There were several events that marked the first time for many of the shocks of the weekend from this Memorial Day weekend, and they took place across the globe. Many of them were very surprising but also might have been glanced over as many people are enjoying the outdoors on their holiday weekend.
10. Real Madrid win on penalty kicks
Real Madrid are no strangers to winning the UEFA Champions League title, but it took all they could muster to win this one against Atletico Madrid. After an early 1-0 lead, Madrid gave up a second-half equalizer and both teams struggled through the extra time periods. Cristiano Ronaldo was not a factor until striking the game-winning penalty kick, as Madrid won 5-3 on penalty kicks.
9. Golden State forces Game 7
The Oklahoma City Thunder held a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals, but the Warriors used a dramatic comeback late in Game 6 to send the series back to Oakland. Klay Thompson was the hero (41 points, 11 3-pointers), and the Thunder now find themselves in a position they would rather not be in.
8. French Open surprises
A little rain delayed the start of the French Open but the action has not disappointed tennis fans, though there have been a couple of surprises. Unseeded American Shelby Rogers beat Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu to earn an appearance in the quarterfinals, and Frenchman Richard Gasquet is also a surprise in the quarterfinals.
7. Goodison Park hosts boxing match
For the first time ever, Goodison Park (home of Everton) hosted a boxing match and it included Evertonian boxer Tony Bellew. Not only did Bellew earn a third-round knockout in front of a home crowd, but he also won the WBC cruiserweight championship with the KO of Ilunga Makabu.
TONY BELLEW KNOCKS OUT MAKABU AND IS THE NEW WBC CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/0E9eIDRlCr
— StrictlyBoxingFans 2 (@boxingbritain2) May 29, 2016
6. Kershaw dominance continues
Clayton Kershaw has been one of — or most — dominant aces that Major League Baseball has seen in a very long time, and his last start is even more evidence of that. Kershaw became the first pitcher in the modern era to have 100 strikeouts and only five walks at the time of reaching that plateau.
5. San Jose Sharks in Stanley Cup Finals
For the first time in franchise history, the Sharks find themselves within four wins of hoisting the Stanley Cup above their heads. The playoffs are normally unkind to San Jose, but a Game 6 win over the St. Louis Blues helped them advance to a series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
4. Georgia softball shocks No. 1 Florida
The Florida Gators were a dominant force during the regular season and in the Regionals round, but SEC-foe Georgia turned the tide on them with a Game 1 win and a walk-off two-run home run in Game 2. The loss sent the Gators home and will offer the chance for someone else to win the NCAA championship for the first time in three years.
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) May 27, 2016
3. Nevada advances to Mountain West championship
The Nevada Wolf Pack baseball team made their way through the losers bracket in the Mountain West tournament to secure a spot in the championship game for the first time in school history. Their season likely ended after losing Game 1 to New Mexico by a score of 14-4, but it is a feat nonetheless. Nevada used an offensive explosion against No. 1 seed Fresno State to advance to the final (25-6), but fell short.
2. Jennie Finch makes history
Finch is known for her dominant pitching in the softball world, but she also became the first woman to coach a men’s professional baseball team. The former softball player guest-managed the Bridgeport Bluefish to a win while making history in the process. Could this lead to a full-time female manager in professional baseball in the near future?
1. Nelson Cruz hits Safeco Field first
Cruz is known for his power display in ballparks around MLB, but the outfielder/designated hitter did something that no player has ever done in Safeco Field history. Cruz launched a batting practice baseball into orbit and hit it out of the Seattle Mariners‘ home field.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) May 29, 2016