Aggie Volleyball falls to Arkansas, 3-0

ECOLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M had a season-high 12.5 blocks, but Arkansas pulled away in the opening set and rallied late in the second two sets to prevail, 25-20, 25-17, 26-24, in a Southeastern Conference matchup tonight at Reed Arena.

Texas A&M, playing in its 100th SEC match since joining the league in 2012, falls to 6-9, including 3-5 in conference matches. Arkansas, which entered the match tied with A&M for seventh place in the league standings, improves to 14-6 overall, including 4-4 in SEC matches.

The Razorbacks never trailed in the opening set, outhitting the Aggies .162 to .047. Arkansas built its largest lead at 17-12 before the Razorbacks committed four consecutive hitting errors to put A&M within 17-16. Aggie setter Camille Conner then put down a kill to tie the score for only the second time in the set. The lead quickly returned to Arkansas as an A&M attack error and an Arkansas kill put the Razorbacks up, 19-17. A&M got within a point twice, the last coming at 20-19 following Conner’s fifth kill of the set. Arkansas then reeled off four unanswered points to be serving for the set. Aggie sophomore middle blocker Maddie Douglas extended the set with a solo block, and A&M appeared to have won the next point when Arkansas was whistled for being in the net during a joust at the net. The call, however, was reversed by the up official, and A&M was the team charged for being in the net to end the set.

A&M trailed the second set, 14-12, before the Aggies went on a 5-2 run, including back-to-back kills by Douglas, that gave A&M a 17-16 lead, its first lead of the set since 4-3. Arkansas’ Pilar Victoria, the NCAA leader in both kills and points per set, then carried the Razorbacks, getting five of her six kills in the set during a 9-0 run to close out the frame. Arkansas committed only one attack error in the set as the Razorbacks outhit A&M, .406 to .243.

Arkansas held an 11-10 edge in the third set before A&M went on a 10-3 run to take a 20-14 lead. Arkansas was within 21-16 when the Razorbacks reeled off six consecutive points to go up, 22-21. A&M outside hitter Hollann Hans answered with a kill to knot the score at 22-22, and the teams continued to exchange points. An Arkansas kill put the Razorbacks at set and match point, 24-23, but a block by Douglas and Ashie Reasor tied the score, 24-24. Victoria registered a kill to put the Razorbacks at set and match point for the second time, 25-24. A&M initially appeared to have fought off a second match point when Victoria’s next attack was called long, but Arkansas challenged the call. The call was reversed, giving Victoria her match-high 15th kill for the match winner.

Kiara McGee led A&M with 13 kills while hitting .310, and Douglas finished with a career-high nine kills while hitting at a .350 clip. Even though A&M led Arkansas in total points, 53.5 to 49, the Aggies committed 26 attack errors as a team—two shy of their season high—and was outhit, .214 to .107 for the match.

Reasor, who appeared in her first match since suffering an ankle injury against Missouri on Sept. 24, led all players with a season-high seven blocks, and Douglas finished with a career-high six as A&M outblocked Arkansas, 12.5 to six.

Libero Amy Nettles led A&M and tied for match-high honors in digs with six.

The Aggies welcome back their former letterwinners and wrap up the first half of conference play on Sunday as they play host to Ole Miss for Texas A&M Volleyball Legacy Day. First serve is at 3:30 p.m. at Reed Arena. It will be an Aggies CAN event, and any fan who donates a minimum of four canned food items at the door will be admitted free.

As with every Sunday match, it will be Take a Kid to the Game, and up to four kids are admitted free with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. In addition, Kids Court will be open in the volleyball practice gym from 2:30-3:30 p.m. and will include a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals and more.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.

TEXAS A&M POSTMATCH QUOTES:

HEAD COACH LAURIE CORBELLI

On the game overall…
“It is not really indicative of our team. We scored more points than they did overall. We blocked better. I do see those bright spots, but man we were having a hard time even making contact with the ball at the net. It is a mystery to me, and it can be exhausting trying to figure it out. We had a great match against Auburn. That comeback was amazing. It took all of them to get into that rhythm, so I don’t know what happened. Tonight just wasn’t an attack night for us. I don’t know how to describe it. Kiara [McGee] started playing better, but we never got a rhythm with anyone else. They were much better than us tonight. They deserved that win completely.”

On preparing for Arkansas’ Pilar Victoria…
“She does what a lot of hitters do. She just does it really consistently, and she has been playing for a long time. She is a fifth-year senior, so she has a lot of composure. We really focused on blocking this week and worked on just trying to figure out what is her main tendency in each situation. That was a little bit more than our kids have ever done before, the freshmen especially. I think that was a little bit off for us at times. She definitely gets the highest number of swings in all their matches, and she should, but they have a great supporting cast that they go to when you least expect it. They only hit three balls out of bounds. We hit 20. That’s the difference right there.”

On the starting lineup…
“[Amy] Houser has been passing really well in practice every single day, and that consistency is really important for us. I totally trust her with the passing. Sometimes I think the passing overloads Kiara [McGee] a little bit, and I want Kiara focused on the front row. Other than that, the starting lineup [was the same]. We don’t have much depth because of injuries, so these guys have to get it done.”

On preparing for Ole Miss…
“We have no choice but to [reframe our mindset]. It is in the hands of the team in a lot of respects. The players have to get their heads on right and straight. I think their confidence is off. They are just putting so much pressure on themselves to get to the tournament. I just think that they can’t function because they put so much pressure on themselves, and it keeps them from being able to play.”

TEXAS A&M SENIOR OUTSIDE HITTER KIARA MCGEE

On what was the difference in the match…
“I think the difference is that we did not come cohesive as a team or a unit, and they did. We were on our heels the whole time trying to come back and trying to play our game. That is not how we should have to play to expect to win matches in SEC play. I think that was the biggest factor. At this point, I think it is mental. Everyone needs to come in with the same mentality that they come into our practices with. We are in practice playing lights out and playing some of the best volleyball we’ve played, but then we come to games and play conservative. I just feel like we can’t expect to win that way.”

On her game tonight…
“I feel like I played good, but I was just trying to do it for the team and our win. I knew that if someone else is struggling, I can’t come out here and play bad, too. That’s not a team. If someone else is lacking, you have to do more, so that is what I was trying to do. We did our scouting report, so we know where they were going to be and where to put the ball. You just have to trust what you could do.”

On Arkansas’ runs at the end of the match…
“That is 100% us not finishing. I think we were up in the third set, 21-17, and in my mind I was just like there is no excuse for us not to finish that game. We do drills like that in practice all the time, so I guess that was just another thing that wasn’t transferring today, the mentality of finish this game.”

On preparing for Ole Miss…
“We are going to come ready to work tomorrow and wipe that out of our minds. We have to let it sting a little bit, but come ready to work harder tomorrow and come harder for every other game that we have. At this point, we have to win out. We don’t have a choice.”

TEXAS A&M SOPHOMORE MIDDLE BLOCKER MADDIE DOUGLAS

On pressure to make the NCAA Tournament…
“I think that all of us kind of know that we need to win out. We didn’t set up the beginning of our season the way that we wanted to, so there is pressure there. I don’t think that is what is on our mind in the middle of the game. I think we don’t bring A&M volleyball. There are games like this that we just didn’t bring A&M volleyball. We didn’t bring all the pieces that we needed or that we can bring. We didn’t bring the pieces we should bring that we bring every week in practice. I think that there is pressure there, but I think that is something that is more firing us up rather than dragging us down. I think what is dragging us down is that we need to bring ourselves every match, and sometimes we don’t do that.”

On being a cohesive team…
“We all have to bring it at the same time, and I think that is something that we are missing. We will have two or three people bring it one game, and nobody else. You have a few people trying to carry the team. Then the next game it is someone else, a different two or three people.”

On her kills tonight…
“I think what was on my mind tonight was the offense. We have been having a hard time spreading out our offense, so I am just trying to be up. That is something that I have been really working on in practice. It is one of my goals, just to be up and transition more. I am trying to be up and pull the block and leave splits for other hitters. And with me being up more often, I get more opportunities like tonight.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

 

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More Late Heroics for Aggies Stretch Win Streak to Eight

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Ally Watt scored in the 87th minute to give the No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies a 1-0 victory over the LSU Tigers Thursday evening at LSU Soccer Stadium. It marked the third straight match the Maroon & White scored the game-winner either in the final four minutes of action.

After subbing into the contest just over a minute earlier, Jimena Lopez was the spark on the game-winning goal. The crafty freshman worked the ball into the penalty box from the left side and sent a pass to the six-yard box for Watt making a run past the PK spot. Watt played her first touch over a sliding defender and poked a right-footed a shot from seven yards to the right of the goalkeeper for the match’s lone goal with 3:21 remaining in the second half.

The victory propelled Texas A&M to its eighth consecutive victory, their longest stretch since the end of the 2014 campaign, a run that culminated with the school’s first-ever trip to the College Cup. The Aggies improved to 12-2-1 overall and 7-1-0 in the SEC and remained in striking distance of first-place South Carolina who is 8-0-0 in league action with two matches remaining.

The 1-0 result belied the flow of play heavily in the Aggies’ favor for the match. The Maroon & White held decided advantages in shots (19-4), shots-on-goal (7-1) and corner kicks (9-0) for the match.

Texas A&M was overwhelming in the second half with a 9-1 advantage in shots, holding the Tigers without a shot-on-goal as Cosette Morché and a backline of Briana Alston, Kendall Ritchie and Callyn Walton recorded the Aggies’ seventh shutout of the season.

The ball was knocked around the midfield for much of the first half, but the Aggies’ offense started to pick up traction in the waning moments. Texas A&M’s best scoring chance in the first half came in the 40th minute, when Mikaela Harvey ripped a shot from 12 yards out in the inside right channel, hitting the post with her missile.

Texas A&M owned the advantages in shots (10-3), shots-on-goal (3-1) and corner kicks (4-0).

The Aggies return to action Sunday afternoon when they host the Vanderbilt Commodores for Senior Day at Ellis Field. Mikaela Harvey, Stephanie Malherbe, McKayla Paulson and Haley Pounds will be honored prior to the 1:35 p.m. contest.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Texas A&M’s Watts Named Midseason All-American

Texas A&M senior safety Armani Watts (Forney, Texas) was named to the Midseason All-America Team chosen by CBSSports.com

Watts’ unique play-making skill set makes him the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision with at least four interceptions, 7.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. His four pickoffs lead the Southeastern Conference and he ranks in a tie for No. 7 in tackles for loss. He ranks No. 2 on the team with 49 tackles and he’s also chipped in four passes broken up

In other news, Texas A&M senior holder Shane Tripucka (Allen, Texas) was named the Holder of the Week by the Mortell Holder of the Year Award for his role in the Aggies’ five successful placekicks last week vs. Florida, including the game-winning field goal. The Aggies’ FG/PAT battery of snapper Austin Frey, Tripucka and placekicker Daniel LaCamera connected on four field goals and an extra point attempt in the Aggies’ hard-fought 19-17 win over the Gators in Gainesville, Fla.

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NFL will stage draft in Dallas next April

NEW YORK (AP) _ The NFL draft is headed for Dallas.

Well, for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which the Cowboys call home. It’s the first time the draft will happen in an NFL stadium.

The Cowboys will host the 2018 draft in April. Virtually every NFL city, plus the Pro Football Hall of Fame site in Canton, Ohio, has expressed interest in holding the draft now that the league moves it around.

After decades in New York, the draft was moved to Chicago in 2015 and was held there again in 2016. It drew huge crowds, whetting the NFL’s appetite for taking bids to host it.

Last year, the draft was in Philadelphia at the iconic Art Museum steps. It drew 250,000 fans for the first draft held outdoors.

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Rockets’ Chris Paul still dealing with knee soreness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Houston guard Chris Paul is questionable for the Rockets’ game in Sacramento on Wednesday night because of left knee soreness.

Paul had four points and shot 2 for 9 in the Rockets’ season-opening win at Golden State on Tuesday. He led the Rockets with 11 assists and also grabbed eight rebounds, while playing 33 minutes in his regular-season debut with Houston after being traded away by the Los Angeles Clippers during the offseason.

Paul was hampered at the end of the preseason by the knee pain which continued flaring Tuesday, and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says the perennial All-Star “is playing on one leg right now.”

Tuesday’s game was the first since March 9, 2015 where Paul was held to four points or less.

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Stars Top Winless Coyotes

DALLAS (AP) – Radek Faksa, Dan Hamhuis and Alexander Radulov scored their first goals of the season, and the Dallas Stars held off the winless Arizona Coyotes 3-1. Arizona is 0-5-1 and remains the only NHL team without a victory.

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Rockets rally to spoil defending champion Warriors return

By JANIE McCAULEY

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Kevin Durant’s baseline jumper swished through the net just barely too late, and the Houston Rockets rallied in the fourth to beat Golden State 122-121 Tuesday on the night the Warriors received their championship rings.

The Warriors had one last chance with 10.6 seconds left and Durant came up with the ball after Stephen Curry had missed. Durant and the Warriors thought they’d won and confetti began to fall when the two remaining officials _ the third got hurt in the fourth quarter _ reviewed the play and said Durant’s shot was after the buzzer.

Trevor Ariza’s 3-pointer with 2:09 remaining pulled Houston within 119-118 then Patrick McCaw hit a baseline jumper immediately after Golden State’s timeout. James Harden made a layup and PJ Tucker hit two free throws with 44.1 to make it 122-121.

Nick Young came off the bench to hit six 3-pointers and score 23 points in a brilliant Warriors debut, Curry scored 22 points and Durant had 20 after a slow start. Klay Thompson added 16 points.

Chris Paul had four points on 2-for-9 shooting in his Rockets debut, while Harden scored 27 points and Eric Gordon 24 for the Rockets. Houston opened the fourth with a 9-0 run to get back in it.

The Warriors found their rhythm early but couldn’t close it out after an abbreviated preseason in terms of practice time given their recent trip to China for a pair of games against Minnesota.

Still, this opener was a far cry for the forgettable 129-100 defeat at home to San Antonio in Durant’s Warriors debut a year ago when Golden State came off a record 73-win season and runner-up finish to Cleveland in the 2016 Finals.

“I just remember the last game of the season we played,” Durant said of the Game 5 Finals clincher in June.

Young found his stroke right away, hitting his first four 3s and five shots overall. It’s exactly what the Warriors want him to do: shoot every time he has a good look. His six 3-pointers set a franchise record for anyone in their Warriors debut and also in a season opener.

Durant had one spectacular sequence in the third when he blocked Anderson’s shot on one end then converted a three-point play moments later on the other, slapping hands with a lucky boy fan on the baseline.

Houston acquired Paul from the Clippers to give them a 1-2 backcourt punch to try to gain ground on Golden State in the Western Conference.

RING CEREMONY

Coach Steve Kerr planned to pay extra attention as veterans Durant, Zaza Pachulia and David West each received a championship ring for the first time in their careers.

“Basketball accomplishments to me now are just what they are,” Durant said after morning shootaround. “I can kind of separate the two now. I feel like it’s more so just cool as hell more than anything. It’s like getting a prize possession that you’re just really excited about versus getting something that’s going to change your life. … I’ll be more so just really giddy and happy more so than emotional. I won’t be a mess.”

Pachulia had a new one to share his title with _ 5-week-old daughter, Nutsa joined her mom and three older siblings, two brothers and a sister.

“I’ve heard some actors, actresses, when they get some kind of award, say without the family. I always think, `What exactly my family is doing?’ I feel it now, all the support and help.”

Kerr took part in the 2015 ring ceremony, but didn’t coach as he was sidelined the initial 43 games following complications from back surgery.

BEAT-UP DUBS

Key backup and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala missed the game with a back strain, while Omri Casspi _ who had been questionable with a mild right ankle sprain _ appeared in his 500th career game making his debut with the Warriors. He then tweaked the ankle again.

Draymond Green exited in the second half with a strained left knee.

Iguodala is expected to return for the upcoming road trip.

INJURED OFFICIAL

Official Tre Maddox, accompanied by medical personnel, left midway through the fourth quarter after a collision with David West and hard hit to the chest area. That left two officials the rest of the way.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Tucker earned a flagrant 1 foul for his hard hit on Durant in the second. … Coach Mike D’Antoni joked “We’re going to go to the In-N-Out burger” during the pregame festivities, opting to keep his team in the locker room. “They deserve it,” he said. “They won it, we didn’t.” … The Rockets hit 22 3-pointers in three preseason games and didn’t allow more than 106 points, holding opponents to 93.8. … Houston also opened the season vs. the Warriors in 2009 and `10. …

Warriors: The Warriors are auctioning signed shooting shirts worn for the pregame festivities to benefit fire relief efforts in the North Bay. … Thompson has hit a 3 in 55 straight games, second-longest active streak.

UP NEXT

Rockets: At Kings on Wednesday night in Sacramento’s season opener.

Warriors: At New Orleans on Friday to start a three-game road trip.

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Judge grants Cowboys’ Elliott reprieve, cleared for 49ers

LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press
SCHUYLER DIXON, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott has been granted another legal reprieve in the running back’s fight to avoid a six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order blocking the league’s suspension Tuesday night, clearing Elliott to play Sunday at San Francisco.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty’s ruling comes five days after a federal appeals court overturned a Texas court’s injunction that had kept Elliott on the field this season.

Crotty granted the request for a temporary restraining order pending a hearing before the presiding judge, Katherine Polk Fialla.

Elliott, last year’s NFL rushing leader as a rookie, was barred from the team’s facility Tuesday as players returned from their off week. The NFL placed him on the suspended list Friday, a day after the ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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Texas A&M Defensive Lineman Arrested on Midemeanor Theft Charge

Texas A&M freshman defensive lineman Ondario Robinson was arrested by university police on Monday after allegedly stealing a bait bike, according to The Houston Chronicle.

The bike is priced at $350, classifying the theft as misdemeanor.

Robinson, a three-star recruit from Hutto, signed with the Aggies last February and has not appeared in a game this season.

The story was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.

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Aggie Football Media Day: Bye Week

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin

KSumin_1017.mp3

 

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Yankees clobber Astros to get within 2-1 in the ALCS

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees failed to get a hit in their last four turns at bat on Monday, but a victory was already in the bag.

Todd Frazier and Aaron Judge slammed three-run homers to support CC Sabathia (sah-BATH’-ee-uh) as the Yankees ripped the Astros, 8-1 to get within two games to one in the American League Championship Series.

Frazier’s second-inning blast came off Charlie Morton, who was tagged for seven runs over 3 2/3 innings. Morton’s performance came after starter Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul) and Justin Verlander combined to hold the Yankees to one run over 16 innings.

Morton was pulled just before Judge unloaded a blast that capped the Yankees’ five-run fourth. New York managed just one base-runner the rest of the way, but it didn’t matter after Sabathia held the Astros to three hits while striking out five over six shutout innings.

Adam Warren followed with two hitless innings of scoreless relief to keep the eight-run lead intact, allowing Yankees manager Joe Girardi to use slumping reliever Dellin Betances (beh-TAN’-sehs) in the ninth. Betances was pulled after walking his first two hitters.

The Astros finally scored on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth, but Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) ended the game by grounding into a double play.

Game 4 is Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Sonny Gray is slated to start for the Yanks on 11 days’ rest. The Astros will go with Lance McCullers.

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Texas A&M’s LaCamera Named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas A&M junior Daniel LaCamera earned Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors Monday after going four-for-four on field goals in Saturday’s 19-17 win over Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.

The Tarpon Springs, Fla. native, connected on field goals of 46, 43, 25 and 32 yards against the Gators. The junior is tied for the league lead with 14 field goals this season and is third in scoring at 9.6 points per game. LaCamera’s final field goal of the evening proved to be the difference and gave the Maroon & White their first advantage of the day. Following the first lead change of the game, sophomore linebacker Tyrel Dodson intercepted Florida’s final pass attempt to seal the win for Texas A&M, its first in The Swamp after dropping the only other contest played in Gainesville in 1962.

LaCamera moved to a perfect 13-for-13 on field goals under 50 yards this season to earn the first league honors of his career. The junior became the fourth Aggie and second A&M kicker to earn the Special Teams Player of the Week; joining Dustin Harris (Sept. 22, 2012), Christian Kirk (Sept. 26, 2015) and Taylor Bertolet (Nov. 21, 2015).

OFFENSE
DJ Chark, WR/PR/, LSU
Shea Patterson, QB, Ole Miss

DEFENSE
Devin White, LB, LSU

SPECIAL TEAMS
Daniel LaCamera, PK, Texas A&M

FRESHMAN
Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

OFFENSIVE LINE
Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama

DEFENSIVE LINE
Marquis Haynes, DE, Ole Miss
D.J. Wonnum, DL, South Carolina

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Big Shakeups in AP Top 25

1
Alabama (61)
Record: 7-0
PV Rank

1

Points

1,525

2
Record: 6-0
3
1,432
3
Record: 7-0
4
1,417
4
Record: 6-0
6
1,322
5
Record: 6-0
7
1,241
6
Record: 6-1
9
1,184
7
Record: 6-1
2
1,117
8
Record: 5-0
11
1,109
9
Record: 5-1
12
1,066
10
Record: 5-1
14
900
11
Record: 6-1
13
886
12
Record: 6-1
5
811
13
16
798
14
Record: 5-1
15
727
15
Record: 6-1
8
578
16
Record: 6-0
18
573
16
Record: 6-1
20
573
18
Record: 5-1
21
563
19
Record: 5-1
17
558
20
Record: 5-0
22
387
21
Record: 5-2
10
303
22
Record: 5-2
23
274
23
Record: 4-2
157
24
Record: 5-2
108
25
Record: 5-1
62

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Watson tosses 3 TDs as Texans beat Browns 33-17

KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first rookie in NFL history with at least three TD passes in three straight games, helping give the Houston Texans a 33-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Watson has thrown 15 touchdown passes this season, the most in NFL history by a rookie in a team’s first six games. It equals the number of TD throws Brock Osweiler had in 15 games last season.

The Browns lost their 16th in a row on the road.

Cleveland made yet another change at quarterback this week, benching rookie DeShone Kizer, who had thrown a league-high nine interceptions, for Kevin Hogan to make his first NFL start. The results were much the same as Hogan threw three interceptions to keep the Browns (0-6) winless and drop coach Hue Jackson’s record in Cleveland to 1-21.

Johnathan Joseph had two interceptions, including one he returned for 82 yards to boost the Texans‘ defense in their first game since J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus sustained season-ending injuries last week.

Watson threw TD passes to Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and DeAndre Hopkins as the Texans (3-3) set a franchise record by scoring at least 30 points for the fourth straight game.

The game was tied at 3 after both teams made field goals early when Watson connected with Fuller on a 39-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter. That was Fuller’s third straight catch for a TD.

Joseph’s first interception return for a touchdown since 2014 came on Cleveland’s next possession, but the extra point kick failed to push the lead to 16-3.

Dylan Cole intercepted Hogan on the next drive, but Houston couldn’t convert.

Rookie D’Onta Foreman had a 39-yard run later in the second quarter to get Houston to the 2-yard line. Miller, a healthy scratch the past two weeks, grabbed a shovel pass from Watson and somersaulted into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown and Ryan Griffin caught the 2-point conversion to make it 24-3.

Joseph grabbed his second interception late in the second quarter.

Browns quarterback woes have long been an issue, with Hogan becoming their 28th starter since 1999. But the longstanding problem seemed even worse on Sunday when Cleveland faced a quarterback that could have been playing for it. The Browns had the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft but traded it to the Texans, who used it to select Watson, a national champion at Clemson last season.

Hogan was 20 of 37 for 140 yards. He was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone under heavy pressure from Benardrick McKinney to give Houston a safety in the third quarter.

Watson found Hopkins in the back of the end zone for 3-yard touchdown pass later in the third quarter to extend the lead to 33-3.

Defensive end Myles Garrett, who was the top overall pick in this year’s draft, got more extensive playing time in his second game after playing just 19 snaps in his debut last week. Previously he was out with a right high ankle sprain.

Cleveland’s only offensive touchdown came late in the fourth quarter when Hogan’s 3-yard pass to Seth DeValve cut the lead to 33-17. Jason McCourty’s 56-yard pick-6 was the other Cleveland TD.

INJURY REPORT

Cole injured his hamstring on an interception return in the second quarter and did not return. … Houston tackle Chris Clark is out with a calf injury.

UP NEXT

Browns: Cleveland hosts the Titans next Sunday.

Texans: Houston is off next week before visiting the Seahawks on Oct. 29.

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Texas A&M Comes Back to Defeat Auburn, 3-1

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M freshman opposite hitter Samantha Sanders had a career-high and match-high 13 kills while hitting .312, and senior outside hitter Kiara McGee pitched in 12 kills, including a crucial five kills down the final stretch in the third set, to lead the Aggies to a come-from-behind 16-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-19 victory over Auburn today at Reed Arena.

The two got plenty of help from their teammates, with sophomore outside hitter Hollann Hans adding 10 kills and tying her career high with 14 digs to record her first double-double of the season. Freshman setter Camille Conner directed the offense to a .245 hitting percentage, dishing out 41 assists while also contributing six kills of her own. Conner also tallied 11 digs to finish with her third double-double.

The Aggies’ junior middle blocker Kaitlyn Blake had nine kills while hitting .438 and also recorded a match-high five blocks to lead A&M to a 10-3 lead in team blocks, and senior libero Amy Netters scooped a team-high 15 digs in the winning effort.

Texas A&M improves to 6-8, including 3-4 in Southeastern Conference matches. Auburn, which is No. 21 in the NCAA RPI, 17 spots higher than A&M, suffers its third consecutive loss for the first time this season to fall to 11-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play.

Auburn jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the opening set as A&M struggled to get in sync. The Aggies chipped away at the deficit to get within 16-13, but they were unable to get any closer. Auburn, which held A&M to a -.103 hitting percentage in the frame, went on to outscore the Aggies, 9-3, to close out the set.

There were 13 ties and seven lead changes in the second set, and neither team held more than a two-point advantage until the final point. Auburn libero Jesse Earl’s ace tied the score for the final time, 21-21, but Hans returned serve and the lead to A&M with a kill down the line on the following play. Hans then stepped to the service line and rip an ace down the line to put A&M ahead 23-21. Auburn got a kill following a timeout to get within 23-22, but the Tigers committed one of their 13 service errors on the day to put A&M at set point. Sanders then closed out the frame with a kill as Auburn sent Sanders’ hard-driven ball into the stands for the final point.

The third set started out much like the first set, with Auburn jumping out to a 15-8 lead. The Aggies then mounted a comeback, scoring five unanswered points to get within 15-13. The Tigers responded with a three-point run and continued to hold the lead at 23-19. Sanders had one of her four kills in the set, and McGee followed with back-to-back kills to put A&M within 23-22, forcing Auburn to call a timeout. Gwyn Jones got a kill coming out of the timeout to put the Tigers at set point, 24-22, but McGee got another kill and senior defensive specialist Gabby Litwin served an ace to tie the set for the first time. A&M hit wide on the next play to put Auburn at set point for a third time, but McGee came through again as her off-speed shot fell in for a kill. Blake followed with a kill to put the Aggies at set point, and Auburn hit into the net on the ensuing play to give A&M the 27-25 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.

A&M carried the momentum into the fourth set and never trailed. After outhitting Auburn, .333 to .256, in the third set, the Aggies went on to outhit the Tigers, .433 to .182 in the final stanza. A&M used a 6-1 run to build its largest lead, 17-8, but Auburn would rally, scoring six unanswered points on five fills and an ace to get within 17-14. Hans would end the run with a kill set up by Sanders, but an A&M service error and an Auburn ace put the Tigers within 18-16.

Sanders and Blake had back-to-back kills, and Auburn committed an attack error to give the Aggies a 21-16 cushion. Courtney Crable, who led Auburn with 13 kills, tooled the A&M block for a kill, but Sanders and Hans countered with back-to-back kills to put A&M up, 23-17. Crable once again came through with a kill off the block, but then Auburn committed an attack error that put the Aggies at match point, 24-18. Jones kept Auburn alive with a kill before Blake closed out the set with the match-winning kill.

The match was the first of a five-match homestand for the Aggies. A&M returns to Reed on Friday to play host to Arkansas. First serve is at 6:30 p.m.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.

TEXAS A&M POSTMATCH QUOTES: 

HEAD COACH LAURIE CORBELLI

On everybody contributing and playing their best volleyball in the third set…
“What made me so proud and happy for that part of the match was that it looked like what we see quite often in practice. We have some awesome players that when they all put it together and we run the system, with the pace that we ran, with the passing, with our setter making great choices and had some really nice delivery right where they needed it, then it helps us get into Aggie Volleyball. Sometimes when we get a little bit off of that, it seems like that’s when we start to question or struggle. A pass here and a pass there, a set that’s maybe too far off the net or too wide, we either make an error with it or we don’t get the kill and they transition back really fast. Then it starts to feel like, ‘Gosh, it’s such a struggle to get into Aggie Volleyball.’ The fact that everyone did their job the way that helps us get into Aggie Volleyball was so much fun to watch and to see ‘Wow, they do practice every day for hours.’ You can see it now. Here’s what we really can do. It’s coming. We’re not halfway done with what we’re going to put on the floor.”

On Auburn…
I have so much respect for that Auburn team. That team has to play together as a team no matter what, because they’re not the biggest, they’re not the fastest and blocking is not their thing. They know they have to come hard at you with their serve, and they risk missing some serves. But look at that defense. Look at that offense. Their setter is a nightmare to play against. You have no idea where she’s going to throw that ball. She can throw it to anyone from midcourt, and they still swing. It’s not just a tip. She’s been in there running the Auburn show for four years. I’m so grateful we don’t have to play them again at Auburn. I’ll be darned if we didn’t learn a lot today. No. 22 (Anna Stevenson) was a freshman and she was making plays that I don’t see many juniors and seniors make. She’s adapted to this pace of game and wow what a player. She was leading the team after the third set. She was who was hurting us the most. I think it’s inspirational for our players to watch some of the things they did really well knowing we don’t have to play them again and to try to be like that and have that kind of teamwork that they obviously have.”

On coming back in the third set…
“I think that third set speaks volumes to what the team really wants to get done. Especially the seniors who know their time in the program is really dwindling down. They know they’re darn good volleyball players in a darn good program and they want to win. The leadership that they provided today was phenomenal, and they stepped up in every position. We have seniors around the court in various spots, and they each had a job to do in that spot and they did it and it’s so rewarding to see that. It’s really important to get a win.”

SENIOR LIBERO AMY NETTLES

On coming back in the third set…
“I looked at the score and it was 18-22. We’ve kind of had trouble most of the season coming back and finishing those games. In the past, we’ve done really well in that situation but this year it’s been a little different. I looked at the score and I said, ‘Alright, let’s see what we’re made of. Let’s show people we can finish.’ We slowly started coming back, one point at a time. Each person knew they had a job to do and what their focus was, and we took care of it.”

On the back row matching Auburn’s defense…
“The whole team, but especially the defensive specialists, come in the gym every day and we want to do our best because we know there’s pressure on us to perform. As a defensive specialist, you have to dig and you have to pass. That’s our only job. We take a lot of pride in that, and we know that we’re just as good as any team in the SEC with those skills. Playing Auburn didn’t change that at all. Every game and practice we come out and we want to dig the best we can.”

SENIOR OUTSIDE HITTER KIARA MCGEE

On her stretch during third set…
“I came out of the timeout and in my mind I said, ‘We are not losing. Do whatever it takes.’ I fully trust my team and I know we are all fully capable of going out there and pulling this off even though we struggled, with how Amy [Nettles] said, coming back this year. We all strapped in and focused and got the job done.”

On brushing off the Kentucky loss and coming out with a new mindset…
“I think it was a challenge for us to brush Kentucky off and come out and know what we’re made of. Auburn is just as good of a team as Kentucky, and we know we’re up there with those teams. We have to come out and put the pieces together at times like that and finish because that’s what all the big teams are doing. They’re finishing every game.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Texas A&M Defeats Florida, 19-17

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Kellen Mond made several huge plays, Daniel LaCamerakicked four field goals and Texas A&M handed Florida a second home loss in as many weeks, 19-17 on Saturday night.

LaCamera’s 32-yarder with 58 seconds remaining proved to be the difference, but Mond made everything happen for the Aggies (5-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference). The freshman completed eight passes for 180 yards, and added 52 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Mond had completions of 40 and 42 yards to set up fourth-quarter field goals, and Christian Kirk returned a punt 43 yards to set up the game-winner.

Florida (3-3, 3-2) had one final chance in its new, alligator-skin uniforms, but Feleipe Franks threw an interception on first down to end any chance of a comeback.

The loss essentially knocked the Gators out of contention in the SEC’s Eastern Division race and surely will stoke more questions about the direction of the programs — mostly the offense — in coach Jim McElwain’s third season.

Florida dominated in yards (371-263) and first downs (17-10), but came up short on the scoreboard.

The Gators may have been fortunate to score their first touchdown, which came after a bizarre do-over late in the second quarter.

Lamical Perine was seemingly stopped short on a fourth-and-1 play at the Texas A&M 17-yard line. But officials supposedly whistled the play dead before the snap. So Perine got another shot, picked up the first down and then scored on the next play against the stunned Aggies.

Perine made three defenders miss and then carried a fourth into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown and a 10-3 lead.

Texas A&M tied the game on the opening possession of the second half. Mond completed a 30-yard pass to Camron Buckley to start the drive and capped it with a 9-yard run on a third-and-goal draw play that caught the Gators off guard.

The Gators responded two series later, thanks mostly to Franks’ 79-yard run in which five tackles failed to bring him down. Franks zigzagged his way across the field before getting brought down at the 13-yard line. A sideline infraction penalty moved the ball to the 6, and Dre Massey scored on a jet sweep on the first play of the fourth quarter.

But the Aggies controlled the final frame.

ABOUT THE GAME
• With the win the Aggies improved to 5-2 on the season and 3-1 in SEC play.
• The win was the 49th by the Aggies under the direction of Kevin Sumlin as Sumlin improved to 84-40 in his career.
• The 19-17 victory was the first in the Sunshine State for the Maroon & White since defeating Miami (FL) 70-14 in 1944.
• The Aggies claimed their first win in Gainesville, dropping the only other decision in 1962.
• Texas A&M scored at least 14 points for the 21st game in a row, the longest such streak in the SEC. Since joining the league the Aggies have topped the 14-point mark in 66 of 72 games (91.7 percent).

NOTABLES
• Texas A&M opponents have scored first in six of seven games and the Aggies have rallied from second-half deficits to win in four games this year, including tonight’s game when the Aggies trailed by seven points in the fourth quarter.
• One of nation’s top defenses in terms of producing three-and-outs, the Aggies totaled 7 tonight against the Gators. The Aggies entered the game averaging 5.7 3-and-outs per contest.
• Texas A&M entered the game with a SEC-best 23 QB sacks and had made at least two sacks in every game. Against Florida, the Aggies continued their pass rushing onslaught with five QB sacks.
• Texas A&M entered the game 17th in the country in turnover margin and corralled a pair of interceptions against Florida against just one turnover.
• With the two turnovers gained the Aggies have forced 15 turnovers after entering the game tied for 12th in the country in turnovers forced.
• The Aggies entered the game with a SEC-high 48.0 tackles for loss (8.0 per game) and matched their season average with 8.0 TFLs vs. the Gators.
• Junior PK Daniel LaCamera matched his career-high with four field goals on the night. The junior connected on a field goals of 46, 43, 25 and 32 yards to improve to a perfect 13-for-13 on FG of less than 50 yards this season.
• Senior WR Damien Ratley had a pair of long catches against the Gators — a 30-yarder and a 42-yarder. It was the 5th and 6th 20-yard plus catch of the season for Ratley, who entered the game with a team-high 22.8 yards per catch average.
• Senior DB Armani Watts reeled in a Gator aerial in the endzone for his team-best fourth interception of the season. It was also the 10th of his career, making him the 11th Aggie in school to total double-digit interceptions in his career.
• Junior LB Otaro Alaka posted a game-high 12 tackles, which was his career high (his previous best was 11 vs. LSU in 2016). Sophomore LB Tyrel Dodson also chipped in 10 stops. It’s the first time A&M has had two defenders with double-digit tackles since last year’s Mississippi State game when Armani Watts had 12 and Justin Evans had 11.
• Senior RB Keith Ford rushed for 22 yards on five carries to push him over 1,000 rushing yards for his career (1,012 yards on 203 carries).
• With three tackles vs. the Gators, senior DT Zaycoven Henderson hit the 100-tackle plateau for his career (101 tackles in 42 career games).
• Senior P Shane Tripucka became the first punter in school history to average at least 40.0 yards per punt in the first seven games of a season (with a minimum of at least four punts each game). Tripucka averaged an impressive 48.6 yards on eight punts with two inside the UF 20 against the Gators.

GAME CAPTAINS, 12TH MAN
• Game captains for the Aggies were Cullen Gillaspia, Christian Kirk, Trayveon Williams and Armani Watts. The Aggies won the toss and chose to receive the opening kickoff.
• The Aggies’ 12th Man representative was junior LB Cullen Gillaspia (Katy, Texas) in his 20th straight start.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Harvey’s Heroics Give Aggies Seventh Straight Win

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M senior Mikaela Harvey secured a victory with her goal in the 88th minute to send the No. 20 Aggies to a 1-0 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels Friday evening at Ellis Field.

With over 80 former players in attendance as a part of the Aggies’ Silver Season Celebration, the match was drifting towards overtime before Harvey’s heroics.

The Liberty Hill, Texas native dribbled down the middle of the pitch on a counterattack. As she neared the penalty arc, Brittany Crabtree and Ally Watt made runs towards the left freezing three of the defenders to the left of the penalty spot. Harvey took the cue and worked her way right, flying by the lone defender at the right side of the arc and working her way into the penalty box. Finding a clear shot from 12 yards out, Harvey ripped a right-footed shot over the keeper into the right upper 90 for her third goal of the season.

The victory gave Texas A&M its seventh consecutive win as the Maroon & White improved to 11-2-1 overall and 6-1-0 in the SEC. The Aggies’ point total of 18 matches South Carolina atop the league table, but the Gamecocks (6-0-0) have an extra match in hand. Ole Miss fell to 10-4-1 overall and 3-4-0 in league play.

The Aggies were relentless on the evening, peppering 12 shots-on-goal, but the Rebels’ goalkeeper Marnie Merritt made 10 saves and defender Chanel Thomas cleared a header by Jimena Lopez off the goal line to stymie Texas A&M.

Prior to Harvey’s goal, the Aggies’ most dangerous chance came on a corner kick in the 52nd minute. Grace Piper’s header off Kendall Ritchie’s service hit the crossbar. The carom came out to Addie McCain who sent in a dangerous header of her own, but Merritt leaped to catch it under the crossbar.

Cosette Morché, recorded her sixth shutout of the season, making four saves.

Texas A&M owned the advantages in shots (16-15), shots-on-goal (12-4) and corner kicks (7-4).

The Aggies return to action Thursday when they travel to Baton Rouge for a 6:05 p.m. match against the LSU Tigers.

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Head Coach G Guerrieri
On team’s performance tonight…
“I thought they played hard. You could tell that we were a team that had eight players out of the lineup. The message at halftime was that it was really going to come down to heart. It was going to come down to who wanted it more. Leave it up to Number 77 to show who has the biggest heart on the field.”

On Mikaela Harvey…
“She has been one of the most influential signings we have ever had with this program. Last year, she had to kind of take the team on her shoulders when we went through some spells. This year, her and [Stephanie] Malherbe have just been absolutely spectacular. They are role models for what all Aggie soccer players should be playing like.”

Senior midfielder Mikaela Harvey
On her game winning goal…
“I think I saw that they had one defender. The whole game I was telling myself that the defenders were really fast, so I was trying to pass it, but I saw a space and Ally (Watt) made a good run to take her defender with her, so I went for it, and luckily it went into the back of the net.”

On the team playing well despite the rash of injuries…
“We definitely have some unfortunate injuries, and it was really hard to see a lot of people go down this year, but I think our team is really good at being positive and knowing that even though they’re injured we’re going to play hard for them and do whatever it takes to win.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Court clears way for 6-game suspension of Cowboys’ Elliott

By SCHUYLER DIXON

FRISCO, Texas (AP) _ A federal appeals court has lifted an injunction that blocked a six-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, clearing the way for the NFL’s punishment over domestic violence allegations and likely leading to the running back’s legal team seeking further relief.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Thursday granted the league’s emergency request to set aside the injunction and ordered the district court in Texas to dismiss Elliott’s case. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to back the NFL’s argument.

A federal judge in Texas issued an injunction that blocked the suspension last month, agreeing with NFL players’ union attorneys who argued that the investigation of the allegations in Ohio and subsequent appeal were unfair to Elliott.

The NFL countered that it followed procedures under the league’s labor deal and that the union improperly filed a lawsuit before the appeals process was complete.

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Texas A&M Falls to No. 8 Kentucky, 3-0

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Texas A&M was unable to hand No. 8 Kentucky its first home loss of the season and snap its nine-match winning streak as the Wildcats defeated the Aggies, 25-7, 25-13, 25-21 tonight at Memorial Coliseum.

Kentucky, which outhit A&M .410 to .075 in the match, improves to 15-2, including 9-0 in home matches. The Wildcats also improve to 6-0 in conference matches to take a half-game lead over No. 1-ranked Florida in the Southeastern Conference standings.

Texas A&M, which committed nine service errors, falls to 5-8 overall, including 2-4 in SEC matches only.

The Aggies put themselves in a deep hole in the opening set as Kentucky reeled off 12 consecutive points to begin the match before A&M got on the board only after the Wildcats hit into the net. It was one of only two attack errors Kentucky would make in the frame. Kentucky went on to outhit A&M, .526 to -.200, with sophomore outside hitter Hollann Hans producing A&M’s three total kills in the set.

There were six ties and four lead changes early in the second set. Senior outside hitter Kiara McGee had two kills during a 4-0 run by the Aggies that put A&M ahead, 9-8. The teams exchanged points and A&M maintained a 10-9 edge before Kentucky used a 3-0 run to take the lead for good. The Aggies, who were outhit, .367 to -.040 in the set, were within 16-13 before the Wildcats used a 9-0 run to close out the set, 25-13.

The third set also was closely contested through the halfway point with the teams tied at 15-15. Kentucky, which outhit A&M, .382 to .314 in the set, then began to pull away, outscoring A&M, 6-2 to go up 22-17. A&M got back within 22-19 before the teams began to trade point-for-point for the rest of the set.

Aggie senior libero Amy Nettles, playing in the 100th match of her career, tied for match high honors with 11 digs, giving her 1,272 digs for her career and moving her into seventh place in the A&M career records.

Hans led A&M in kills with 10 while hitting at a .280 clip.

Kentucky was led by Leah Edmond’s 13 kills.

The Aggies return home this weekend to begin a five-match home stand. In conjunction with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the team will hold its annual “Dig Pink” fundraiser match on Sunday, Oct. 15 when the Aggies play host to Auburn at Reed Arena. First serve is at 1:30 p.m., and all fans wearing pink to the match can purchase tickets at the entrance for only $3.

The first 1,000 fans in attendance on Sunday will receive free pink 12th Man Towels, and fans wearing pink in support of the cause can enjoy free pink lemonade from concessions. Like all Sunday matches this season, the pre-match Kids Court in the volleyball practice gym on the ground floor of Reed Arena will be open from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. In addition, adults are able to purchase a full price ticket and bring up to four kids to the match free of charge. The Take a Kid to the Match ticket offer is available for all Sunday matches at the ticket window on match day.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.

TEXAS A&M POSTMATCH QUOTES: 

HEAD COACH LAURIE CORBELLI

On the match…
“We met a very tough opponent at their place tonight, and we could not get our serving and passing anywhere close to where it can be, which meant zero attacking and made defense that much harder. Kentucky played awesome. It definitely was not our night at all.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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US out of World Cup contention with 2-1 loss at Trinidad

RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

COUVA, Trinidad (AP) — The United States has been eliminated from World Cup contention, a shocking loss at Trinidad ending the Americans’ streak of seven straight appearances at soccer’s showcase.

Twenty-eight years after a stunning victory at Trinidad put the Americans back in the World Cup after a four-decade absence, their chances for next year’s tournament in Russia ended on this island nation off the coast of Venezuela.

Trinidad and Tobago scored a pair of first-half goals, and the United States was eliminated with a 2-1 defeat Tuesday night — the first time missing the World Cup since 1986.

The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica left the Americans little margin for error.

The 28th-ranked Americans needed merely a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad, which lost its sixth straight qualifier last week. But the defeat — coupled with Honduras’ come-from-behind 3-2 win over Mexico and Panama’s 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Ramon Torres’ 88th-minute goal — dropped the Americans from third place into fifth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

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