All Scores

Satou Sabally on understanding her body and improving her mid-range

Basketball player/ JWS
Basketball player/ JWS

Satou Sabally plays for the Dallas Wings of the WNBA. The No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft, Sabally was named to the AP All-Rookie team after completing her first season in the historic WNBA bubble. During the season, Sabally became the only rookie to serve in a leadership role on the WNBA Social Justice Council. 

Sabally spoke with JWS about her recent work with Orreco, a sports performance company partnering with Wasserman athletes to better understand the effects of the menstrual cycle on athletic performance. To read more about the partnership, click here

How did you first hear about the Orreco x Wasserman partnership and what was your reaction? 

I was put into contact with them through my agency. My team knew how important it was for me to know my body and every single aspect of it. I was very excited since I’ve heard athletes like Megan Rapinoe talk about the effects of hormones and periods before, but I never really knew the science about it.

How knowledgeable were you already about the science regarding how the menstrual cycle affects athletic performance?

I only knew about my cycle from biology and sex education in school. That was it. The only thing I thought I knew was that having your period on game days is a bad thing. But I know now that this is not the case, and the science behind it proves it.

What’s the biggest insight that you’ve learned? 

With every cycle, there are different phases in which I can change my nutrition to further increase my recovery, performance, and progress. What I found most interesting is the intake of antioxidants to reduce inflammation, especially the week before my period starts.

More and more athletes and teams are discussing the need to track the menstrual cycle in order to maximize performance, but what needs to happen to bring this conversation into the mainstream? 

People need to be able to access open conversations around this topic, like we’re doing now. It needs to be so normal to talk openly about your cycle so that no one is ashamed of something so natural. Of course, it always helps if athletes with big names speak about it and make it interesting to know about. Teenagers especially need to see this so that they can talk amongst each other, and their coaches as well

Do you see this partnership as being part of a broader effort to normalize the discussion? 

Yes, through my social media channels I try to be as open as possible and give people access to the resources I have. If I am able to normalize this topic for one person, I am convinced that this will have a trickle-down effect to her/his/their circle and friend group. If coaches see how important this topic is, they can open up this conversation with their athletes as well after finding more out about it.

You’re a few months removed from the WNBA bubble. What will you remember most about your rookie season?

That my body is the foundation for my success. I have to take care of it every single day and do the right things to maintain my health. Being around so many top athletes really showed me that the sky’s the limit.

What are the biggest parts of your game you want to work on this offseason?

I have to improve my mid-range game, being able to finish faster and in different ways without having to go all the way to the rim. After this summer I realized that this will save me a lot more energy on the court (haha).

What are your goals for season 2, and how will this partnership help you achieve them?

My goal for season 2 is to be in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I know it will help me with endurance and preventing injuries since I struggled with one this past summer. This partnership will help me to do exactly that. I found one more way to become a better athlete who understands her body.

Sofia Huerta signs contract extension with Seattle through 2027

(Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Oregon soccer players detail instances of verbal abuse from former USWNT assistant

(Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via Imagn Content Services)

Members of the Oregon women’s soccer team are saying they received harsh treatment and even verbal abuse from head coach and former USWNT assistant Graeme Abel. 

During the 2023 season, the team had zero wins, and upon its conclusion a total of 12 of the team’s 29 players departed the team. Former players told The Oregonian that Abel would verbally attack them, threaten to kick them off the team and at times would even throw objects.

"When I’d make a mistake at practice, it felt like he made it a job to embarrass you to the point where you just wanted to walk off the field,” one player said. “He’d stop the practice – and I know it’s college soccer, it’s very competitive — but he’d stop practice and just keep going nonstop on this one thing."

In total, the Oregonian spoke with 14 former players – including 12 who agreed to be interviewed in depth. All said that they experienced verbal abuse. Six of the players were among those who transferred following the season. 

One instance of Abel’s tirades included him throwing a water bottle that narrowly missed players’ heads. 

“He kicked all of our staff out of the locker room, kicked a trash can, threw a white board, sat on the trash can and started screaming,” one player recounted. “He wanted us to tell him what we thought went wrong in the game. Me and another player spoke up, and he said, ‘You’re just (expletive) wrong.’ And that if we didn’t want to be in this program, we could all quit, and he’d sign our release paperwork tomorrow.”

While Abel was not made available for an interview, he did say in a statement that “at no point have I used threatening statements or financial repercussions as a part of coaching.”

Instances of emotional distress stemming from Abel’s alleged harsh treatment date back to 2021 – his first full year leading the team following an abbreviated 2020 campaign.

Other former players contacted by The Oregonian detailed positive overall experiences, and described his style as “normal coaching.”

Others, like USWNT players Becky Sauerbrunn and Lindsey Horan, did not respond to requests for comment, although Sauerbrunn wrote in 2019 that she had a “great relationship” with Abel. 

Still, multiple players interviewed had similar stories, with one saying that girls would be “crying in the locker room” after practice because of what he would tell players. Attempts to speak with the administration about his behavior, players say, was “discouraging.”

“His office is like the scariest place,” one player said. “You’d have to sit there while he’d belittle you and say all these nasty things, and gaslight you into believing you’re not good enough. ... Our team fell apart because of the environment he created. We were just trying to get through the day. There was no way we could focus on soccer.”

Multiple players said they experienced suicidal ideation while playing at Oregon. In part of his statement, Abel wrote that “at no time do we put our student-athletes in any danger.”

Abel is currently in his fifth and final year of his contract at Oregon.

Gotham FC unveil Championship rings ahead of banner reveal

Gotham FC players celebrate Lynn Williams' goal in the first half of the 2023 NWSL Championship. (Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports)

Gotham FC has unveiled their 2023 NWSL championship rings — and safe to say, they deliver.

The reveal has led to a little bit of trash talk ahead of the team’s matchup with Kansas City this weekend, as both teams have NFL owners. While the Current are co-owned by Patrick and Brittany Mahomes, former Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a co-owner of Gotham. 

On Wednesday, Manning took to Sportscenter to give Mahomes a bit of a hard time.

“He may have one more Super Bowl ring than me, but he does not have a NWSL championship ring like I do,” Manning joked.

“Come Sunday night at Red Bull Arena, April 14th, we’re dropping the banner on Kansas City. We got the ring ceremony, the players get their rings and their championship afterwards. This is it, I’ve got something to talk a little trash to him about because I can’t do it about football anymore, I gotta find something else.”

The appearance came after Manning posted to social media, inviting Mahomes to “come see [the championship ring] up close this Sunday.”

Mahomes responded in kind, writing that “we’ll see y’all Sunday!”

Gotham takes on current league-leaders Kansas City on Sunday at 6pm ET. The game is available on NWSL+.

Oregon State hit by transfer portal again as Raegan Beers departs

ALBANY, NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Raegan Beers #15 of the Oregon State Beavers shoots a free throw during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on March 31, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Oregon State leading scorer and rebounder Raegan Beers announced on Thursday that she is entering the transfer portal. 

"Thank you for all of your endless love and support these past two years," she posted on social media. "I will never forget my time at OSU and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to meet and play with incredible people. My journey as a Beav was a special one and I am grateful for my teammates, coaches, fans, and friends who have changed my life throughout my time here."

A sophomore forward, Beers is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection who averaged 17.5 points per game last season while shooting 66.4 percent from the field. She also added 10.3 rebounds en route to earning third-team All-American honors from the AP. 

She’s the fourth Oregon State starter – and seventh player overall – to hit the portal this offseason. She joins Talia von Oelhoggen and Timea Gardiner in the transfer portal, as well as starting freshman Donovyn Hunter. 

Beers and Gardiner were both top-10 recruits in ESPN rankings coming out of high school. 

With the dissolution of the Pac-12, the program will join the WCC next season and no longer be a part of the Power 5.

Conference realignment is hitting the team hard, with coach Scott Rueck saying during the tournament that he knew it could seriously affect his team moving forward. 

"That's reality," Rueck said. "I can't control that, other than just keep doing what I'm doing. I think the opportunity within that for a leader provides a discipline that you'd better be on your A-game all the time. You'd better take care of people, and you'd better provide a great experience. That's the approach going forward and what happens, happens. We'll find a way."

Start your morning off right with Just Women’s Sports’ free, 5x-a-week newsletter.