Panthers shut out Tigers in debut
The Division I girls soccer title scene has grown a lot since last season. But the Patch Panthers are still a big part of it.
An annual participant in the European title game in recent years, Patch took its first step back in that direction Saturday with a dominant 9-0 defeat of the visiting Hohenfels Tigers.
Patch lost to Ramstein 1-0 in the 2014 title game, a year after beating the Royals 1-0 for the 2013 crown.
They'll face further competition this spring from Naples and Vicenza, a pair of Division II powers moved up to the Division I field last fall.
But there was no such drama on Saturday. Kaitlyn Farrar scored three goals and Janey Greenberg and Danielle Mannier added two goals apiece as the Panthers made quick work of the Tigers. Whitney Mannier and Kaela Lynch also found the net in the wire-to-wire romp.
Naples 0, Vicenza 0: Saturday at Vicenza, Italy's preeminent powers played to a scoreless draw.
While their new Division I foes Patch and Ramstein spent their Saturday openers dribbling circles around overmatched opponents, longtime Division II dynasty Naples and archrival Vicenza started their season with one of the toughest games on their respective schedules.
The game easily lived up to its billing while offering no further evidence of how Naples and Vicenza might fare at their new higher level. Those answers will begin to arrive in a few weeks, as Patch is set to face both Italian rivals April 24-25 at Vicenza.
American Overseas School of Rome 1, Sigonella 0: Saturday at Rome, Zoe Pipa scored a second-half goal off an Alessia Giombini assist to edge the Jaguars.
AOSR, a prime contender in the restructured Division II ranks, is off to a 2-0 start, including its season-opening 4-2 defeat of Aviano on March 14.
Lakenheath 7, Brussels 1: Friday at Brussels, dominant offensive efforts by Kuri Benitez and Jaelynn Freeman delivered a runaway Lancer win.
Both Benitez and Freeman scored three goals and assisted on another as Lakenheath opened its season in blowout fashion. Emily Grant added a goal while Maddie Franke and Paige Ellis chipped in an assist apiece.
Morgan Maloney scored for the Brigands.
AFNORTH 2, SHAPE 0: Friday at Mons, Belgium, Caitlyn Helwig scored both of the game's goals in the first half to secure a season-opening Lion win.
Helwig scored once on a penalty kick and again on an unassisted goal to kick off AFNORTH's season. Frida Lunde made five saves for a shutout performance in goal.
Lakenheath 1, SHAPE 1: Saturday at Mons, Belgium, the Spartans put in a second-half goal to avoid an 0-2 homestand.
Begona Rodriguez Bravo delivered the tying goal for SHAPE, answering a first-half goal by Lancer adversary Grant and forcing a tie with its new Division I rival.
SHAPE goalie Megan Vanheuckelom made a combined 13 saves over the Spartans' two games on the weekend.
Kaiserslautern 3, Baumholder 0: Saturday at Kaiserslautern, the Raiders blanked their regional rival. Arianna Osmar had a foot in each Kaiserslautern score, putting in two herself and assisting teammate Kalin Olsen for the third.
Eliyah Tillman was valiant in goal for Baumholder with 15 saves.
Black Forest Academy 13, Bitburg 0: Saturday at Bitburg, the Falcons dominated a Division II showdown.
Jackie Hildebrand and Chloe Moortag scored three goals apiece and Anna Kragt scored two for BFA.
New Bitburg goalie Sophia McGrath stopped 14 BFA shots.