KANDERN, Germany — High school soccer schedulers took a page out of stock car racing's book when they made one of the biggest matchups of the year a 2003 season opener on Saturday.
Rafael Martin toed through a second-half penalty kick to give the defending European Division II champion SHAPE Spartans a 2-1 road victory over the 2001 European champion Black Forest Academy Falcons.
Martin’s goal, along with Francisco Gallo’s first-period score and backed by goalkeeper Ondrej Meduna’s nine saves, allowed the Spartans to pass the first of three stringent season-opening road tests. The D-II champs will travel to Stuttgart to play defending conference champion Patch this Saturday, then face Hanau, the team they edged 5-4 in overtime in last season’s European title game, in Hanau on March 27.
Shawn Newby scored a second-half goal for BFA, which travels to Hanau this Saturday.
In other games Saturday:
Milan 1, Naples 0
MILAN, Italy — Defending European Division III champion Milan only needed a first-half goal by Alberto Treglia to take the early lead in the American Schools in Italy League standings.
Treglia’s strike was the only shot the champions could get past Naples keeper Alan Hamby, who made 13 saves.
Davide Serafini posted the shutout for Milan with just four saves.
Lakenheath 5, AFNORTH 1
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Luke Croucher scored three goals and assisted on a fourth, and Phil Morrow registered a pair of assists as the Division-I Lancers claimed a non-conference victory over the Division-II Lions.
London Central 7, Alconbury 0
HIGH WYCOMBE, England — C.J. Nogoy scored twice and added a pair of assists as the youthful Bobcats hammered their guests in a non-conference game.
John Wingenbt and Brenna Gallagher also scored twice each for London Central, which started quickly on Wingenbt’s goal just 48 seconds into the season. Nogoy followed with his first at 9:18, and Gallagher notched her two goals at 15:38 and 24:53 to give the victors a 4-0 halftime lead.
Ansbach 3, Giessen 2
ANSBACH, Germany — Steven Antley scored twice and Winston Brown added another goal as the Cougars turned back Giessen in a non-conference game which was tied 2-2 at halftime.
Seth Thompson posted a pair of assists for Ansbach.
Hohenfels 4, Bad Aibling 0
HOHENFELS, Germany — Perry Helton fired home three goals and added an assist in the non-conference shutout of Bad Aibling.