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Stuttgart’s Haley Wells scores her team’s goal in the girls Division I final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Ramstein answered quickly to tie. The game ended 1-1 and the teams were named co-champions after a lightning storm stopped the game.

Stuttgart’s Haley Wells scores her team’s goal in the girls Division I final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. Ramstein answered quickly to tie. The game ended 1-1 and the teams were named co-champions after a lightning storm stopped the game. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – It would have been hard to predict the winner of Thursday night’s DODEA-Europe Division I girls soccer championship.

Ramstein? Stuttgart? How about the weather?

The answer turned out to be all three after lightning, wind and rain postponed and eventually erased the second half with the two teams tied at 1-1. DODEA officials then let the teams vote: Each have a share of the title or attempt to resume sometime in an uncertain future.

“I couldn’t make that decision for them,” Stuttgart coach Khriss Coello said. “So they voted.”

“It’s a weird and funny way to end the season,” Ramstein coach Liz Ferris said, echoing that thought. “Never thought this was the way it was going to happen, but we’re happy to share the title with such a deserving team.”

Ramstein’s Gabriella Clark centers the ball as Stuttgart’s Kendall Boudreaux, left, and Bella Henderson in the girls Division I final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. The game ended 1-1 and both teams were named co-champions after a lightning storm stopped the game.

Ramstein’s Gabriella Clark centers the ball as Stuttgart’s Kendall Boudreaux, left, and Bella Henderson in the girls Division I final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. The game ended 1-1 and both teams were named co-champions after a lightning storm stopped the game. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

The game went back and forth for much of the first half, before Stuttgart’s Haley Wells blocked a Ramstein defender’s kick with her body and followed the ball as it ricocheted toward the net. She booted in the ball and it was 1-0.

But the Royals struck back almost immediately. Kelan Vaughn took a shot from about 15 yards out that skimmed off a player or two before ending up in the bottom right portion of the net.

“I’m happy for them keeping their heads’ up,” Ferris said.

The two teams played again for a few minutes after halftime before officials said lightning strikes were too close to the area and sent the teams off and directed fans to their cars. About 45 minutes later, the decision to award each team a share of the title was announced.

Ramstein’s Alyss Nichols, left, tries to take the ball from Stuttgart’s Kendall Boudreaux in the girls Division I final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. The game ended 1-1 and the teams were named co-champions after a lightning storm stopped the game.

Ramstein’s Alyss Nichols, left, tries to take the ball from Stuttgart’s Kendall Boudreaux in the girls Division I final at the DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Thursday, May 19 2022. The game ended 1-1 and the teams were named co-champions after a lightning storm stopped the game. (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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