D.C. will have team in new women's league
Undeterred by two failed attempts in the past decade, soccer organizers announced Wednesday plans for a first-division national pro women's league starting in the spring. Washington is among eight teams, joining Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Jersey, Portland, Rochester and Seattle. The league will feature approximately 24players from the gold medal-winning U.S. national team, 16 from Canada's program (2012 bronze medal) and 12 from Mexico, the third-best team in CONCACAF. The Washington franchise will be overseen by the same group that has operated D.C. United Women, a two-year-old second-tier club based at Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County. That team will continue to play in the W-League as a reserve team to the new pro squad. Neither will use D.C. United in its nickname. (United had licensed its name but didn't have a formal relationship with the women's operation.) The first-division squad will play in the new league at the SoccerPlex. Season tickets will go on sale next week. The U.S. Soccer Federation will operate the unnamed league and receive financial assistance from the Canadian and Mexican governing bodies. Stadiums and private investors were not disclosed. Each team will play 22regular-season matches.
—Steven Goff, The Washington Post
Major League Soccer: D.C. United and midfielder Branko Boskovic announced that the two have agreed to terminate his contract. Boskovic, who started all four playoff games, said he is returning to Europe to attend to family matters.
Hopkins' Van Allen receives national coaching honor
Bobby Van Allen has been selected as the USTFCCCA National Women's Coach of the Year after leading the Johns Hopkins women's cross country team to its first national championship Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind. Van Allen, a Maryland alumnus in his 14th year as head coach, is the first cross country coach in school history to earn the honor. The Blue Jays became the first women's team in Johns Hopkins history to capture a national championship in any sport, and the first to win a Division III national title since men's swimming in 1979. The 14th-year head coach garnered a program-record three All-Americans this season, en route to totaling 153 points at the national meet — 63 points more than runner-up Wartburg. The margin of victory was the most in a women's national championship meet since 2002.
Men's lacrosse: Two more local sophomores have made oral commitments to Division I teams, with McDonogh midfielder Robby Black picking Notre Dame and St. Paul's goalie A.J. Barretto choosing Army. Black also considered Duke, Maryland, Ohio State and Georgetown. Barretto also considered North Carolina, Duke, Princeton, Loyola and Johns Hopkins. ... Calvert Hall junior goalie Henry Vido has orally committed to Lafayette. He also considered Villanova, Brown, Dartmouth and Vermont.
Women's lacrosse: Michigan announced its first recruiting class. The 28 incoming freshmen, who will arrive on campus in August and begin competition during the spring of 2014, include midfielder-defender Sara Beach (Towson), midfielder Madeline Dion (Annapolis), midfielder Emma Guarino (Roland Park Country School), goalkeeper Allison Silber (McDonogh) and attacker Amanda Sutor (St. Paul's School for Girls).
Women's volleyball: Maryland sophomore Ashleigh Crutcher was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team. ... Salisbury University's Melissa Stansbury (Liberty) was named the Division III national Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Wrestling: Johns Hopkins sophomore Paul Bewak (9-3 overall, 8-0 in Division III) is ranked No. 1 in the nation at 125 pounds in the most recent National Wrestling Coaches Association individual rankings. Bewak is the first Blue Jays wrestler to earn a top ranking; he was ranked No. 5 in the preseason.
Md. Half Marathon set for May 11 in Maple Lawn
The fifth annual Maryland Half Marathon to benefit the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center will be held May 11 on a redesigned, faster course in the Maple Lawn community of Howard County. Registration for the 13.1-mile race is now open at mdhalfmarathon.com. The race has raised $1 million for the Greenebaum Cancer Center over its four years. The 2013 event will feature Dozer's Kids Fun Run, named in honor of the dog that jumped into the half marathon at Mile 5 and finished the 2010 race. Fundraising on behalf of the goldendoodle added more than $32,000 to the net proceeds from the race in the past two years. Registration for the half marathon is $75 until Jan. 31, $85 in February and $90 from March 1 to May 11. Dozer's Kids Fun Run is $15.
Laurel Park: Bold Affair is the even-money favorite in today's $100,000 Geisha Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares, one of nine races on a card that starts at 11:05a.m. All seven runners in the one mile Geisha have won stakes races. Bold Affair, a daughter of Two Punch, comes into the race off a 131/4-length victory in the Maryland Million Distaff Handicap, her fourth stakes score of the year.
Varsity football: Edmondson coach Dante Jones has been named Ravens' High School Football Coach of the Week after leading the Red Storm to the regional championship and a berth in this weekend's state Class 2A semifinals.
—From Sun staff and news services