Oguzhan Yabici struck for two goals from his right wing spot to help the AFNORTH Lions open their season with a 4-2 victory Saturday over the visiting Lakenheath Lancers.
“The Lions played a fantastic game,” AFNORTH coach Kevin Padron wrote in an email report of the game, “and I am very proud of them knocking out the Division I Lakenheath Lancers.”
Prior to the season, Padron indicated he’d be rebuilding the defense of his Division II team, but by Saturday the prognosis for that group was excellent. Padron reported that his back line of Cullen Ennis, Luke Narug, Florian Matz and Nuri Karaca held last year’s D-I runners-up in check, allowing just a lone offensive goal, a first-half tally by Brandon Kemper off a feed from Ben Alterman. Lakenheath’s other score was an AFNORTH own goal in the second half. Padron added that goalkeeper Victor Black came up with 11 saves to back the play of the Lions’ defenders.
Also scoring for AFNORTH (1-0 overall and in Region I) were Eren Yabici, who chipped a shot over the Lakenheath keeper from inside the box, and Desmond Elliott.
Next up for AFNORTH is a Friday home game against D-III contender Alconbury. Lakenheath (0-1, 0-1) travels the same day to Ramstein, where the Cross of St. George flag, awarded to the winner whenever the two teams meet, again will be on the line.
In other boys’ games of note on Saturday:
Ansbach 3, Bamberg 2: Saturday at Ansbach, Junior Lopez beat the halftime whistle by 25 seconds to put Ansbach up 3-1, and a second-half defensive charge led by Xavier Cage and Patrick Kabuye preserved the lead for Ansbach’s first victory in two years, according to Ansbach coach Stephen Choate.
Bamberg took the early lead on a Ashton Buchanan-to-Bryson Alleyne goal, but Ansbach responded with goals by Femi Dixon and Austin Roberts, off an assist by Dorian Jones, before Lopez’ decisive buzzer-beating score.
Ivan Rivera-Nesrala got one of those goals back after intermission, reported Choate - in his first season in charge of Ansbach soccer - but the Cougars kept the ball in Bamberg’s end for much of the second half to help Cage and Kabuye deny the Barons the equalizer.
Ansbach will take a 1-1 overall and Region III mark into its next game, April 5 at Patch; Bamberg (0-2, 0-2) is next scheduled to play at Vilseck on Saturday.
Ramstein 2, Wiesbaden 1: Saturday at Ramstein, the defending European Division I champions earned a come-from-behind victory.
European cross-country champ Ryan Fisico, off a feed from John Altman, gave Wiesbaden the first-half lead, but Olympic Development Program Region I all-star Cristian Turain, assisted by his ODP all-star teammate Brienno Ilari, tied it by halftime
Sophomore Cameron Hansen, assisted by Jake Mattison in the second half, gave Ramstein (1-0 overall and in the region) to its season-opening victory. Hansen’s goal came with just five minutes left to play, according to Ramstein coach Thomas Goode.
Goode, in an email report of the game, praised the play of All-Europe defender James Cho, a senior, in helping defuse a potent Wiesbaden attack to the point that Royals’ keeper Cody Collins was called on to make just four saves. Wiesbaden (0-2, 0-2) is next scheduled for a game at D-II power SHAPE on Friday.
Kaiserslautern 6, Baumholder 0: Saturday at Baumholder, Cody Tremaine and Scott Hinrichsen each scored a hat trick as the Red Raiders of D-I romped over the D-II hosts in a Region II game.
Steve Mamer assisted on two goals for K-town, “an aggressive team that passed the ball well and generated numerous chances,” according to Baumholder coach David Kretz. “K-town controlled the game from start to finish,” he emailed.
K-town keeper Anthony Walker had to make just two stops to record the shutout, Kretz reported. Baumholder keeper Desante’ Browne, on the other hand, made 20 saves.
Baumholder (0-2 overall and 0-1 in Region II), was shut out for the second straight week. The Bucs are scheduled to enterain Menwith Hill of D-III on Saturday.
Kaiserslautern (1-0, 1-0) is next scheduled to play at Bitburg on Friday and host Lakenheath on Saturday.
Naples 2, Sigonella 0: Saturday at Naples, Brenton Bonnema headed home two shots, one in each half, past Sigonella keeper Chris McKissick, who otherwise kept closing the door on Naples with 19 saves.
“Sigonella’s goalie had very good hands,” emailed Naples coach Craig Lord on Saturday. “(I was) very impressed with his ability to protect the goal.”
Naples, coming off the previous week’s 3-2 loss at the American School of Milan, evened its overall and Region IV record at 1-1. Sigonella fell to 0-2, 0-2.
Hohenfels 2, Patch 0: Saturday at Hohenfels, Devon Fluker socred both goals, and the Hohenfels defense allowed Tigers’ keeper Lance Howard, to post the shutout over their guests of Division I.