Ramstein girls, Wiesbaden boys stay perfect
Stars and Stripes April 8, 2023
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – Rarely does a coach not even nitpick after a match.
Ramstein girls coach Elizabeth Ferris found herself in that enviable position on Saturday morning at Ramstein High School. The Royals cruised to a 7-0 victory against Wiesbaden, with DODEA’s seven-goal mercy rule being invoked midway through the second half.
It was a dominant performance in all facets of the game by the defending Division I co-champion.
“I’m just really, thoroughly proud of them all,” Ferris said. “The way that they were working together and communicating with each other, they almost didn’t need me.”
The Royals (2-0, 1-0) had two players to thank for most of their goals.
Winger Isabel Fischer and striker Eleftheria Randitsas combined for five goals, with Fischer recording a hat-trick and Randitsas adding two goals – including one from the penalty spot. Randitsas also had two assists, one on Fischer’s second goal in the 51st minute and another on a cross that went through the box to teammate Grace Berck that made it 7-0.
Fischer’s first goal came in the form of an Olympico, or a goal scored directly off a corner, in the fifth minute. She then proceeded to score nearly identical goals in the 51st and 59th minutes, receiving a pass in the left wing before cutting inside and slotting the ball home.
The main scoring duo have built chemistry over the last four or so years, playing both at the school and for a local club team.
“We have good communication on the pitch but also off the pitch,” Randitsas said. “(Fischer) is a fast cheetah. We’re so grateful to have her because even if our team makes a simple mistake, she’s able to recover from it and help us.”
On the other end, Ramstein goalkeepers Janella Padilla and Liberty Snyder faced few threats, and the coach praised her squad’s defensive effort for that.
“They were just extraordinary,” Ferris said. “We really have been working hard on our defense. One of them is a freshman, and I am just thrilled to the moon and back by their performance and the way that they see the field.”
For the Warriors (1-1, 1-1), it was a 180 from their first match of the season on March 18, when they defeated Vilseck by the same scoreline. Goalkeeper Michaela Furnia was kept busy throughout, making seven saves.
Wiesbaden coach Katie Bloomquist said she hopes Saturday was some early season jitters against a high-quality opponent.
“We know what we need to work on now,” she said. “It showed us where are weaknesses are and that we have a lot of work moving forward.”
Saturday’s performance has the Royals thinking of removing the “co-” part of the championship title this year, but they aren’t getting ahead of themselves.
Both Ferris and Randitsas said nobody will be crowned five weeks ahead of the European tournament.
“It’s not going to be easy; it’s not going to be given to us,” Randitsas said. “It’s something that we’re going to have to work for, and the good thing is we still have a month ahead of us to push hard and shoot for success.”
Another team with an eye on the end-of-season prize is the Wiesbaden boys squad.
The Warriors finished third last season behind Ramstein, and they made their intentions known in a 2-1 victory over the Royals Saturday afternoon.
“(The win) gives us a good idea of where we stand and where we’re at with all the players talent-wise,” Wiesbaden (2-0, 2-0) coach Roberto Eiseman said. “We did show our full potential in the game, and the win matters a lot because our biggest goal is to win Euros.”
It was a close affair throughout, with Wiesbaden’s Collin Koschnik scoring in the 11th minute. Jacob Woodman’s through ball put Koschnik one-on-one with Ramstein keeper Elliot Radosevich, and the senior forward went around him and slid the ball into the wide-open net. In the 23rd minute, Ramstein’s Maxim Speed tied the match with a tap-in following a pass from teammate Keiran Goodall.
The score stayed that way until the 60th minute, when the 6-foot-4 Koschnik broke the deadlock once again. Teammate Asher Anderson launched a corner to the far post, and Koschnik rose above everybody and headed the ball into the net.
The senior said staying focused allowed Wiesbaden to bounce back after giving up the goal.
“We just had to stay in the game and focus on what our coaches have been telling us during practice: stay together, communicate, pass the ball well,” Koschnik said. “We did the job and came out (on top).”
Ramstein (1-1, 0-1) coach Dominik Ludes praised his young team’s effort on Saturday despite the loss. He heaped praise on Radosevich, as the sophomore, who normally plays JV but was called up after the varsity’s keepers were ruled out with injury and eligibility issues, nabbed six saves.
Ludes said he has seen enough in the first two matches to believe the Royals can hang with the best of the division.
“I feel very confident that we will be able to hang with the best teams in Division I, and it’s going to be close games,” Ludes said. “We’ll be able to compete. Is it going to be enough to defend the title? We’ll find out as we go through the regular season.”