Welcome to the first edition of the Dayton Sports Weekly Update. Join us every Monday for a rundown of all of your favorite home teams from the UD Flyers to our newest club, the Dayton Dutch Lions. We’ll try to keep you up to date on anything you may have missed last week, and everything you want to know coming up this week from stats, and scores to the latest news. Enough talking though, let’s jump right in.
The Dayton Dragons are still selling out games but are having a difficult time finding a good rhythm. They’ve dropped six of their last ten games, and out of those, 4 of them have been by one run. What makes that even more difficult is that those one run losses cost them 3 out of their last 4 series. The Dragons play away from home for the next two weeks and won’t be back at 5/3rd field until June 18th.
This week they will be playing at Beloit and Wisconsin, and next week they’ll be playing at Fort Wayne. Currently Fort Wayne is the only team out of those three that stand at a PCT of .500 or greater, so it’s a good week for the Dragons to make up some lost ground against some less challenging teams in the league.
The Dayton Gems had an interesting first year in Dayton. After being competitive for half of the season they embarrassingly slid into last place in the league. Ownership was at one time taken over by the IHL and then transferred to new ownership early on. They also seem mired in an endless list of traded and cut players, which would be fairly typical of any first year team, especially if you don’t know who you’ve got playing for you. Still, with such a difficult end to the year, the big guys upstairs clearly were not happy with Coach Marks and let him go, as well as several other staff members in an effort to right the ship before it falls to far.
If that wasn’t enough, the IHL’s contention as a league was in serious doubt at the end of the season with a flutter of rumors being passed around about their inevitable folding. It was just recently announced however that the IHL and CHL intend to merge together into one large league similar to that of the ECHL, with two separate divisions. This has a lot of implications for the Gems, namely their viability as a team in Dayton and how critical next year will be for them. This will expand their playing area drastically, including a half dozen teams from Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Louisiana, and Colorado, to name a few. Having said that, Dayton can no longer be considered in a “bus league” and will definitely have to hope fans will be curious about this new league to fill seats fast. I for one encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the Gems play yet, do so next year when their season starts. They did great things for the community last year, and though beleaguered as they were, deserve our support.
The Dayton Dutch Lions are doing an amazing job in their first year in Dayton. In the giant unending tangle of a mess that is the United Soccer League, Premier Development League, the Dutch Lions find themselves in second place in the Great Lakes Division, suffering not a singles loss all season. For those who might be unfamiliar with soccer, the Dutch Lions hold a record of 3-0-3 or 3 wins no losses and 3 draws. As a result they are one point behind the Chicago Fire. They tied their last game this weekend against Forest City London 1-1.
With their winning record so far this year, the Dutch Lions have also found themselves qualified for the 2010 U.S. Lamar Hunt Open Cup. As one of 8 PDL teams to make the Open Cup, make no mistake that this is a prestigious honor. The US Open Cup is the longest running cup series in the United States, dating back to 1914. Qualifying teams can be from any tier of the United States Soccer Federation, from amateur teams to the MLS. Since the inception of the MLS back in 1996, they have won the cup every year except 1999, in which the Rochester Rhinos beat out four MLS clubs to claim the championship. The luck of the draw has placed the Rhinos as the Dutch Lions’ first opponent in the tournament starting June 15th.
The Dutch Lions have an exhausting schedule ahead of them before June ends. On the 9th they play an away game against the Indiana Invaders, but return home this Saturday the 12th to play Toronto. Then on the 15th they’ll be travelling to Rochester to take on the Rhinos in the first round of the US Open Cup, followed by an away game on the 17th against the Cleveland Internationals. This will all be topped off by a home game (they are the away team however) against the Columbus Crew at Baujan Sports Field at The University of Dayton. I’ll have my tickets for that one, I hope you will too. All in all one heck of a next few weeks, all the best to the DDLFC.
What to say about university athletics in our town? There is a heck of a lot going on and I will not do them justice here, but I will try to capture what I can about what is going on right now around town. Though inevitably our thoughts will drift back to Basketball here in Dayton, I’ll try to be true to all the student athletes out there who play hard for WSU and UD.
Recently Raider’s Baseball found itself in the Horizon League Championship game after finishing the regular seasons with a 29-23 record. On May 30th however they stumbled against Milwaukee 14-7 to end their season. Though a disappointing end, the Raiders have found themselves as perennial contenders in the Horizon League, finishing the last 5 years over .500.
Women’s Softball also find themselves in the Horizon League Championship this spring, and after winning 4 out of 5, advanced to the NCAA Regionals in Ann Arbor. Though they ended their season there, the Raider posted their second ever NCAA tournament win this season, an encouraging end to a great season.
There is more to mention here about upcoming news for the Raiders, but we’ll have plenty of time to get to it. Check back soon.
The Flyers equally will have plenty to talk about in the upcoming months, especially as fall sports start to pick up steam so bare with me for now. The Flyers had a more difficult time this year in both Baseball and Softball, both finishing with losing records, but the Flyers soccer team faired better in their spring training, going undefeated, and shutting out the likes of Ohio State and Wright State, and finishing with a 2-2 tie against Kentucky.
Dayton has also had great success this year in Track and Field. This week two members will be competing in the upcoming NCAA Championship in Eugene Oregon; Junior Mallory Barnes (hammer throw) and freshman Katie Nageotte (pole vault). But there have also been several other distinguished athletes from various events noted this year, including Ashley Cattran and Sarah Allen who were recieved ESPN acedemic all-district honors this past week. Cattran was also recently announced as the A10 student athlete of the year.
Well that’s it for this week, come back again and we’ll let you know what’s going on in the Gem City. Show your pride for Dayton and those who play here, get out and watch a game!