A girls soccer game with all the makings of a familiar interdivisional rout took a startling turn Saturday, leading to one of the more memorable moments in recent Baumholder sports history.
The Baumholder Bucs overcame a four-goal second-half deficit to draw even with the visiting Kaiserslautern Raiders and force a 4-4 season-opening tie.
Kaiserslautern built a 3-0 lead and added another to it soon after halftime.
The Bucs, coming off an 0-18 basketball season following a 1-8 volleyball regular season, didn't win a game during the regular season last spring.
But they were undeterred. After a few attempts sailed just wide of the goal, Makenzie Ehrhardt put a ball past the Kaiserslautern goalkeeper for Baumholder's long-awaited first goal.
With the lid removed, the Bucs gathered momentum. Baumholder scored three more goals over the game's final 15 minutes, the last sending the expected mismatch between a struggling Division II program and a much-larger Division I contender into the record books as a tie.
"The game plan was to go out and work on things we had in practice, work as a team, and get some fitness in. They ended up going for much more," Baumholder coach Jill Norris wrote in an email Saturday night. "The girls played with heart, like usual, and it paid off for them today,"
Ehrhardt scored twice and Ann Majors and Abena Agyapomaa once each for Baumholder.
Isabela Lowry, Kaeli Ebwer, Arianna Osmar and Hannah Hickam found the net for Kaiserslautern.
Naples 6, American Overseas School of Rome 2: Saturday at Rome, the reigning Division II dynasty notched another victory.
Isabella Lucy, Tyler Treat, Jill Thurston and Amilia Espiet found the net for the Wildcats. AOSR goalkeeper Allison Cook was valiant in defeat, making 17 saves.
Rowena Caanen and Alessia Giombini scored for host AOSR.
Ramstein 12, Bitburg 0: Saturday at Ramstein, Hunter Pace and Ebony Madrid posted prolific stat lines as the Royals rolled.
Pace and Madrid each collected three goals and two assists for host Ramstein. Shannon Guffey added a goal and an assist.
Bella Madamba did all she could in goal for Bitburg, making 10 saves.
Hohenfels 8, Vilseck 2: Saturday at Hohenfels, the host Tigers built a 3-0 halftime lead and coasted to an impressive win over an upper-division rival.
Dollie Harrison scored four goals for Hohenfels, Shelby Atkinson racked up two goals and an assist and Hannah Watkins added a goal and three assists for the Tigers.
AFNORTH 4, Alconbury 2: Saturday at Brunssum, Netherlands, the Lions overcame a 2-1 halftime deficit to secure the home victory.
Camelia Brind'Amour Riffou of AFNORTH and Samaris Batley of Alconbury staged an offensive duel, scoring two goals apiece. Scores by Cassidy Harless and Samantha Stanton and four saves by goalie Daneille Cunningham made the difference for the Lions.
Florence 5, Sigonella 3: Saturday at Sigonella, the visitors snuck out the victory.
Florence inched ahead 3-2 at halftime and stayed that way in a hard-fought second half despite the efforts of Jaguar star Katie Cauble, who posted two goals and an assist.
Patch 5, Ansbach 0: Saturday at Stuttgart, the reigning Division I European champions were in postseason form in a convincing shutout win.
Lauren Rittenhouse scored three goals, Claire Chiarotti had a goal and two assists and Amber Garcia scored a goal and assisted on another in the Panther rout.
Patch plays another Division II team in Schweinfurt/Bamberg next week. The Panthers will have to wait until an April 18 visit to Ramstein for their first Division I competition; that game is a rematch of last year's title game.
Wiesbaden 1, Black Forest Academy 0: Saturday at Wiesbaden, the Warriors survived a grueling game with the upset-minded Falcons.
John Arnold scored on a free kick just before halftime to put WIesbaden in front. That ultimately proved the game-winner, as BFA goalie Daniel Mueller and Wiesbaden counterpart Nick Reid locked down the nets for the duration.
Patch 12, Ansbach 0: Saturday at Stuttgart, the Panthers scored six goals in each half in an all-encompassing blowout of the overmatched Cougars.
Christian Harvey scored three times and Peter Rice and Christian Rauschenplat scored twice each to lead the explosive Patch attack.
Kaiserslautern 10, Baumholder 0: Saturday at Baumholder, the Raiders dispatched a freshman-heavy Bucs squad.
Ryan Rimmler led the way with two goals and two assists, while Sean Dunbar had two goals and an assist.
Florence 2, Sigonella 2: Saturday at Sigonella, two Italian small-school powers played to a draw.
Fittingly, each team scored one goal in each half of the evenly-matched affair. Giulio Pandolfi and Gianluca Stocchi scored for Florence; Alessandro Thomas and Bailey Jones did the same for the Jaguars.
AFNORTH 7, Brussels 0: Friday at Brussels, the visiting Lions pounced all over the Brigands.
Eren Yabici scored three goals and added an assist to lead AFNORTH. Claudius Karich scored and assisted for the Lions.
AFNORTH 5, Alconbury 0: Saturday at Brunssum, Netherlands, the Lions finished off a dominant opening weekend with a second consecutive shutout.
Karich and Yabici carried the day again for AFNORTH. Karich scored three times, Yabici added two goals and each recorded an assist.