US tops Japan to take Olympic women's soccer gold

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US tops Japan to take Olympic women's soccer gold

WEMBLEY, England (AP) -- Hope Solo found herself enveloped in a group hug at the final whistle. Abby Wambach ran to join the fun in a celebration that unleashed a year of bottled-up frustration. The U.S. women's soccer team won its third straight Olympic gold medal Thursday, beating Japan 2-1 in a rematch of last year's World Cup final and avenging the most painful loss in its history. Carli Lloyd scored early in both halves, Solo leaped and dived to make saves, and the entire roster found the redemption it had been seeking since that penalty kick shootout loss in Germany last summer. Before 80,203 at Wembley Stadium, a record crowd for a women's soccer game at the Olympics, the teams put on a back-and-forth, don't-turn-your-head soccer showcase, proving again that these are the two premier teams in the world. Women's soccer is still in its formative stages in Britain, but the match proved more than worthy for the hallowed grounds of the beautiful game. And the Japanese perhaps played just as beautifully as the Americans, using their speed and discipline to dominate possession and scoring chances for long stretches before finally cutting a 2-0 deficit in half with about a half-hour to go. Back home, America was paying attention -- just as it was last year and despite the rest of the Olympic events. Even President Barack Obama, during a campaign speech at Colorado College during the second half of the game, noted that, "The women are doing pretty good right now in soccer." Lloyd's goals came in eighth and 54th minutes, making it four goals in the tournament for the midfielder who lost her long-held starting job weeks before the Olympics. She got back on the pitch when Shannon Boxx injured her hamstring in the opening game and started every game since. Yuki Ogimi answered in the 63rd minute, and Asuna Tanaka nearly had the equalizer in the 83rd -- only to be thwarted when Solo flung her entire body to the left to push the ball away. The U.S. team has won four of the five Olympic titles since women's soccer was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games, settling for mere silver at the 2000 Games in Sydney. In the first half, Japan was unfortunate not to have a penalty kick awarded for a clear hand ball by U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath, who stuck out her left arm to stop a free kick inside the area. Japan also had two shots hit the crossbar, one off the left hand of a leaping Solo, who was kept consistently busy for the first time this tournament. The closest the U.S. came to doubling the lead in the first 45 minutes came when Azusa Iwashimizu attempted to clear a routine ball played in front of the net -- and headed it off the post. The U.S. goal in the eighth minute began with a run by Heath down the left side. She fed Alex Morgan, who settled the ball near the goal line, spun and chipped it toward Wambach. Wambach raised her left foot for the shot, but Lloyd charged in and got to it first, her strong running header beating goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto from 6 yards out. Lloyd extended the lead with a 20-yard right-footer just inside the left post after a long run with the ball through the middle of the Japanese defense. Ogimi soon cut the deficit to one after a mad scramble in front of the net. Captain Christie Rampone saved a shot off the line, but the ball went to Homare Sawa, who fed Ogimi for the tap-in. Another scramble followed after U.S. defender Amy LePeilbet saved yet another shot off the line in the 74th minute, but this time her teammates were able to corral the ball before a Japanese player could pounce on it. Boxx was back into the starting lineup after the missing four games with the hamstring injury. Lauren Cheney, who injured an ankle in the semifinals, began the game on the bench for the first time this tournament. Canada won the bronze earlier Thursday, beating France 1-0 at Coventry.

Breaking down the Redskins' Su'a Cravens pick

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Breaking down the Redskins' Su'a Cravens pick

Scot McCloughan says that he loves “football players”. He just drafted one for the Redskins in the second round.

Su’a Cravens is a 6-1, 225-lb. linebacker/strong safety out of USC. He should be very useful in nickel and dime situations and it’s possible that defensive coordinator Joe Barry will have a lot of fun moving him around in the defensive scheme.

Cravens possess the traits that McCloughan likes in his players; he’s smart, tough, and instinctive. He’s obviously a student of the game, anticipating plays and acting as a highly disruptive force.

The Redskins told Cravens that they see him as a dime linebacker, which will put him in a position to make plays in passing situations. They currently don’t have a specialist for that position so he will be a new dimension added to the offense.

His addition to the roster almost assuredly means that Trent Murphy, the team’s second-round pick as an outside linebacker two years ago, will make a permanent move to the defensive line.

So details on just what Cravens’ role will be won’t be sorted out until training camp, the preseason games and probably into the regular season.

RELATED: REDSKINS TAKE LINEBACKER-SAFETY HYBRID SU'A CRAVENS

Reimold's home run propels Orioles to 3rd straight win

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Reimold's home run propels Orioles to 3rd straight win

BALTIMORE – Quietly, Nolan Reimold has had a productive few weeks for the Orioles. With all the team’s sexy new additions, Reimold has seemingly been overlooked, but he’s delivered some timely hits. 

On Friday night, Reimold hit a three-run home run that broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning, giving the Orioles their third straight win, 6-3 over the Chicago White Sox before 19,912 at Oriole Park. 

Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy began the seventh with singles off Carlos Rodon (1-3). Reimold hit an opposite field home run just over the right field scoreboard, his third of the year, and the Orioles had a 6-3 lead. 

Brad Brach (3-0) got the win. In his three seasons with the Orioles, Brach is 15-4. 

Darren O’Day and Zach Britton finished up, and Britton got his sixth save. 

After Rodon retired the first 11 Orioles, Chris Davis singled with two outs in the fourth. 

Things went awry for Rodon and the White Sox (16-9) an inning later when the Orioles (14-8) came up with three runs. 

Adam Jones led off with a walk. Second baseman Brett Lawrie booted Wieters’ grounder. Jones advanced to third, but was quickly tagged out in a rundown when he tried to score on Hardy’s grounder to third. Reimold’s infield single loaded the bases.

Jonathan Schoop’s single up the middle scored Wieters and Hardy. Reimold scored when shortstop Jimmy Rollins threw wildly to first on Joey Rickard’s grounder, and the Orioles led 3-1. 

Rickard tried to score on Manny Machado’s single to right, but Adam Eaton’s throw home was in time to get Rickard. 

Mike Wright allowed a run in the second on a double to Melky Cabrera and a two-out triple to Avisail Garcia. 

He retired 10 of his next 11. Eaton walked with one out in the sixth. Rollins lifted a fly to center that Jones tried to make a diving catch on. He couldn’t, and Eaton made it to third. Jose Abreu’s single to right scored Eaton. 

Cabrera’s liner to center was caught by Jones, and he threw home as Wieters snatched the ball and swiftly brought it down to tag Rollins to temporarily preserve a 3-2 lead. 

Wright allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. 

Lawrie tied the game at 3 with a home run to left off Brach that he punctuated by pointing to the sky. 

NOTES: Mat Latos (4-0, 0.73) faces Kevin Gausman (0-1, 1.80) on Saturday night. … Machado has 10 doubles in 22 games. … The Orioles are 9-1 at home. 

Sean Davis selected in second round of 2016 NFL Draft

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Sean Davis selected in second round of 2016 NFL Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Maryland defensive back Sean Davis in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the No. 58 overall pick, as announced on Friday night in Chicago.

After playing three years at safety for Maryland, he was shifted to cornerback because of team need as a senior. At the NFL level, he is more ready to play safety, but his size and length means he has upside as a cornerback as well.

In that sense, Davis has both the upside projection that teams covet (playing cornerback), yet also has the proven production at the college level as a safety and on special teams.

Davis had over 100 total tackles per season as both a sophomore and junior. He tallied 88 while playing primarily cornerback during his senior year. Also as a senior, he picked off three passes and forced five fumbles.

Already seen as a strong prospect, it was his showing at the NFL Draft Combine that helped to boost Davis’ stock after posting a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash, 21 reps in the bench press, and a 126-inch broad jump.

The bench press and broad jump measured among the best at the Combine at his position.