Orlando Sentinel

Carnahan Coverage: No. 22 UCF baseball pushing for first postseason trip since 2012

The UCF baseball team reached a regional championship game in 2012, capping a back-to-back run in the postseason with one of the strongest squads in recent memory.

A year ago the Knights lineup featured a majority of players new to the program, yet they barely missed out on being selected for the NCAA Tournament.

Entering this season UCF has just five players on roster from that 2012 team. But the experience this group garnered a year ago has them ranked No. 22 in the Baseball America preseason rankings.

I spoke with senior JoMarcos Woods and head coach Terry Rooney for the Orlando Sentinel this week about how valuable that experience will be this year. The Knights will face five teams this season that open ranked in the Top 25.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Super Bowl Sunday trouble, new football league, angry high school soccer dad and National Signing Day hype

I found myself caught up in a couple of crazy circumstances a week ago and decided to share those stories on the show this past Saturday.

For starters, my carelessness while running late to a Super Bowl party resulted in banging up the car of Mike Bianchi, columnist at the Orlando Sentinel and host of AM 740 The Game’s “Open Mike,” while in the parking lot at Ker’s WingHouse. We capped the opening segment by also talking about a new football league forming in 2016 that’s looking to bring yet another minor league team to Orlando next spring.

Then on Friday, while on assignment to cover a prep soccer game at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, I was nearly attacked by an angry Warriors dad in the press box. We finished the show talking about that wild encounter while giving props to the local high school state tournament teams and touching on the disturbing hype that surrounds National Signing Day on a yearly basis.

Enjoy.

Carnahan Coverage: Kasey Rakauskas scores hat trick for Lake Brantley in upset of West Orange

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Kasey Rakauskas netted a hat trick for the fifth time this season to help keep the postseason run alive for the girls soccer team at Lake Brantley High School.

The three most recent goals for the senior came at the most opportune time as the Patriots (13-8-2) went on the road Thursday for a Class 5A region quarterfinal and won 3-0 over West Orange (13-3-4), the No. 3 team in the Orlando Sentinel Super Six rankings.

Rakauskas also scored three goals in a game this season against Seminole (Oct. 28), Lake Howell (Nov. 14), Hagerty (Jan. 13) and Lake Mary (Jan. 14).

“She’s a star, she knows how to play and she reads the game so well,” Lake Brantley coach JC Garzon said.

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Carnahan Coverage: Linebacker Withney Simon still awaiting first scholarship offer

ORLANDO, Fla. – He’s done all that’s been asked of him yet Orlando Jones High School’s Withney Simon, the No. 2-rated linebacker in Central Florida, is unsure of his football future.

I caught up with Simon following the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl earlier this month at the Florida Citrus Bowl and asked him about his college options. He said that although he’s got the grades to qualify for football at the next level, he’s a bit surprised at how little interest he’s garnered from college programs.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Withney Simon for Orlando Sentinel – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Justin McBride tallies career-high in points & rebounds in UCF win

Justin McBride broke out in a big way for the UCF Knights on Sunday in Orlando during a 75-67 win over undersized Bethune-Cookman.

The sophomore center came off the bench seven minutes into the game and had his way in the low post before going on to finish with a career-high 31 points and 8 rebounds in 22 minutes of work.

“My teammates really made an effort to throw me the ball,” McBride said. “They just found me and I started scoring a little bit, and the basket got bigger and bigger.”

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap of UCF vs. Bethune-Cookman for the Orlando Sentinel – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Aftermath of Orlando City Soccer Club Playoff Loss

The Orlando City Soccer Club is now entirely focused on a move to Major League Soccer in 2015 after suffering an upset loss in the opening round of the USL-PRO postseason Saturday.

Despite the impressive run over the past four years for the club, the way it all ended won’t soon be forgotten.

On Tuesday Orlando City released all but three players from the 2014 USL Pro roster. The Lions are currently in negotiations to retain defender Luke Boden, Adama Mbengue and Harrison Heath.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Kevin Molino reacting to loss for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Adrian Heath reacting to loss for Major League Soccer – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Orlando City’s 2015 roster for Major League Soccer – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Caps Final USL PRO Regular Season Match with Win

The Orlando City Soccer Club played its final USL PRO regular season game Saturday, winning 1-0 over Richmond on a goal by Kevin Molino in the 23rd minute.

The win improves the Lions to 45-4-10 all-time in league matches at home, setting them up in good position for a run at their third championship in four years with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap of Orlando City vs. Richmond for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s preview of Orlando City’s regular season finale for Orlando Sentinel – )

Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Dedicates Hat Trick to Injured Teammate Yordany Alvarez

Orlando City Soccer Club midfielder Kevin Molino added three more goals to his USL-PRO leading total Sunday in a 7-0 thrashing of the Dayton Dutch Lions at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The hat trick is the second of the year for Molino and gives him 19 goals on the season.

When Molino collected himself for the post game presser he made it a point to dedicate his three-goal effort to Yordany Alvarez, who after suffering an injury during a game June 7 was forced to retire from the sport last week. The disarming comments made by Molino about his teammate were a change of pace from the typical answers he’s given to questions in the past.

As Molino knows, the games must go on. With just two regular season games remaining the Lions are in position to wrap up the regular season title and earn home field advantage throughout the postseason.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story about Yordany Alvarez for Major League Soccer – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap for Orlando Sentinel of OCSC’s 7-0 win over Dayton – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s advance for Orlando Sentinel about returning from road trip – )

Carnahan Coverage: North Carolina A&T Dominates in Orlando’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge

James Spady coached under Rod Broadway at Grambling State from 2007-09. On Sunday they were on opposite sidelines as Spady opened the season for the first time as a head coach against his mentor in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando.

But Spady soon found out that he’s not at Grambling anymore.

Broadway and the MEAC’s North Carolina A&T Aggies proved to be much more equipped for the challenge as they throttled Spady’s Alabama A&M Bulldogs 47-13 in the 10th edition of the game at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Kwashaun Quick and Tarik Cohen led A&T by combining for four touchdowns in the first half. The Aggies defense recorded three sacks and recovered two fumbles in the win.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap for Orlando Sentinel of North Carolina A&T’s win – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s advance for Orlando Sentinel about Spady and Broadway – )

Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Sets New USL-PRO Record For Goals Scored in a Season

I talked to Orlando City Soccer Club’s Kevin Molino and a couple of his teammates who’ve played alongside him over the past four years for a feature on the midfielder for the Orlando Sentinel.

Molino, who set a new USL PRO single-season record for goals scored last Saturday, is one of five current players looking to wrap up their third title in four years with the Lions when the playoffs open next month.

As much as I’ve already written about Molino this season, it turns out there was even more to be expressed. Not all of the quotes I gathered from Molino, Orlando City coach Adrian Heath, goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and defender Rob Valentino could fit into the story. So I’ve provided them below. Enjoy.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Kevin Molino for the Orlando Sentinel – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Ties USL-PRO Record in 3-1 Win

The Orlando City Soccer Club secured a home playoff game in the opening round of the USL PRO postseason on Saturday and extended their home winning streak to 17 matches in a 3-1 win over Harrisburg City.

Kevin Molino notched his 15th goal of the season in the win, tying the league’s single-season mark set a year ago by Orlando City loanee Dom Dwyer and Jose Angulo of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

( – Click here to read my follow-up on Kevin Molino’s efforts for MLSsoccer.com – )

( – Click here to read my recap of Orlando City’s win over Harrisburg City for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read my preview of Orlando City vs. Harrisburg City for Orlando Sentinel – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Herkie Walls Remembers Former Orlando Predators Coach Perry Moss

It was a sad week in the world of the Arena Football League (and nearly every other football league imaginable across the globe, for that matter) as the game lost one of its great minds in coach Perry Moss, who passed away peacefully under the care of Hospice on Thursday at the age of 88.

When word got out about the final days of Coach Moss more than a week ago, touching tributes were written by Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel and Adam Markowitz at ArenaFan.

On Saturday I was joined on AM 740 The Game by Herkie Walls, who played for Moss while with the Orlando Predators in the 1990s, to talk about the impact the coach had on his life. Walls also touched on the state of the AFL and the recent success of the Preds as they enter Sunday’s conference championship game against the Cleveland Gladiators at 3 p.m.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Herkie Walls talk about Perry Moss and the AFL – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club Back to Winning Ways

After going scoreless in back-to-back matches for the first time in the four-year history of the Orlando City Soccer Club, the Lions returned to form Saturday by dismantling the visiting Charlotte Eagles 4-1.

Orlando City improved to 7-0-2 all-time against Charlotte by way of a 21-8 advantage in goals. The Lions (15-1-4) now own a 16-match unbeaten streak at home.

Kevin Molino scored twice on Saturday to raise his goal total on the season to 13 through 19 matches. Dennis Chin scored his sixth goal of the year and defender Tyler Turner scored his first professional goal early in the first half.

( – Click here to read my story on Orlando City’s 4-1 win over Charlotte for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read my preview of Orlando City vs. Charlotte for Orlando Sentinel – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Wins 2-0, Fans Removed From Venue

It’s been a week of transition for the Orlando City Soccer Club and its most loyal of fans, the two recognized supporter groups that gather at one end of the stadium each match and lead the crowd in passionate chants.

Last night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney the club implemented stiffer guidelines as they look to adhere to a more formal code of conduct for fans before moving up to Major League Soccer next year.

It was a move that was forced upon the club after Orlando City fans brought embarrassment to the brand last Sunday during a road match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, where four fans were arrested and many others ejected from the stadium.

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club Pulls Scoreless Draw with Brazil’s Sao Paulo FC

Was it any coincidence the reports of Ricardo Kaka retuning to Sao Paulo FC, where he’ll play the remainder of the year before joining Orlando City Soccer Club in Major League Soccer in 2015, came out the same week the clubs were scheduled for an international friendly?

( – Click here to read my MLS story on Kaka comments from Orlando City coach – )

While Kaka was back home in Brazil, Orlando City and Sao Paulo played to a scoreless draw. The match came down to Orlando City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, who made a save in the 90th minute off the foot of Alexandre Pato from the top of the box. It felt anything but routine despite the one-timer being offered up to his chest.

If you’ve been watching the World Cup this month you may remember the impressive day turned in by Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa against Brazil during a 0-0 draw in group play. Gallardo, who is of Mexican decent, was asked about the coincidence.

“I’m just happy that Brazilians couldn’t score on Mexicans,” he said with a laugh.

( – Click here to read my recap of Orlando City-Sao Paulo for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read my preview of Orlando City-Sao Paulo for Orlando Sentinel – )