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Aviano’s Kylee Carol sends the ball upfield as Vicenza’s CeCe Janssens defends in the girls Division II final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Vicenza defeated Aviano 2-0 to take the title.

Aviano’s Kylee Carol sends the ball upfield as Vicenza’s CeCe Janssens defends in the girls Division II final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Vicenza defeated Aviano 2-0 to take the title. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – No other team in the six DODEA-Europe championships this week displayed as much dominance of their tournament as the Vicenza girls soccer squad.

The Cougars outscored their opponents 16-0 over six games, including a 2-0 victory over Aviano Thursday in the title game.

And Vicenza showed it could win with somewhat limited contributions from its star player, Riley West.

West, who will play for Emmanuel College in her home state of Georgia this fall, was shadowed all game by at least one Saints player in an attempt to limit her touches.

The Vicenza Cougars celebrate their Division II title after defeating Aviano 2-0 at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Vicenza defeated Aviano 2-0 to take the title.

The Vicenza Cougars celebrate their Division II title after defeating Aviano 2-0 at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Vicenza defeated Aviano 2-0 to take the title. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Vicenza coach Adam Ridgley said such an approach might have worked early in the year when West was scoring a lot of goals and not many other Cougars were finding the net. But that changed over the course of the season.

“They slowed her down,” Ridgley said. “It was a good plan. But that just allowed our other girls to step up.”

Those girls included Tyler Holt, who scored the first goal, and Julia Rudy, the closest Cougar to a group of three Aviano players around the goal. The ball crossed the goal line with a combination of touches.

But contributions also included a group of midfielders and defenders who didn’t allow a goal during the tournament.

“They don’t get the kudos, but our defense was strong all tournament,” Ridgley said.

Vicenza’s Tyler Holt takes a shot on goal in the girls Division II final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Holt scored the 1-0 in Vicenza’s 2-0 win over the Saints.

Vicenza’s Tyler Holt takes a shot on goal in the girls Division II final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Holt scored the 1-0 in Vicenza’s 2-0 win over the Saints. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

West admitted that she could have asserted herself more in some situations and taken more shots on offense. But by deferring to others sometimes, her teammates – many relatively new to the sport - gained more skills and confidence.

“It’s not any fun if it’s a one-person team,” she said. “No one would like to play like that. We’re a team and that’s the way we like it.”

Aviano coach Robert Tiffany gave the Cougars credit.

“We made a couple of fatal errors,” he said. “But that’s a very good team.”

Vicenza’s Julia Rudy goes against Aviano keeper Grace Gonzales in the girls Division II final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. The ball bounced around the goal line and against bodies before landing in the net for a goal. Vicenza defeated Aviano 2-0 to take the title.

Vicenza’s Julia Rudy goes against Aviano keeper Grace Gonzales in the girls Division II final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. The ball bounced around the goal line and against bodies before landing in the net for a goal. Vicenza defeated Aviano 2-0 to take the title. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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