The regular season is quickly coming to an end, and with just three matches left, the No. 6 Women of Troy are hoping to come away with three wins away from home.USC has its final big road trip this weekend, as it heads north to face Oregon State tonight followed by No. 23 Oregon on Saturday.“We’re ready to go on this trip. We’d really like to go up there and try to get two wins if we can,” said USC coach Mick Haley.The Women of Troy already beat both of these teams at the Galen Center this season. The team swept Oregon State in three sets on Oct. 23. USC also defeated the Ducks, but it was a more difficult task. USC went up 2-0 but lost the next two games, eventually coming away with the win in five sets.Despite past success against these teams, Haley is not overconfident about his team’s upcoming matches.“I can’t tell you that I think anything’s going to be easy this weekend,” he said.Though Oregon State has an overall record of 8-20 and is just 1-13 in the Pac-10, when asked about the Beavers, Haley only had good things to say.“They’re maybe the best blocking team in the conference right now, and they’ll use that at home to get the fans going,” Haley said. “They’ll be very, very loud, so we expect a much better match from them than we had last time.”Saturday’s task will not be any easier for USC. The Ducks are 6-8 in conference play and look to improve this record as their season winds down.“They know that they have to have at least some big wins here in the end to get a better seed in the NCAA tournament, so we really have to win the serving and passing game if we can,” Haley said. “We expect a really tough match in Eugene.”With the season getting down to the wire, and USC playing in a stacked Pac-10 conference with seven ranked teams, it’s reasonable to think the players, especially the six freshmen, might be feeling the pressure. But Haley doesn’t seem to think his youngsters are intimidated.“We’ve got them pretty well focused,” Haley said. “They don’t have much time to think about pressure.”The Women of Troy are coming off two wins last weekend against Arizona State and Arizona, who was ranked No. 20. It seems USC might be peaking at the right time.“The team’s done very well this week,” Haley said. “We’re looking for two really big matches.”With only two weekends left, Haley hopes the team’s recent performance will carry over into the next few games.“[We’ll] try to win the last three,” he said. “See if we can maintain this momentum into the tournament and get the best seed we can possibly get.”Both of USC’s matches this weekend start at 7 p.m.
Following two road wins against Oregon and San Diego State, the Trojans are set to take on sixth-ranked Colorado on Friday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.With an overall 11-3 record, (5-0 MPSF) the Trojans dominated their competition in last week’s contests, highlighted by a commanding offensive performance by senior attacker Michaela Michael. On the road, Michael matched her career high of seven goals in addition to six draw controls against San Diego State and six goals and 11 draw controls against Oregon. Following a solid week, she also earned her 10th career MPSF Player of the Week Award. Michael has anchored the Trojan offense throughout her senior season scoring at least four goals in eight of USC’s last nine games. Senior Cynthia Del Core has also been an instrumental component of the Trojan offense, recording her 11th career hat trick and three assists in Friday’s contest against the Ducks. In addition, freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller had a strong performance over the weekend, demonstrating her offensive skill with three goals and her fifth career hat trick against San Diego State. With a five-game winning streak, the Trojans are gearing up to take on the Buffs this coming Friday and continue their winning ways. Colorado’s roster is highlighted by junior midfielder Darby Kiernan, top scorer on the team, who earned Player of the Week honors last week following her strong performance against Stanford. On defense, the Buffs are second in the nation in overall defense with senior goalie Paige Soenksen in the net. With a 12-1 overall record, the Buffs remain undefeated in conference play. Miller highlights the Trojan mindset of using each competition as an opportunity to improve. “What we’ve said from the beginning of the season is that we want to get better each and every game so we’re looking at Friday as another opportunity to get better -— defensively and offensively,” Miller said. With both teams exhibiting a strong defensive unit, the name of the game will be capitalizing on opportunities. “They’re a really disciplined team,” head coach Lindsey Munday said. “They play as a unit really well and have a great goalie so we’re going to have to play really disciplined on offense and make the most of the opportunities that we have and make sure to finish our shots when we do get them.”Friday’s game also holds significance as it is Senior Night for the Trojans. “I think it’s going to be a really special night,” Munday said. “This group has been with us really from the beginning and has been with us through the ups of the program and the downs of the program and have stuck through and have now stepped into this leadership role really well and really made this team their own.” In her first season at USC, Miller spoke about the senior leadership and the importance of team chemistry. “Coming in as a freshman the seniors totally took us under their wing, showed us the ropes and set the standard of what the season should be,” Miller said. “Team camaraderie is the biggest thing that we can do to have success — being with the team and having trust in your teammates is what will make us ultimately the most successful.” With a strong team chemistry, the Trojans look to continue their five-game winning streak by working together as a unit, come Friday. “The games that we’ve had so far this season have prepared us for the game on Friday,” Munday said. “We’ve gone through a lot of different situations in games —we’ve been up, we’ve been down, we’ve lost, we’ve beat teams.We’re going to have to be ready to play a full 60-minute game and battle all across the field in order to compete.”
At 41 and a veteran of professional mixed martial arts for 15-plus years, Lyoto Machida still loves to train. Every single aspect of it: from packing his gym bag to making the trek to his next session and putting in the actual work.“I enjoy every single moment of the journey,” Machida told Sporting News during Wednesday’s media day for Bellator 222, where he’ll face fellow MMA veteran Chael Sonnen in the co-headlining event at Madison Square Garden on Friday, live on DAZN. In addition to his fondness of training, Machida also fuels his fighting career with another passion: cooking.The former UFC champion first fell in love with cooking while suspended 18 months — from April 2016 to October 2017 — after admitting he used a banned substance in a drug test administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).Join DAZN and watch Bellator 222 on June 14“When I stayed out of fighting for almost two years, I tried to find something that I could enjoy more than my training,” Machida said. “I think it’s a way that I found to get involved more with my kids. They love when I make sukiyaki — it’s a Japanese dish with vegetables and meat.”Over time, “The Dragon” has been able to pinpoint similarities between culinary arts and mixed martial arts, adding that the former aids his elusive, karate-based style and overall fighting in the twilight of his career. View this post on Instagram That said, Machida minces no words about what he expects if he gets his hand raised over Sonnen.“I want the belt,” Machida said, with his sights set on Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, whom the Brazilian knocked out in the UFC back in August 2012. “I’m not here to play around. I’ve been saying that since I signed with Bellator.”With ambition like that, it’s a good thing Machida has the culinary skills to fuel his fighting fire. Hobby nada mais é que um passatempo, uma ação, uma atividade que lhe traz prazer e satisfação. Eu, por exemplo, gosto muito de cozinhar! Isso mesmo. Sempre faço algumas receitas e me divirto na cozinha. Para mim é algo prazeroso e não tenho dúvidas de que influencia na minha qualidade de vida e no meu humor. Você tem um hobby? Então ao fazê-lo com frequência, perceberá um aumento no bem-estar conforme a tensão do dia a dia reduz. Agora é a sua vez, conta pra mim nos comentários qual o seu hobby! #tbt A hobby is a pastime, an activity that brings your pleasure and satisfaction. For instance, I really like to cook! That’s right, I always cook up some recipes and have fun in the kitchen, it’s something that I enjoy and I’m sure that it has an influence on my quality of life and mood. Do you have a hobby? If you do it often, you will notice an increase in your well-being as the daily tensions will be reduced. Now it’s your turn, tell me about your hobbies in the comments!A post shared by Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) on Apr 18, 2019 at 8:01am PDT“When you cook, you kind of find yourself,” Machida says. “You have your own moments. You cut the onion, you cut the tomato, you do everything on your own and you feel more concentrated and focused in a different style.“When you train in martial arts, you’re already in this stage,” he continues. “But when you cook, it’s more peaceful and you could get the same aspects (as training).”MORE: Bellator 222: Rory MacDonald explains clarity he found to continue fighting career“More peaceful” is not how you would describe promoting and entering a fight with the ever-opinionated Sonnen. But Machida (25-8) hasn’t found Sonnen (31-16-1) to be the trash-talking, venom-spewing fighter he usually is entering scraps with past opponents.“He’s so quiet now,” Machida says. “I’m not sure why.”Perhaps it’s partly because Machida counts victories over MMA greats like Gegard Mousasi, Ryan Bader, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz — to name a few.Machida has heard Sonnen say he wants to exact revenge on behalf of his Team Quest stablemates, Couture and Henderson — a motivational theme that “The American Gangster” continued running with on Wednesday.”I thought as a team, we got closer and closer, but that’s a tough puzzle to solve,” Sonnen told SN. “Machida’s got some very unique skills. He does stuff that other guys don’t do. If you’re one guy who runs through Team Quest, you’ve got quite the feather in your cap and he will deserve that … if he gets it done.”