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Soccer Watch

Aztex’s Max Griffin named league Rookie of the Year, and more

The Austin Aztex's Maxwell Griffin was named USSF Division-2 Rookie of the Year on Wednesday; the forward out of UCLA was tied for third-leading scorer in the league and was an inspiration all year long. Awards for Best XI and Most Valuable Player are announced today (Thurs­day); cross your fingers for the Aztex's Eddie Johnson, who got my vote for league MVP. I dearly hope we get to keep Griffin for next year; Johnson was transferred this week to the Portland Timbers, who move from D-2 up to Major League Soccer next year.

Meanwhile, the D-2 championship series opens this Sunday, Oct. 24, 7pm, with the Carolina Railhawks at the Puerto Rico Islanders; the return leg is next Saturday, Oct. 30, 8pm. Watch the games live online at www.carolinarailhawks.com or www.prislandersfc.com.

The Islanders are still alive in the CONCACAF Champions League as well; they're in Honduras as we go to press, probably needing a win to advance to the quarterfinals in February. In other CCL action this week, Real Salt Lake, Cruz Azul, Santos, Monterrey, Columbus Crew, and Costa Rica's Saprissa all advanced out of group play.

The UT Longhorns won two road games last week: 1-0 over Missouri and 2-1 over Iowa State, with junior Kylie Doniak assisting on all three goals. The Horns take a three-game winning streak into the toughest part of their schedule: their last three games of the season, hosting the three top teams in the Big 12 – Oklahoma State Friday, Oct. 22, 7pm ($2 with a food bank donation of five cans of food), Oklahoma Sunday, Oct. 24, 7pm (free with a ticket stub from Saturday's UT vs. Iowa State helmet-ball game), and Texas A&M, next Friday, Oct. 29, 7pm ($2 for UT faculty and staff), all at beautiful Mike Myers Stadium.

The UT men's program isn't a varsity sport, but it's high-quality soccer nonetheless: The Horns, often one of the top intramural teams in the nation, host archrival Texas A&M this Friday, Oct. 22, 7pm at Whita­ker intramural fields, Guadalupe at 51st. Free, and highly recommended.

The St. Edward's women, at 10-0-1 for the season, remain eighth in the nation in NCAA Division II after shutout wins over St. Mary's and Texas A&M-International (7-0!). This week they host Newman (Thursday, Oct. 21, 4pm) and Dallas Baptist (Saturday, Oct. 23, 1pm).

Major League Soccer heads into the final weekend of the regular season with all eight playoff teams set, but the order still way up in the air; playoffs start next week.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Max Griffin, Eddie Johnson, Austin Aztex, Portland Timbers

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