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The ball sails into the top of the net past Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield on Friday. He had stopped a penalty kick and one rebound shot from Lorenzo King, but couldn't prevent Aviano's Hayden Roers from scoring his third goal of the game in a bang-bang-bang play  in a 4-0 Saints victory.

The ball sails into the top of the net past Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield on Friday. He had stopped a penalty kick and one rebound shot from Lorenzo King, but couldn't prevent Aviano's Hayden Roers from scoring his third goal of the game in a bang-bang-bang play in a 4-0 Saints victory. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

The ball sails into the top of the net past Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield on Friday. He had stopped a penalty kick and one rebound shot from Lorenzo King, but couldn't prevent Aviano's Hayden Roers from scoring his third goal of the game in a bang-bang-bang play  in a 4-0 Saints victory.

The ball sails into the top of the net past Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield on Friday. He had stopped a penalty kick and one rebound shot from Lorenzo King, but couldn't prevent Aviano's Hayden Roers from scoring his third goal of the game in a bang-bang-bang play in a 4-0 Saints victory. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield stops a rebound shot from Aviano's Lorenzo King after initially stopping King's penalty kick in the Saints' 4-0 victory on Friday.

Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield stops a rebound shot from Aviano's Lorenzo King after initially stopping King's penalty kick in the Saints' 4-0 victory on Friday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield stopped Lorenzo King's penalty kick on Friday in the Saints' 4-0 victory.

Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield stopped Lorenzo King's penalty kick on Friday in the Saints' 4-0 victory. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano's Alex Munoz Nuno launches the ball past Sigonella defenders in the Saints' 4-0 victory over the Jaguars on Friday.

Aviano's Alex Munoz Nuno launches the ball past Sigonella defenders in the Saints' 4-0 victory over the Jaguars on Friday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano's Lorenzo King archs a free kick past the Sigonella wall and toward the goal in the Saints' 4-0 victory over the Jaguars on Friday.

Aviano's Lorenzo King archs a free kick past the Sigonella wall and toward the goal in the Saints' 4-0 victory over the Jaguars on Friday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Sigonella's Caitlin Newman-Sanders launches a corner kick toward the Aviano goal in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory Friday over the Saints.

Sigonella's Caitlin Newman-Sanders launches a corner kick toward the Aviano goal in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory Friday over the Saints. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Sigonella's Korley Jones tosses in the ball from the sidelines in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory Friday over the Saints.

Sigonella's Korley Jones tosses in the ball from the sidelines in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory Friday over the Saints. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano's Elyse Slabaugh and Sigonella's Maile Puerto battle for the ball Friday in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory over the Saints.

Aviano's Elyse Slabaugh and Sigonella's Maile Puerto battle for the ball Friday in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory over the Saints. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Sigonella's Jessica Jacobs and Aviano's Elizabeth Lopez sprint to the ball in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory over the Saints on Friday.

Sigonella's Jessica Jacobs and Aviano's Elizabeth Lopez sprint to the ball in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory over the Saints on Friday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano's Megan Slabaugh manages to avoid getting hit by a kick from Sigonella's Violender Doke in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory over the Saints on Friday.

Aviano's Megan Slabaugh manages to avoid getting hit by a kick from Sigonella's Violender Doke in the Jaguars' 4-1 victory over the Saints on Friday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

AVIANO, Italy – Just about everything from Friday’s soccer doubleheader between the Sigonella Jaguars and host Aviano Saints was counter-intuitive.

The boys game was much quicker paced than the girls contest, but the girls took almost twice as many shots. The Jaguar boys fielded only 13 players, but instead of trying to conserve energy with few available players to sub, they pushed the pace.

So it probably wasn’t too surprising that both losing coaches thought their teams had a real shot at winning their games – even though both scores wouldn’t indicate that.

Hayden Roers scored three times as the Aviano boys earned a 4-0 triumph in a contest that went back-and-forth so speedily and frequently that fan whiplash was a possibility.

“I think we took it to them,” Sigonella coach Brian Jones said. “The ball was closer to their goal for much of the game. We’re going to buy all the guys dinner tonight, because the coaches are so proud of them.”

The Jaguar girls emerged with a 4-1 victory, thanks in part to three costly mistakes by the Saints that led directly to goals.

“You take those away and it’s 1-1,” Aviano coach Louis Lucidi said. “But that’s the way it goes.”

Boys

Aviano entered the contest 0-3, including a loss to Naples before spring break when Aviano coach Ian Birch felt the team ran out of gas.

“We worked on our fitness the last two weeks, because our fitness failed us against Naples,” he said.

That worked out well, because the Jaguars came out running at full speed.

“If we had played deliberately, they would have just passed the ball around us,” Jones said. “They’re a very skilled team. I think we surprised them a bit.”

But it was the Saints who struck first. Sigonella goalkeeper Winston Sappenfield came charging out to contest a breakaway and – after a deflection – Aviano’s Logan Hinchcliff found himself with an empty net and converted. It wasn’t long after that Sappenfield was faced with another challenge. Roers, on a breakaway, kicked the ball past him and it was 2-0.

The game got more physical in the second half and Aviano goalkeeper Joseph Rivera, splitting duties with Tyrell Adolpho, made a couple nice saves after colliding with multiple Sigonella attackers while defending his goal.

Roers struck again after a long run up the right side midway through the second half. He added his final goal after Sappenfield made two athletic saves to stop Lorenzo King’s penalty kick and a second shot after a ricochet. Roers beat the rest of the field to the ball after the second save and booted it into the top of the net.

Girls

Aviano took the first six shots of the contest, but found itself trailing 1-0 after one of them went into its own goal and the other five were stopped by Sigonella goalkeeper Ashley Adkins, who placed herself perfectly each time.

It was 2-0 after Violender Doke took a crossing pass from Caitlin Newman-Sanders from the left side of the field and booted the ball into the right side of the net. The Saints were called for a hand ball moments later, resulting in a free kick that Tamara Rodriguez converted. Newman-Sanders, a senior leader, had several hard shots on goal that went awry during the game. But it was a changeup of sorts that went slower toward the Aviano goal – bouncing over the arm of the Aviano keeper on the way – and made it into the net, giving the Jaguars a 4-0 lead.

Aviano’s Elyse Slabaugh put her team on the board in the second half, but the Saints couldn’t get closer.

Harris.kent@stripes.com

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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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