Brussels, Alconbury to take on underdogs
Two of the teams playing for DODEA-Europe Division III soccer titles on Thursday were expected to be in the finals based on their regular-season performances.
The Brussels Brigands boys were 4-0 in divisional play and 7-1 overall, with their only loss coming to Division I team SHAPE on April 27. The Alconbury Dragons girls were 3-0 in divisional play and had the division’s only overall winning record at 4-3-1.
But a closer look at their championship opponents – Ansbach in boys and Sigonella in girls – shows that they’re not exactly pushovers.
The Cougar boys were only 2-1 in divisional play, including a 2-1 defeat to the Brigands on April 21. But their only losses of the season were to Brussels, Division I finalist Stuttgart and Division II finalist AFNORTH. Brussels also downed Ansbach 2-0 in round-robin play on Wednesday.
That was the closest match the Brigands have had in the tournament. They outscored their other four opponents 25-0. Ansbach wasn’t quite as dominant, but bounced back from that loss on Wednesday to Brussels to top Hohenfels 5-0 and finish with a 4-1 record in round-robin play.
The Jaguar girls didn’t play a divisional opponent until the tournament began, compiling a 2-4 mark against Division II and Division III opponents in Italy.
Sigonella’s only loss in the five-team postseason event was a 3-0 decision to Alconbury in the first game of the tournament. But the Jaguars didn’t cruise. They earned tough wins over Hohenfels (1-0), Baumholder (1-0) and Brussels (2-1) to advance.
Alconbury was more dominant, outscoring opponents 11-2. The Dragons’ only loss was a 1-0 decision to Hohenfels on Tuesday.
Details of Wednesday’s games were not available as D-III teams finished their round-robin play at Landstuhl while the two larger divisions played semifinals at Reichenbach.