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UNM rugby team plays here today

The University of New Mexico can still make the Sweet 16 — in women’s rugby. UNM’s club-status team plays Arizona State today at 1 p.m. on Robertson Field. The winner plays UCLA here Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is $2 daily. The survivor plays in the Sweet 16 round in Stanford, Calif.

In-state students comprise much of the rugby team. Among them are Erica Speer of Cibola, Jennifer Foster-Valencia of Sandia, Marissa Daniels of Capital and Lauren Ingram of Highland.

U.S. soccer team wins in snow

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Clint Dempsey scored early in his first match as United States captain as the Americans beat Costa Rica 1-0 on Friday in a key qualifier for next year’s World Cup played at times in heavy snow.

Plows and shovels were used to clear snow from the penalty areas, center circle and midfield stripe, and a yellow-and-purple ball was used. There was even a brief stoppage in the 55th minute when it was unclear whether the match commissioner would let the contest continue.

The game resumed and as the snow increased, it made the field resemble a cake topped with piles of sugar.

Oklahoma State sweeps Lobos

New Mexico had an “uninspired” Friday of softball, and it showed up in embarrassing final scores — 11-0 in five innings and 6-1 to visiting Oklahoma State. New Mexico managed just four hits in the doubleheader, while the Cowgirls (21-13) pounded out 26.

“This team is a fighting team, so we will recover,” coach Erica Beach said of her 14-20 Lobos, “but the energy wasn’t there today and the focus wasn’t there.”

UNM hosts a weekend series against Siena. Today’s first pitch is at 2 p.m.

LA. TECH 8, NMSU 3: In Las Cruces, Tech (13-13) capitalized on two Aggie errors to score five unearned runs. Amber Olive and Staci Rodriguez had two hits each for the Aggies (16-13).

Ravens must begin 2013 on the road

Instead of celebrating their Super Bowl title with a game at their home stadium, the Baltimore Ravens will start the 2013 regular season on the road, because Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles wouldn’t budge. The Ravens’ Week 1 opponent has yet to be announced.

The NFL likes to have its reigning champion open its season at home and wanted to have the Ravens play in Baltimore at night Thursday, Sept. 5. But with the Orioles already set to host the Chicago White Sox next door at 7:05 p.m. on that date, and the leagues and teams unable to reach a compromise, the NFL announced Friday the Ravens will have to play somewhere else.

The Ravens and Orioles play at adjacent stadiums but share a parking lot, so they avoid playing at the same time to avoid traffic problems.

BEARS: Chicago agreed Friday to a one-year contract with linebacker D.J. Williams, a possible replacement for ex-University of New Mexico star Brian Urlacher.

Etc. …

OBITUARY: Harlon Hill, the former star receiver for the Chicago Bears whose name adorns the NCAA Division II player of the year trophy, has died in Florence, Ala., at age 80.

TENNIS: In Key Biscayne, Fla., an ankle injury forced two-time champion Victoria Azarenka to withdraw from the Sony Open on Friday, so Lauren Davis took a spot in the draw, and defeated fellow Floridian Madison Keys in a second-round match 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (7).

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