Nationals

Seminoles look for win vs. Hokies after week off

Seminoles look for win vs. Hokies after week off

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Although Jimbo Fisher is 27-9 since taking the reins at Florida State, he still hasn't won after a bye week.

The eighth-ranked Seminoles (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) are 0-2 following a layoff in Fisher's first two seasons. They're aiming to snap that bit of ignominy Thursday night at Virginia Tech, which is in danger of its first losing season in more than two decades.

Aside from some earlier season-ending injuries to key players, Fisher said the Seminoles are well rested and healthy. He said the coaches and players haven't given any thought to the failures of the last two years after bye weeks.

``That has nothing to do with how we prepare,'' Fisher said Monday. ``This is not the same team. Your injuries aren't the same. Your history is not the same.''

Last year the Seminoles were upset 35-30 at Wake Forest despite having two weeks to get ready for that game. In 2010 they were defeated at North Carolina State after a 12-day rest and then came home and were beat again by North Carolina. In each case, the Seminoles were favorites to win and they're a two touchdown favorite over the Hokies, who are trying to salvage a winning season and bowl berth.

``We can't control how they play,'' Fisher said. ``All we can control is how we play and how we prepare mentally to go in there.''

Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3) has won just twice since Sept. 8 and outscored 68-29 the last two weeks in losses at Clemson and Miami. Their lone wins the past two months were over Bowling Green and Duke.

``The difference between winning and losing sometimes can be two or three plays, or confidence sometimes,'' Fisher said.

But the Hokies seem to have plenty of confidence at home where they're 4-1 this year and have always been hard to beat. They whipped the Seminoles 40-21 the last time the two played in Blacksburg, Va. In 2007.

But like Fisher likes to say, this is a different Florida State team and he gets no disagreement from Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer.

``Our players have realized what a challenge we have,'' Beamer said. ``We have their attention toward that and that's what we need to be looking at right now.''

However, the Seminoles have struggled in their three road games this year, averaging 26.7 points per game compared to 54 at home. Their lone loss came a month ago at North Carolina State after the Seminoles inexplicably blew a 16-point halftime lead.

Fisher believes his team has matured as a result of those experiences and doesn't expect history to repeat itself in the form of another loss after an open date.

``We'll be a good fresh team,'' Fisher said. ``A team that's mentally prepared and ready to play.''

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Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

The Nationals welcomed 10-year-old cancer patient Parker Staples as the newest addition to their team on Friday, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Foundation.

While battling lymphoma, Staples learned he would receive a wish and didn’t hesitate about what he wanted to choose. After being sidelined for two years during treatment, Parker couldn’t wait to celebrate his remission by becoming part of his favorite baseball team. 

Staples was introduced to his new teammates and got signed autographs from Matt Adams, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, and Yan Gomes. He also got to spend time hitting and playing catch with his new teammates, as well as being interviewed as the newest member of the team. It gets even better than that, Staples threw the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park leading up to the Marlins-Nationals game Staples 

The Nationals are hosted the Miami Marlins in the series opener Friday.

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Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Washington Spirit Aussies Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison have NBC Sports Washington’s Anna Witte try Australian staples Vegemite and Bundaberg ginger beer.

According to Logarzo, before each game with the Australian National team, all of the players would eat vegemite on toast with poached eggs and avocado. 

Witte rated the Vegemite a four out of ten, her immediate response was that it tastes "Super salty."

"Not awful, but I don't think I would buy it for myself....it's awful."

Both Logarzo and Harrison joined the Spirit this season. Harrison has appeared in ten games for the Australian national team and Logarzo has appeared in 37. 

After two straight wins the Washington Spirit are looking to continue their winning streak this weekend against the Chicago Red Stars.

Washington will face off against Chicago at the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

In the NWSL standings, the Red Stars are in first place with a 3-1-2 record and the Spirit are in fourth with a 3-1-1 record. In 2018, Chicago took the series over Washington with two wins and a draw.

Despite missing U.S. National players Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, the Spirit defeated Portland Thorns FC last weekend 3-1. 

Amy Harrison scored the first goal during the 16th minute followed by Portland scoring on their own goal in the 47th minute to put Washington ahead 2-0. Finally, in the 71st minute, Jordan Diabasi scored an olimpico. 

Spirit Midfielder Jordan DiBiasi won the NWSL Goal of the Week for her goal against the Portland Thorns last weekend. 

Spirit Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe continues to lead the NWSL with 19 saves.