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St. Edward's women host the Heartland Conference Tournament this Thursday and Saturday, Nov. 7 & 9 at Lewis-Chen Family Field. Semifinals are Thursday: Dallas Baptist vs. St. Mary's at noon; top-seeded St. Edward's vs. Newman at 2:30pm; the final is Saturday at 1pm. The Hilltoppers ended their regular season at 14-0-2, 9-0 in conference, and ranked #13 in the nation... St. Edward's men won their second straight Heartland Conference championship by coming back from two goals down to beat St. Mary's, 3-2 in overtime Monday in San Antonio. They end their regular season playing St. Mary's again at home, 1pm Sunday, then will wait to see if their 11-3-2 record earns them an NCAA bid.

The UT Longhorns lost to Oklahoma State, 2-1, in the first round of the Big 12 Tour­na­ment in Kansas City Wednesday, after dropping their regular season finale, 1-0, at Texas Tech. The Horns ended their regular season at 12-5-2 (5-2-1 Big 12).

MLS playoffs are well underway, with the Eastern Conference (N.Y.-Houston, K.C.-New England) being decided as we go to press, and the West on tap for Thursday (Salt Lake City-L.A., 8pm, ESPN2; Portland-Seattle, 10pm, NBC Sports). If you watch one game this playoff season, you probably ought to make it that Timbers-Sounders matchup: this Cascadia Cup rivalry is truly one of the great ones of American sports, spanning 83 games over 38 years, and surviving through four leagues: the NASL, A-League, USL First Division, and MLS. It is a good thing to hear the Timbers Army at full throat in historic Jeld-Wen Field... The Conference Finals begin this Saturday, Nov. 9, 1:30pm on NBC (East), and Sunday, Nov. 10, 8pm on ESPN (West); then it's two weeks before the return legs Nov. 23-24, to make way for the international dates coming up Nov. 13-20.

The final World Cup qualifiers take place Nov. 13-20, kicking off with New Zealand at Mexico, Wed., Nov. 13, 1:30pm on ESPN. The other playoffs are for nine qualifying spots in Europe and Africa, plus the intercontinental Jordan-Uruguay.

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Nick Barbaro, Aug. 12, 2016

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