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Vonn takes super-G in Italy

Lindsey Vonn is giving her team a jolt.

Vonn finally had an error-free run and won a super-G Friday for her fifth victory of the season in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy. She was joined in the top 10 by teammates Julia Mancuso in fourth and Leanne Smith in a career-best eighth.

Vonn's rival for the overall World Cup title, Maria Riesch, finished ninth but maintained the overall lead.

"It's awesome," Vonn said after stopping to embrace Smith. "All the girls on our team have the capability of being on the podium, and I think it's just a matter of them gaining confidence and believing in themselves."

Vonn, who's made several recoveries from near crashes in recent races, sped down the shortened Olympia delle Tofane course in 1 minute, 11.66 seconds.


U.S. women suffer surprising loss

The U.S. women's soccer team began World Cup preparations by losing a match in which it led for the first time in more than eight years.

Carli Lloyd's goal off an 11th-minute corner kick was offset when Stina Segerstrom scored in the 16th and Kosovare Asllani in the 60th to give Sweden a 2-1 victory over the Americans on Friday in the opening game of the Four Nations Tournament in Chongqing, China.

The Americans had not taken a lead and then lost since March 5, 2002, a 3-2 defeat to Norway at the Algarve Cup.

In this World Cup warmup tournament, the U.S. plays Canada on Sunday and China on Tuesday.

The Americans will play Sweden at the World Cup in Germany on July 6 in their last opening-round match, after games against North Korea on June 28 and Colombia on July 2.


NASCAR leaning toward points change

NASCAR President Mike Helton strongly indicated the points system used since 1975 will be scrapped for a simpler scoring method.

"The goal for some time has been to create a points system that is easy to understand, easy to explain, easy to be talked about, but also be credible at the end of the season," Helton said Friday during a competition update at Daytona International Speedway.

The current system is a complicated formula that NASCAR says was drawn up on a napkin over drinks at a Daytona Beach bar in 1974. The Associated Press reported this week that NASCAR is informing teams it wants a system that would award points based on finishing position, from 43 points to the winner to one for last place.

NASCAR chairman Brian France is expected to announce any changes, including potential tweaks to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship format, next Wednesday night in Charlotte, N.C.

From News and wire service reports.

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