Ramstein wins finals rematch with ISB
Saturday's rematch of the 2015 DODEA-Europe Division I boys soccer championship game produced the same winner, and the way it happened might offer even further encouragement for the reigning champions.
The Ramstein Royals beat the visiting International School of Brussels Raiders 3-1 on Saturday, about a year after beating ISB 1-0 for the 2015 European crown.
But where that title win came from one semi-miraculous shot amidst a two-way defensive struggle, the offense came easier to Ramstein on Saturday.
The Royals scored all three of their goals in a prolific first half. Kaleb Hoopes knocked in a rebound off an ISB save, and Keal Collins and Connor Ullian each scored off Royal corner kicks.
That's a positive development for a Ramstein team that often struggles to manufacture goals. And it came without sacrificing its signature defense, as ISB managed only a sailing goal from Ryota Nakamura on its side of the pitch.
Black Forest Academy 1, Bitburg 0: At Kandern, Germany, the Falcons picked up a quality divisional win.
Jason Kragt scored a first-half goal to decide the defensive struggle, which saw Bitburg goalie Tyler McChord make 10 saves and BFA counterpart Solomon Kim post a five-save shutout.
The win likely locks up a high tournament seed for BFA, which will challenge Marymount, Florence and reigning champion Bahrain for the Division II title.
Naples 1, Florence 1: Saturday at Naples, two title hopefuls from different divisions got a taste of postseason-worthy competition. Division I Naples and Division II Florence played to a scoreless tie through one half. Marcello Esposti put Naples in front before a late Florence equalizer.
Roman Schoff had six saves in goal for Naples.
Naples will try again to launch a Division I title run after coming up short last spring; Florence will take its shot at the Division II level after winning the Division III crown a year ago.
Stuttgart 5, Vilseck 0: Saturday at Vilseck, the Panthers got back on track with a thorough shutout of the host Falcons.
The win provides a tidy bookend to Stuttgart's regular season, which opened the spring with a 3-0 defeat of defending champion Ramstein. Things got a bit bumpy in between for the Panthers, who take a 4-2-1 record into the tournament.
Dan Bacskai scored two goals while Judge Morgan and Zac Simanski each had a goal and an assist in the victory.
Lakenheath 5, Alconbury 2: Saturday at Lakenheath, Tristin Reyes scored three goals and assisted on his team's other two scores as the Lancers took down the Dragons.
Ethan Fitzgerald added two goals and two assists in the victory.