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DODDS-Europe’s largest schools kick-started their spring postseason Tuesday as the Division I boys and girls soccer championship tournaments opened at two sites around Homburg, Germany.

Pool play concludes Wednesday morning ahead of the afternoon’s semifinal games. The boys and girls European championship games are set for Thursday evening at Kaiserslautern High School.

BoysISB 3, Wiesbaden 0: The defending Division I champions played without four seniors, including all three returning All-Europe players, and still shut out a solid Warrior team in the opening game of its title defense.

The rest of the field would be wise to take notice.

Last year, ISB defied its sixth seed to reach and win the title game. This year, the Raiders moved up to third in the seeding. But ISB has grown accustomed to outperforming its pre-tournament standing within DODDS-Europe.

“The boys will have to show it on the field,” Raiders head coach Philippe Kaisin said. “Hopefully they’ll respond and be up to that.”

ISB 9, Vilseck 1: Kaisin’s hopes were further answered as the Raiders routed and mathematically eliminated the Falcons. ISB moved into the semifinals with the win.

The full ISB roster will be on hand for the remainder of the Raiders’ title defense, Kaisin said. His four missing seniors were delayed in joining the team as they took the International Baccalaureate exam.

Heidelberg 7, Vilseck 2: With his school about to close and his high school career winding down, Trevor Carr knew that his time was running short.

And did he ever make the most of it.

The senior wing knocked in five goals in a stunning individual effort to lead a high-powered Lion offense to a rout of its familiar regional rival.

The relentless attack was by design, said Heidelberg coach Enrique John.

“I have an old philosophy that I learned years ago: the best defense is the best offense.” John said. “I’d rather lose or win a game 5-4 than 1-0.”

Carr swooped in from the wing to feast on the opportunities created by that strategy. And he was quick to credit the rest of his side for the scoring situations in which he frequently found himself.

“I have my teammates,” Carr said. “I’m not the only one contributing.”

Heidelberg 3, Wiesbaden 1: The Lions stayed perfect while handing an optimistic Warrior team a disappointing second postseason loss.

While still-unbeaten Heidelberg looks forward to many more meaningful games over the next two days, Wiesbaden’s season will end with its pool-play finale on Wednesday morning.

Ramstein 3, Kaiserslautern 0: The top-seeded Royals had no trouble with their closest geographic rival. Lorenzo Rodriguez, Cameron Hansen and Lee DeBose netted goals for Ramstein.

Patch 1, Lakenheath 0: The fourth-seeded Panthers edged the fifth-seeded Lancers in an early-morning defensive battle.

Nick Gulbronson set up fellow junior Christian Harvey for the game’s only goal.

Patch 2, Kaiserslautern 2: The eighth-seeded Raiders denied the Panthers an undefeated day by forcing a tie.

The Panthers survived day one without a loss and retain their dark-horse European title hopes.

Ramstein 1, Lakenheath 0: The Royals clinched a semifinal berth with a narrow victory over a game Lancers squad, scoring the decisive goal in the final five minutes.

Lakenheath was eliminated from semifinal contention despite allowing just two goals in two games.

GirlsRamstein 2, Kaiserslautern 0: The margin for error was thin in this game of archrivals. Ultimately, it was just a few precious inches.

Two high-arching shots from the outskirts of the goal box left the foot of Royals standout Chantelle DuBois and sailed dramatically into the upper reaches of the net, each squeezing just between the goal’s top bar and the outstretched arms of Kaiserslautern goalkeeper Montana Staab.

The two shots were enough to best a Red Raiders team that was an otherwise worthy foil for the undefeated and top-seeded Royals.

Relieved Ramstein coach Katee Albertson strived to explain the goals. She said her team focuses on approaching the goal with “on-frame” kicks that create positive possibilities.

“It was good placement,” Albertson said with a smile.

Kaiserslautern 2, ISB 1: Despite the loss to the rival Royals, the Red Raiders remain in semifinal contention by winning earlier in the day.

Kaiserslautern will face Heidelberg on Wednesday morning in pool play that will serve as an elimination game.

Heidelberg 3, ISB 2: The Lion girls continued a strong day for Heidelberg athletics with a hard-fought, last-minute victory.

With the score tied in the final minute, Heidelberg produced a game-winning sequence off a corner kick. Freshman Allyson Raney launched the ball into the box, where senior captain Layna Lowe carved out just enough space to head the ball into the net for the winning margin.

The goal was the second for Lowe in the game; fellow senior Sarah Lancaster scored the other.

Ramstein 2, Heidelberg 0: The Lions could muster no such magic against the top-seeded defending champions, but finished the day 1-1 and are still in title contention.

Combined, the Lion girls and boys went 3-1 on the first day of the school’s final European tournament.

Defending champion Ramstein cruised into the semifinals unbeaten.

Wiesbaden 2, Lakenheath 0: The Warriors started a banner day with a tidy win over the Lancers.

Wiesbaden 3, Vilseck 0: Janice Teschner scored a pair of goals as the Warriors enjoyed their second shutout win of the day.

Owners of a solid but unspectacular 5-2-1 regular-season record, third-seeded Wiesbaden capably handled business against two lower-seeded opponents to clinch its spot in the semifinals.

Patch 5, Vilseck 0: They may be the bracket’s second seed, but the Panthers were without peer Tuesday.

Patch, whose only regular-season loss came to Ramstein in a 2-1 classic on April 26, produced the bracket’s highest scoring effort in its early victory.

Patch 4, Lakenheath 1: The Panthers continued to cruise later in the day.

The two Patch wins were enough to guarantee a semifinal spot.

broome.gregory@stripes.com

Twitter: @broomestripes


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