Sports Digest: UCLA wins NCAA women's soccer title in OT

2013-12-08T21:15:00Z 2013-12-26T18:49:16Z Sports Digest: UCLA wins NCAA women's soccer title in OT nwitimes.com
December 08, 2013 9:15 pm

Pro football

BREES SHARP AS SAINTS BEAT PANTHERS: Drew Brees passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns and the New Orleans Saints beat Carolina 31-13 on Sunday night to regain sole possession of first place in the NFC South and snap the Panthers' winning streak at eight games.

The Panthers' defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season until the Saints scored three in the second quarter alone, when Brees completed 14 of 16 passes for 159 yards.

The Saints also became the only team this season to score more than 24 points against Carolina, which entered the game No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing 13.1 points per game.

Brees' first two scoring strikes went to Marques Colston, who made nine catches for 125 yards. Jimmy Graham added two TD catches, his second making it 31-6 in the fourth quarter

New Orleans sacked Cam Newton five times and did not allow a touchdown until 5:15 remained.

Women's soccer

UCLA WINS NCAA TITLE IN OT: Kodi Lavrusky gave UCLA its first NCAA women's soccer title Sunday, scoring in the 97th minute to lift the Bruins past Florida State 1-0 in overtime in cold and rainy conditions.

"The whole game we knew we had it in us," Lavrusky said. "Once we got to that first overtime, we knew our chances were coming. We just had to finish one."

Making a run from the back, Megan Oyster brought the ball down the left side of the field before crossing over to the middle. She slipped a pass in front of the goal to Lavrusky, who left-footed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net past diving goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.

It was the first title game decided in overtime since 2002.

College football

RUTGERS FIRES 3 ASSISTANTS: Rutgers has fired defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, quarterbacks coach Rob Spence and offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski.

Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood says in a statement released Sunday that the three will not coach in the Pinstripe bowl against Notre Dame on Dec. 28 at Yankee Stadium.

Special teams coach Joe Rossi will run the defense on an interim basis and offensive coordinator Ron Prince will handle quarterback coach duties.

BIG TEN CHAMPS JUMP IN AP POLL: Michigan State has jumped six spots to No. 4 in the final regular season Associated Press football poll after beating Ohio State for the Big Ten title.

Michigan State's 34-24 win Saturday night also gives the Spartans a trip to the Rose Bowl.

Florida State is No. 1 in the poll released Sunday, and Auburn is No. 2.

Alabama is No. 3 in the last rankings until after the bowls.

No. 5 Stanford is the Pac-12 champion for the second straight season.

No. 6 Baylor won the Big 12, and Ohio State slipped to No. 7 after Michigan State handed the Buckeyes their first loss since the 2011 season.

Pro golf

JOHNSON RALLIES FOR PLAYOFF WIN AT SHERWOOD: Zach Johnson put together the storybook finish at Sherwood on Sunday that for the longest time belonged to Tiger Woods.

Johnson rallied from four shots behind with eight holes to play, holed out from a drop area for par on the last hole to force a playoff, and beat the No. 1 player in golf at the World Challenge when Woods missed a 5-foot par putt on the first extra hole.

It was an extraordinary sendoff at Sherwood, which hosted the World Challenge for the 14th and final time before it moves to Florida next year.

Johnson and Woods were tied after Johnson hit his tee shot to 4 feet for birdie on the 17th hole. Playing from the left rough, Woods came up just short and watched his approach tumble down the elevated green and into the bunker. Johnson followed with an 8-iron so weak that it came up well short and into the hazard.

Johnson knew Woods had a difficult bunker shot, and if he figured if he could stick his wedge close from 58 yards away in the drop zone, a bogey might be enough to get into a playoff. The ball bounced three times and then spun back a few inches into the cup for an unlikely par and a 4-under 68.

Johnson won $1 million and should go to No. 9 in the world.

Around the horn

Justin Zosso won the pole vault, setting a Valparaiso University record of 14 feet, 11 inches in the process, as the Crusaders began their indoor track and field season Saturday at the Mastodon Opener in Fort Wayne. Valpo's Sarah Peters placed second in the pole vault (10-11 1/2), while Sarah Drozdowski was second in the weight throw (55-9).

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