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Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark lead JWS’ NCAA All-Tournament Team

Angel Reese gained national fame after leading LSU to the 2023 NCAA Championship. (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The LSU Tigers hoisted the 2023 NCAA championship trophy on Sunday with a 102-85 win over Iowa. On the way to victory, LSU’s Angel Reese and Alexis Morris had exceptional individual performances, earning them spots on the JWS All-NCAA Tournament Team alongside other outstanding players.

Here are my choices for the First and Second Team starting five.

All-Tournament First Team

Angel Reese, LSU

The Final Four Most Outstanding Player led LSU throughout the season and continued her dominance in the postseason. Reese had a double-double in all six tournament games, starting with a 34-point, 15-rebound performance against Hawaii in the first round. She followed that up with 25 points, 24 rebounds and six blocks against Michigan, marking the first time a player had at least 25 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks in a tournament game.

Reese’s final contest secured her MOP award. The sophomore finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals, one block and zero turnovers to lead her team to a dominant national championship victory over Iowa.

Alexis Morris, LSU

LSU’s point guard almost joined Reese in the double-double club during the championship game. She finished just one assist shy of the mark, with 21 points and nine assists. Morris scored 19 of those points in the second half to help extend LSU’s lead and end Iowa’s chances of a comeback.

Morris was also critical in LSU’s semifinal win over Virginia Tech, leading the Tigers with 27 points. It was one of three tournament games in which Morris played all 40 minutes.

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Clark created buzz throughout March Madness, and for good reason. Not only did she set a new NCAA Tournament record — men’s or women’s — with 191 total points, but she also recorded a historic 41-point triple-double in the Elite Eight as Iowa topped Louisville.

In the next game, Clark recorded 41 points again, this time to upset the undefeated defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks. Clark continued her stat-stuffing ways by adding eight assists and six rebounds in that contest. Over the six tournament games, Clark averaged 31.8 points per game.

Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s point guard also had a record-setting tournament, making an all-time high 24 3-pointers, until Clark broke the record in the title game. Amoore left an indelible mark regardless, as she led the Hokies to their first Final Four in program history. With consistent highlight-reel step-back 3s, Amoore averaged 22.6 points per game in the tournament — a 6.3-point increase from her regular-season average.

Cotie McMahon, Ohio State

Ohio State didn’t make the Final Four, but McMahon was phenomenal in her team’s four games, earning her a place on the First Team. Her best game came in a historic victory over UConn in the Sweet 16, propelling Ohio State to its first Elite Eight appearance since 1993. The freshman finished with 23 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals against the Huskies.

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Zia Cooke led South Carolina with 24 points in the Final Four. (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

All-Tournament Second Team

Zia Cooke, South Carolina

The Gamecocks point guard was solid throughout her team’s run to the Final Four and was one of the best players on the floor in the loss to Iowa. Cooke finished with 24 points and eight rebounds in that game.

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

Kitley was a double-double machine for Virginia Tech as the Hokies advanced to the Final Four. She recorded at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in all but one contest. And in that game — a Sweet 16 win over Tennessee — she came up just two rebounds short of recording another.

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

Boston was a force on both ends of the court for the Gamecocks, recording at least one block in all five of South Carolina’s tournament games. The 2022 National Player of the Year’s best performance came in an Elite Eight win over Maryland, where she finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Monika Czinano, Iowa

In the midst of all the hype surrounding South Carolina’s bigs, it was Czinano who dominated the paint in Iowa’s Final Four win. She finished with 18 points and went 6-for-8 from the field, continuing the efficiency she’s become known for.

Maddy Siegrist, Villanova

Siegrist led her team to a Sweet 16 appearance thanks to three-straight 30-plus point games. The senior became just the fifth women’s Division I player to score 1,000 points in a single season when she eclipsed the mark in Villanova’s first-round win over Cleveland State. Siegrist was even stellar in the Sweet 16 loss to Miami, finishing with 31 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and two assists.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

LPGA Star Lexi Thompson Announces Retirement From Professional Golf

pro golfer lexi thompson on the course
Thompson turned pro in 2010 and went on to win 11 LPGA tournaments, capturing her first title in 2011 at the Navistar LPGA Classic. (Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Pro golfer Lexi Thompson is retiring, she announced on Tuesday. This will be her final season on the LPGA Tour.

The 29-year-old has been playing professionally for the past 15 years. The two-time Olympian and six-time Solheim Cup competitor said that she’d been contemplating retirement for a few months, coming to the conclusion that it was time to step away.

"While it is never easy to say goodbye, it is indeed time," Thompson posted to Instagram. "At the end of 2024, I will be stepping away from a full professional golf schedule. I'm excited to enjoy the remainder of the year as there are still goals I want to accomplish.

"I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my life. Time with family, friends, and my trusted companion Leo. I will always look for ways to contribute to the sport and inspire the next generation of golfers. And of course, I look forward to a little time for myself."

Thompson is set to play at the US Women’s Open in Pennsylvania starting Thursday. Speaking from Lancaster Country Club, Thompson told reporters that she’s currently taking it "day by day."

"I'm not going to say yes or no on how many events I'll play or if I do," she said. "I'm just going to take it day by day and see how I feel, especially going into next year, but I'm very content with this being my last full-time schedule year."

Thompson also cited mental health as a factor in her decision to retire.

"I think we all have our struggles, especially out here," she said. "Unfortunately in golf you lose more than you win, so it's an ongoing battle to continue to put yourself out there in front of the cameras and continuing to work hard and maybe not seeing the results you want and getting criticized for it. So it's hard.

"I will say, yes, I've struggled with it — I don't think there's somebody out here that hasn't. It's just a matter of how well you hide it, which is very sad."

This will be Thompson’s 18th-straight year participating in US Women’s Open. At just 12 years old, she was the youngest golfer to qualify for the 2007 tournament, later making her first cut at the major in 2009 at 14.

Thompson turned pro in 2010 and went on to win 11 LPGA tournaments, capturing her first title in 2011 at the Navistar LPGA Classic. 

The retirement came as a surprise to many, including decorated LPGA standout Nelly Korda

"She's had such an amazing career," Korda said Tuesday. "I've gotten to be on the team with her a couple times representing our country. I think she does an amazing job for the Tour. She spends so much time going to each pro-am party. She really dedicated her time to growing the game.

"It's sad to see that she's obviously leaving and not going to be out here with us anymore, but she's had an amazing career, and I wish her the best in this new chapter of her life."

Argentina Women’s National Team Stars Quit Over Pay, Conditions Dispute

Julieta Cruz of Argentina controls the ball during the FIFA Women's World Cup
The team qualified for the 2023 Women's World Cup, but failed to make it through the group stage. (Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Argentina women's national football team starting goalkeeper Laurina Oliveros, defender Julieta Cruz, and midfielder Lorena Benítez have officially left the team after a dispute over a lack of pay and conditions.

The news comes while the team is away at training camp during the FIFA international window. Argentina is scheduled to play two international friendlies at home against Costa Rica on May 31st and June 3rd — matches that Argentina's soccer association is refusing to pay its players for, according to Cruz and Benítez.

"We reached a point in which we are tired of the injustices, of not being valued, not being heard and, even worse, being humiliated," Cruz, a defender, wrote in an Instagram post published early this week. "We need improvements for Argentina's women's soccer national team, and I am not only talking about finances. I speak about training, having lunch, breakfast."

Argentina qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but failed to make it out of the group stage after losing to Italy and Sweden and drawing with South Africa. That stands in stark contrast to the men’s team, which won the 2022 FIFA World Cup behind star forward Lionel Messi. 

In her own Instagram post, Benítez alleged that players were provided only a ham and cheese sandwich and a banana as food during training camp, and that their families were being charged 5,000 pesos per ticket to see them compete against Costa Rica.

"And so millions of things we've been through, being FOOLED over and over again," Benítez added.

Goalkeeper Oliveros’s message was more concise than her teammates: "My wish for this year and the following? That generations to come may enjoy and be happy running behind the round, as perhaps at some point we were." 

Clark, Martin Square Off in First Pro WNBA Matchup

Kate Martin #20 of the Las Vegas Aces and Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever look on during the game
Things looked a little different Saturday night as the former Iowa teammates went head-to-head in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Iowa teammates Caitlin Clark and Kate Martin shared the court once again on Saturday, this time as professionals.

It was Martin’s Aces that got the 99-80 win over Clark’s Fever in Las Vegas. The pair's former coaches Lisa Bluder, Jan Jensen, Jenni Fitzgerald, and Raina Harmon were all in attendance to watch their Hawkeyes — Clark, Martin, and former national player of the year Megan Gustafson — take the court.

"It’s super special. It’s cool for our program, cool for Lisa, for Coach Jan, for all of them," Clark said in a pregame press conference. "They’ve known me since I’ve been 13 years old and now I’m 22 getting to live out my dream and they’ve been a huge part of that and helping me get here and helping Megan and Kate to get here too. It’s a great moment for them and I’m sure they’re not complaining about a trip to Vegas."

As for her college teammate, Clark had nothing but good things to say ahead of the showdown. 

"I’m just really happy for her and everything Coach [Becky] Hammon says about her is so true," she said. "Every person that played at Iowa and was around her knows that to be true. She’s the ultimate teammate, ultimate person, ultimate leader."

In the end, Martin stole the show with 12 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes, while Clark amassed eight points, seven assists, and five rebounds over 29 minutes of playing time. 

"It was weird," Martin admitted after the game. "I'm not going to lie — just looking out on the court and seeing her in a different jersey than me, it was obviously different. But it's really fun. We're both living out our dreams right now."

The Aces next meet the fever on July 2nd at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Barcelona Beat Lyon to Win Back-to-Back Champions League Titles

Barcelona's Aitana Bonmatí and Alexia Putellas celebrating after beating Lyon at the 2024 Champions League final
Ballon d'Or winners Aitana Bonmatí and Alexia Putellas helped Barcelona to a second-straight UWCL title on Saturday. (Ramsey Cardy - Sportsfile/UEFA via Getty Images)

Barcelona was crowned champion of the Champions League on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Lyon in Bilbao.

Alexia "La Reina" Putellas, who recently re-signed with Barcelona, came off the bench to score the team's second goal. Fellow Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmatí provided the team’s first. After the game, defender Lucy Bronze said Putellas was nicknamed "the queen" for a reason.

"Alexia is the captain of the team and she's the queen of Barcelona for a reason,"  defender Lucy Bronze told DAZN. "She's got the quality to do that in the last minute of the Champions League final when we were up against it at the end and it just sealed the win for us. It was amazing."

The victory marked Barcelona's first win over Lyon in a UWCL final, having previously gone up against the French side at both the 2019 and 2022 Champions League finals. It's also Barcelona's second Champions League title in a row.

"It's hard to win it once, but to do it back-to-back, Lyon showed how difficult it is and this team has finally done that," Bronze said. "I think we go down in history as one of the best teams in Europe."

This season, the team also secured a quadruple for the first time in club history, having already won Liga F, the Copa de la Reina, and the Spanish Supercopa. The win ensures that coach Jonatan Giráldez — who has officially departed the team to join the NWSL's Washington Spirit — leaves Europe a champion.

"It was an incredible game. I am really happy, it's one of the best days of my life for sure," Giráldez told broadcaster DAZN after the game. "We did an amazing job. I am very proud of all of them."

Following the win, Putellas said her team "can't ask for anything else."

"Our objective was to win four out of four," the Spain international told reporters. "We have achieved everything we wanted. Every minute of sacrifice has been worth the effort — and I'd say that not after the game, but before, just entering in the stadium, with all the support we had here, it was worth it."

2024 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Aitana Bonmatí said that the crowd support made it "feel like Camp Nou."

"I am on cloud nine right now," she said. "It is an historic day which we will remember forever."

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