcupine Warriors are still the only side unbeaten after seven matches in the Premier League but they are nowhere near the scoring form that helped them to the title last season.“Matches involving Kotoko and Hearts of Oak has always been difficult. It was a very good and tactical game. We failed to take the opportunities we created,” Didi Dramani, whose side sit sixth on the standings said.However the Kotoko coach is content with a point after the visitors who were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Alhassan Ali with ten minutes of play remaining had an effort from a Laryea Kingston freekick cleared off the line in the first half. “But the result is good. I wanted a win against Hearts [of Oak] but in a league, getting a draw in a game like this is good.”Asante Kotoko travel to the Tema Stadium to play Tema Youth on Sunday.last_img read more