College sports are still on hold. Professional sports, however, are starting to return to action.
That’s good news for Virginia fans.
Former Cavaliers find themselves in critical positions in several professional leagues ranging from the NWSL to MLL to the NBA. It’s been an impressive few weeks for former Cavaliers competing among the professional ranks.
NWSL Challenge Cup
The Chicago Red Stars and the Houston Dash earned spots in the NWSL Challenge Cup championship match with semifinal victories Wednesday. That means five former UVa women’s soccer players will compete for a championship Sunday in Utah.
Chicago features four of those five former Wahoos: Danielle Colaprico, Makenzy Doniak, Morgan Gautrat and Zoe Morse. Veronica Latsko is the lone former Cavalier playing for the Dash.
Houston punched its ticket to the final with a 1-0 win over Portland, while Chicago used a 3-2 win over Sky Blue FC to advance to the title match. The champion of the Challenge Cup will include at least one former UVa player on its roster.
Sunday’s championship starts at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Guy shines in scrimmage
The NBA’s return-to-play effort has included a few scrimmages in Orlando. Kyle Guy logged eight minutes for the Sacramento Kings in a Wednesday night scrimmage against Miami. The former UVa men’s basketball star scored five points on 2-of-3 shooting, while also adding a pair of assists.
Guy flashed solid athleticism and looked the part of an NBA player despite spending much of the 2019-20 season in the G League. With the Kings 3.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, they may opt to give Guy time in regular-season games to feel out his readiness to join the NBA roster.
Keep an eye on Guy’s minutes should the Kings quickly fall out of the playoff race or if a guard is forced to miss time due to an injury or positive COVID-19 test.
Kraus scores first goal
Former UVa men’s lacrosse star Michael Kraus scored his first professional goal Wednesday in a Major League Lacrosse game. Kraus scored twice as the Connecticut Hammerheads took down the New York Lizards 10-8 for their first win of the eight-day tournament.
The rookie also added an assist in Wednesday’s win, the first of his professional career. Kraus and his team are guaranteed five games before potentially qualifying for Saturday’s semifinals.
McCarthy fires 68
After testing positive for COVID-19 in late June, former UVa men’s golfer Denny McCarthy has returned to action and is trying to regain his form ahead of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. McCarthy opened this week’s tournament with a 3-under-par round of 68.
He finished the Memorial Tournament in a tie for 58th place last week. McCarthy has two missed cuts and withdrew from another event — due to COVID-19 — since the PGA Tour’s restart. He’s yet to crack the top 50 of a tournament since the resumption of play, but he’s off to a good start this week with Thursday’s performance.
McCarthy hopes to regain his form from the fall, when he started the season with eight consecutive top-50 finishes, including three top-10s. Thursday’s round could be a sign of good things to come.
Watch list updates
While not professionals yet, current UVa football players Terrell Jana and Dillon Reinkensmeyer earned spots on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list. The award goes to a player who serves others and inspires service.
The watch list includes 114 FBS athletes.