One of the first major team sports to restart in 2020 was the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) with a tournament in a Utah bubble for player safety. After a four-game round robin, the NWSL Challenge Cup tournament commenced and a surprise winner was crowned. The Houston Dash, not considered a favorite, came through in the clutch behind the solid goalkeeping of Jane Campbell who didn't allow a goal in the three tournament games and had a clutch stop in the quarterfinals during a PK shootout. She turned away all six shots in the semifinals and finals to enable 1-0 (vs. Portland Thorns) and 2-0 (vs. Chicago Red Stars) wins respectively. She had no room for error. Throughout the tournament she led the league with 21 saves and four shutouts. A deserving champion and great goalkeeper. The Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!
Greatness is measured by being best in your sport. Winning one of the elite tournaments in your sport to propel you to that is also a great way to demonstrate greatness. Both were achieved by our Sportsman of the week. John Rahm distanced himself from the field enough at The Memorial to make the back 9 nearly irrelevant. With up to a six stroke lead at times, Rahm proved he was at the top of his game. On a Sunday when the course was bringing players to their knees (only one player in the Final Top 9 finished under par), he managed to mitigate damage with a 3 stroke win. With the win, the Spaniard is now Tops in the World. Plenty of golf to play in 2020 including deferred majors, but he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week.
Rookies aren't suppose to win on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series anyway. Let alone at a challenging track like the Kentucky Speedway. But our Sportsman of the Week did both, beating a strong field. Cole Custer surged past prior Cup Series Champions like Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. to win on a restart of the Quaker State 400 after a crazy, crash-filled final 20 laps. Constantly lurking toward the top with a surprisingly fast car, he found himself in the Top 4, then as the other three battled and rubbed, hit the outside groove to victory. The Stewart-Haas driver of the 41 car now finds himself in the All Star race this week, as well as the playoffs, joining teammate Harvick. It's not supposed to be like this. But it was, and Custer is now a NASCAR winner!
Fans weekends and sometimes weekdays continue an increase of sports presence, and this last weekend was the second running if the IndyCar Racing League (IRL) of the season. Second running, same as the first as far as winners go. Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing dominated the GMR Grand Prix field at the league's namesake Indianapolis Motor Speedway to win the road course by nearly 20 seconds. For someone as dominant as he has been on the circuit, it is suprising it is only Dixon's second win at the Speedway, over a decade since his first in the 2008 Indianapolis 500. Dixon has his eyes set on a second Indy 500 win for the race now rescheduled for August 23 with qualifying earlier in the month. The New Zealander is likely to be a heavy favorite and looks poised to capture his sixth overall IndyCar title. A worthy Sportsman of the Week!