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All roads lead to Louisville with six months of NWSL action coming to an end on Saturday. The Chicago Red Stars are facing off against the Washington Spirit for what I think is going to be an exciting end to the 2021 season.
I have some thoughts going into this weekend’s final so here goes nothing…
Neither of these teams concede often. And both teams have strong back lines - the Red Stars with Defender of the Year Nominee Sarah Woldmoe and the Spirit with goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe who’s been really coming through for the team in these playoffs. SO although both teams also have stellar players up front, I don’t think this will be a high scoring game.
This is the type of matchup decided by a single moment of individual brilliance. And when I think of individual brilliance my mind goes straight to Mallory Pugh (who was a finalist for NWSL MVP). There was some news about Pugh potentially missing the match because of COVID protocols but if she’s on the pitch my money is on the Red Stars.
FIL Luge World Cup
The opening World Cup of the 2021/22 FIL season will get underway this weekend at the Yang National Sliding Centre in Beijing!
These will be the first World Cup races of the season and there are some powerful athletes I’m excited to watch in the early stages of the tour. So… who are the big names?
Eight-time overall World Cup champion Natalie Geisenberger headlines a powerhouse German team in Yanqing that includes world champion Julia Taubitz. Geisenberger is the reigning world champion in the women’s singles, while Taubitz, who finished as the runner-up last season, picked up gold at the World Championships in the women’s singles and sprint competitions.
The Canadian women’s luge team consists of Trinity Ellis, Kailey Allan, Makena Hodgson and Natalie Corless. Canada’s team is full of talented and determined young athletes but I think they might have a tough time competing against the Germans.
Doubles 1st Run - Saturday at 3am ET
Doubles 2nd Run - Saturday at 4:30am ET
Women’s 1st Run - Sunday at 4:55am ET
Women’s 2nd Run - Sunday at 6:25am ET
Team Relay - Sunday at 6:25am ET
IBSF World Cup Bobsleigh & Skeleton
Set your alarms… sliding sports are BACK and we have a need for speed.
This weekend will see the Innsbruck Olympic sliding track hosting the opening event in the 2021/22 IBSF World Cup.
Athletes will be battling it out for this season’s first World Cup points in six different Olympic disciplines. And with just two months left to qualify for the Olympics, athletes will have 126 races across all series and disciplines to secure their spot at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Two-time world champion and 2018 Olympic gold medalist Mariama Jamanka is the headline name, though three-time Olympic medalist and reigning world champion Kaillie Humphries will offer some stiff competition.
On the Canadian front, my eyes will be on Jane Channell, Mirela “Mimi” Rahneva, Hallie Clarke and Madison Charney in the women's skeleton.
Women’s Skeleton (Heat 1) - Friday at 8:30am ET
Women’s Skeleton (Heat 2) - Friday at 10am ET
Monobob (Heat 1) - Saturday at 3am ET
Monobob (Heat 2) - Saturday at 3:30am ET
Women’s Bobsleigh (Heat 1) - Sunday at 3am ET
Women’s Bobsleigh (Heat 2) - Sunday at 4:30am ET
Check out the IBSF World Cup Bobsleigh & Skeleton, THIS WEEKEND on CBC Sports.
UFC Fight Night
Saturday in Las Vegas.... You know what that means! FIGHT NIGHT.
UFC @ufcThe Tale of @MieshaTate 2.0 🧁 [ Watch more on @UFCFightPass 📺 ] https://t.co/gHkAV02L9G
Ketlen Vieira meets former champion Miesha Tate in the women’s bantamweight main event of the UFC Fight Night this weekend. Vieria (11-2) is coming off of a loss to Yana Kunitskaya, which is Vieria’s second defeat in three fights after starting her career 10-0.
Tate (19-7) is a former UFC champion, having won the UFC belt in 2016 by beating Holly Holm but retired later that year after losing the title to Amanda Nunes, then dropping a decision to Raquel Pennington. Tate came out of retirement in July and knocked out Marion Reneau.
This is a really compelling matchup between a pair of talented contenders that could each benefit greatly from a dominant effort on Saturday. I’m expecting a lot of entertaining, technical grappling exchanges and a spirited back-and-forth for as long as this one lasts.
The co-main event is a flyweight matchup between Joanne Calderwood and Taila Santos. Calderwood and Santos will square off to cement their place in the divisional hierarchy heading into next year.
A Quick Look Back: What’s making me say “No way!” this week
🎾 A special first: The No. 6 seeded Spaniard, Garbiñe Muguruza, captured her 10th career WTA single title. Want to know what's EVEN cooler? She. Made. HISTORY. Muguruza became the first tennis player from Spain to win a WTA Finals singles title. No way! Yes, way! The champ absolutely steamrolled in straight sets against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia (6-3, 7-5). If that name sounds familiar, it's because Kontaveit has been ON FIRE lately in the tennis world. AND get this - Muguruza is the only player to beat Kontaveit within the last month!
⚽️🏆 Say it ain’t so: Here's a, "No way!" that I hope does not turn into a, "Yes way!" The Chicago Red Stars' Mallory Pugh may miss the NWSL Championship game. The league's MVP runner-up missed the semifinals due to COVID-19 protocol and this could extend to Saturday's big match. Besides all the vaccination speculation surrounding Pugh, I just want to see a fully loaded Red Stars roster for the championship. Ahhh! My excitement is building! I can't wait!
🏀 The more the merrier: No way! More women's hoops? YES WAY! The women’s NCAA tournament is adding four more teams this season. The tournament will expand from 64 to 68 teams, according to an announcement made by the NCAA on Wednesday. Giving our female hoopers the same opportunity as our men is always great news. PLUS this means more games come tourney time!
Women’s Sports on TV Guide
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