BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer On the heels of a 10-7 campaign last fall, the youthful Holmdel High School girls soccer team is poised to contend for the Shore Conference’s Class A Central title this fall. PHOTOS BY ANDREW MILLER staff Left, Holmdel High School’s Isabelle Li (l) takes a shot on goal as St. John Vianney’s Nicole Baretta defends during Holmdel’s 3-1 victory at home. Right, SJV’s Nicole Margaritanda (center) wins a header over teammate Jackie Freeman (r) and Holmdel High School’s Angela Pento during Holmdel’s 3-1 victory at Holmdel High School. Though still early, the Hornets took a big step in that direction Friday with a solid 3-1 victory over division rival St. John Vianney. Marybeth Lesbirel scored her third and fourth goals of the season and Kayla Nelson added another goal to propel the Holmdel attack. The first tally came off a long pass from sweeper Danielle Esposito to Lesbirel, who made her way past an SJV defender before scoring. Esposito and Angela Pento, a sophomore forward, combined to set up Lesbirel’s second goal. “We generally moved the ball up the field well against SJV,” Hornets coach Jennifer Conroy said. “The real difference was in the second half when the girls took control of the game. Our girls wanted the game and it showed because they won the bulk of the battles for the 50-50 balls.” The win improved Holmdel’s overall record to 3-0 (2-0 in conference), with the other successes coming against Manasquan, 3-2 in a game that saw Holmdel down 2-0; and Red Bank Regional, 3-0. Conroy’s team can solidify its position this week as it has home games against Raritan, scheduled for Monday, and tomorrow against Red Bank Catholic. The Hornets showed much promise a year ago, downing Middletown South in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III tourney before bowing to Morristown in the second round. Holmdel also reached the second round of the Shore Conference Tournament, where they lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Freehold Borough, after downing Toms River North in the opening round. Conroy’s team boasts a strong balance between experienced seniors and talented underclassmen. Lesbirel, who scored 11 times a year ago, sets the tone up front, with Esposito and Kim Fiorentino in the middle. Katie O’Neill and Jackie Oren are on the backline. Another key is the presence of junior Isabelle Li in the middle. A three-year starter, Li is calm and quick with the ball and is rarely caught out of position. “Those girls all work well together and they’re unselfish so they set a good example for the younger girls,” Conroy explained. “You can’t underestimate the importance of having good senior leadership.” In addition, the Hornets have a cadre of sophomores, including Pento who has two goals and three assists after posting nine markers as a freshman. Stephanie DeSousa and Rebecca Galaraza shuttle between fore and midfield, and Nelson is a midfielder. Lindsay Ippolito and twins Alexa and Jamie Martinez are all solid defenders. Holmdel is solid in goal with freshman Sara Killough, who made eight saves to help secure the triumph against SJV, and sophomore Liz Keenan. In reserve are seniors Jessica Alvino, Christina Cianci, Alexis Vergas, Gloria Wu and Gianna Zito, along with junior Paula Lobaccaro and sophomore Gulia Picascia. “We wanted to get off to a good start; now we just have to keep the momentum going and not get ahead of ourselves because we’re in a tough conference,” Conroy said.
Inverness eased any lingering threat of relegation from the Ladbrokes Premiership after scoring three times in the second half on their way to a 3-1 win over 10-man Kilmarnock.Greg Tansey, Ross Draper and Danny Williams all found the back of the net to move Inverness 11 points clear of 11th spot with four games to go.Kallum Higginbotham had given Lee Clark’s men the lead towards the end of the first half but Caley Thistle drew themselves level 10 minutes after the break, Tansey netting a penalty after Jamie MacDonald had been sent off.Draper turned in from close range after a Tansey corner with 17 minutes to go and Williams netted three minutes later to secure the points. Given that three points would have been useful for both sides, you would have expected more from a first half that lacked in any real incident or urgency.Neither goalkeeper was forced into a save in the first 30 minutes as a tame affair played out in front of a sparse Sunday afternoon crowd.Killie’s greatest threat came from set pieces, with balls aimed at Miles Addison, while Caley Thistle had some joy with Danny Williams and Miles Storey finding some space in behind the Kilmarnock back line. The best chances fell for the home side, with MacDonald denying Danny Williams and Julien Faubert heading a Gary Warren effort off the line.In a familiar story for Caley Thistle they had controlled possession but created little before shooting themselves in the foot. Greg Kiltie broke and fed Higginbotham and he was granted the freedom of the Highland capital, cutting inside and firing beyond Owain Fon Williams to give Kilmarnock a half-time lead.It was the visitors’ only shot of the first half and after the number of sucker-punches Inverness have been caught by this season, it should not have come as a surprise that they should find themselves behind.They were inexplicably handed a lifeline eight minutes into the second half by Killie defender Conrad Balatoni.His back pass was intercepted by Draper and, after rounding the goalkeeper, he was brought down by MacDonald, who saw red.Tansey buried the resulting penalty under replacement goalkeeper Conor Brennan.The opportunity was there for Inverness to go on and seize the game but they failed to do so, Josh Meekings missing a glaring header shortly after Fon Williams bailed out his side at the other end.But Draper’s close-range finish and Danny Williams’ angled shot across Brennan gave the hosts a two-goal cushion and gave them a lead they could hold on to, despite Faubert hitting the bar.
Bizzy Was Sneaking Needles Into The Toilet For GSP Fight Sale The Russian juggernaut eventually got older and failed to evolve with the sport, leading to some less-than-impressive performances in his later years (like this one), but UFC color commentator Joe Rogan believe there was another variable at play.Stateside drug testing.“I’m super suspicious about all those old fights now,” Rogan said on his official podcast. “I mean steroids, performance enhancing drugs, we’re looking at a different human, that’s what I’m thinking. Whatever everybody was on back then, they were all on the same shit, Fedor was still beating everybody’s ass.”So if everyone else was doing steroids, then it was, by Rogan’s logic, a level playing field. Is Fedor Emelianenko the greatest heavyweight of all time?Well, I suppose that depends on your criteria for greatness. From 2001-2009, “The Last Emperor” captured 27 straight wins, won the PRIDE Fighting Championship heavyweight title, and racked up a ridiculous 21 finishes.Some of the champions representing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at that time, including Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and Frank Mir, would eventually move on to face Emelianenko — only to get destroyed within one round. ProMax 440 BJJ GI Related Fedor Refutes Roid Report, Buries Anderson Silva Fight Motion! Watch Holloway, Cyborg Do Work Via Ghost Cam Timeline of Israel Adesanya’s Rapid Rise to UFC Contender Amanda Nunes’ Biggest Threat? Photo by Tomokazu Tazawa/Getty Images Top Contenders for Fight of the Year Good Night Tee Standard BJJ Gi Which is More Dangerous – MMA or Football? Latest From MMA Warehouse Related There’s UFC Heavyweights, And Then There’s Shaq Nightmare Matchup for UFC’s Biggest Stars Gloves Gordon Ryan Competition Kit Accessories More From King Ryan Longsleeve Shirt Apparel Midnight Mania! Trump Family In The ‘Chaos’ Corner? Latest From Our Partners Brock Lesnar’s WWE Future After UFC Retirement Lights. Out. More: Greatest Highlights of Anderson Silva’s Career Standard Ranked Rashguard MMAmania.com Bisping: Fedor Lost Because He Can’t Dope In America Lockdown duffle bag Mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Enson Inoue went public back in 2014, exposing the loophole in PRIDE contracts (see it) that allowed fighters to take steroids. While Emelianenko has never failed a drug test, some of his cohorts from the glory days of Japan were not so fortunate.Like this guy.Suspicious or not, Emelianenko (37-5, 1 NC) is back on top, thanks to his first-round finish over Mir (video) at the Bellator MMA event last weekend in Chicago. “The Last Emperor” moves on to fight Chael Sonnen — no stranger to drug testing — along with his sidekick, Snow White.