The world of sports: a summer in review

    Brian Hula, Contributing Writer

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    This summer has been by no means a dull one in the world of sports. It has been marked by a Dallas-born athlete rising to international prominence, a remarkable horse and jockey achieving a feat last accomplished in 1978, and a record-setting individual performance in the championship game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. For these and even more reasons, it has been a summer to remember.

    The NBA finals was a highly anticipated matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Handicapped by players’ injuries, the Cavaliers still outperformed the Warriors, who had a deep bench, at the start of the series. They took a 2-1 series lead thanks to three 35-plus point games by LeBron James. However, the Warriors rebounded to claim the title, winning three straight games thanks to strong performances from Stephen Curry and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.

    There has been an infusion of new blood into Major League Baseball’s top tier during the current season. Former cellar-dwellers such as the New York Mets and the Houston Astros have surged to take divisional leads, while the Chicago Cubs are doggedly fighting to maintain possession of a wild card spot in the National League. The Kansas City Royals are following up last year’s playoff run with a strong performance in 2015: they currently own the best record in the American League. There are a few bluebloods who are also performing well — both the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals are currently at the top of the standings in their respective divisions.

    Perhaps the most historic sporting news of the summer was American Pharoah’s momentous accomplishment in horse racing. With jockey Victor Espinoza in the saddle, the three-year-old racehorse won the Kentucky Derby by a single length. He then dominated the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes to claim the Triple Crown. It is the first time that this feat has been accomplished since 1978.

    The FIFA Women’s World Cup was played in June and July at six locations throughout Canada. The US won two out of three games in the group stage, taking first place in Group D and advancing to the knockout stage. The American women then won three straight games to reach the final against Japan. The US attacked early and often to begin the game, claiming a 4-0 lead by the 16th minute. Carli Lloyd scored three of these goals, giving her the first hat trick in Women’s World Cup Finals history. The American women persevered to claim a 5-2 victory and earn the United States’ third Women’s World Cup title.

    The biggest sports headline in golf (and quite possibly the Dallas area) this year has been the emergence of Jordan Spieth, a native of Dallas. When he played in the Masters in April, Spieth led for all four days of the event and finished with a score of 18 under par. At 22 years old, Spieth was the second-youngest player ever to win the Masters. His success has only continued to blossom this summer, as he won the U.S. Open and became the number one ranked golfer in the world.

    In the coming weeks, be sure to check the Sports section of the University News for more updates on all the important news in the world of sports.

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