Support our mission
 
Kaiserslautern's Cole Martin heads the ball out of the danger zone against Sydney Mills of Naples. in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden.
Kaiserslautern's Cole Martin heads the ball out of the danger zone against Sydney Mills of Naples. in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Kaiserslautern's Cole Martin heads the ball out of the danger zone against Sydney Mills of Naples. in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden.
Kaiserslautern's Cole Martin heads the ball out of the danger zone against Sydney Mills of Naples. in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Kaiserslautern's Alyssa Bodine stops a shot by Naples' Victoria Sasse after she got past the Raiders' Angelina Popovic in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. watching the action are Paola Zorilla and Jillian Donmoyer. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden.
Kaiserslautern's Alyssa Bodine stops a shot by Naples' Victoria Sasse after she got past the Raiders' Angelina Popovic in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. watching the action are Paola Zorilla and Jillian Donmoyer. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Naples' Abigail Houseworth drives to the box against Kaiserslautern's Jillian Donmoyer in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden.
Naples' Abigail Houseworth drives to the box against Kaiserslautern's Jillian Donmoyer in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Kaiserslautern keeper Alyssa Bodine stops Naples' Roxanne Sasse in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Despite the effort by both, Sasse was called offsides. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden.
Kaiserslautern keeper Alyssa Bodine stops Naples' Roxanne Sasse in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Despite the effort by both, Sasse was called offsides. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Roxanne Sasse tries to get past the Kaiserslautern defense of Angelina Popovic, left, and Baylee Buys in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden.
Roxanne Sasse tries to get past the Kaiserslautern defense of Angelina Popovic, left, and Baylee Buys in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Naples won 3-0 to advance to Thursday's final against Wiesbaden. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Wiesbaden's Audrey Mehar, right, celebrates with teammate Erin Goodman after scoring the winning 2-1 goal in overtime in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden will face Naples in Thursday's final.
Wiesbaden's Audrey Mehar, right, celebrates with teammate Erin Goodman after scoring the winning 2-1 goal in overtime in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden will face Naples in Thursday's final. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Stuggart's Mara barbell gets a shot off after getting past Wiesbaden's Livia Baker McKee in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final.
Stuggart's Mara barbell gets a shot off after getting past Wiesbaden's Livia Baker McKee in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Stuttgart's Victoria Antoine tries to get away from Wiesbaden's Lindsey Barker in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final.
Stuttgart's Victoria Antoine tries to get away from Wiesbaden's Lindsey Barker in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Wiesbaden keeper Karli Wallace pounces on the ball in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final.
Wiesbaden keeper Karli Wallace pounces on the ball in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Stuttgart's Skye DaSilva-Mathis and Wiesbaden's Audrey Merhar battle for the ball in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final.
Stuttgart's Skye DaSilva-Mathis and Wiesbaden's Audrey Merhar battle for the ball in a Division I semifinal at Reichenbach, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Wiesbaden won 2-1 in overtime and will face Naples in Thursday's final. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

REICHENBACH-STEEGEN, Germany – The Wiesbaden Warriors used a stifling defense to defeat the defending champion Stuttgart Panthers in the Division I DODEA-Europe girls’ soccer semifinals Wednesday.

They’ll face Naples in the finals Thursday, where a new Division I champion will be crowned. The third-seeded Wildcats took care of Kaiserslautern, 3-0, in their semifinal match.

The Warriors needed double overtime to topple the Panthers, nearly repeating the semifinals from two years ago, when Wiesbaden won in a shootout. But this time, about 90 seconds before the tightly-contested match moved into the penalty-kick phase, senior midfielder Audrey Merhar - on an assist from Erin Goodman - sealed the win, 2-1, for the Warriors.

The victory came one year after the Panthers booted the Warriors out of last year’s Division I finals – and on the heels of the teams’ 2-2 tie in the regular season finale this spring.

“I’m so proud of my girls,” Wiesbaden coach Nicole Angel said. “We fought hard all season. We’re always the underdogs.”

Stuttgart controlled the ball for most of the game, but the Panthers couldn’t catch a lucky break, either misfiring at goal or into the capable hands of goalkeeper Karli Wallace, who had 16 saves.

Stuttgart’s only score came on a penalty kick in the second half by senior midfielder Lilly Lakich.

“I felt like we were on their side of the field for the most part,” Lakich said. “But their breakaways and their counterattacks, they capitalized on them.”

Goodman scored first for the Warriors, launching the ball from the sidelines high into the back end of the net.

“I saw I had an open shot,” Goodman said, and from there, relied on “muscle memory.”

“It feels amazing,” she said of the win.

While the Warriors spoke of feeling like the figurative Division I underdogs, the Wildcats, one of the smaller schools playing in Division I, might fit that role as well. Relatively new to Division I, the Wildcats have been on a quest to get back to the Division I finals since their first large-school championship match in 2016, when they lost to Stuttgart in a 4-0 shutout.

“It’s a dream come true,” senior midfielder Sydney Millis said. “We really feel like we have a chance this year.”

Naples controlled the ball and the tempo against Kaiserslautern. Goals came courtesy of junior striker Vanessa Laird and sophomore striker Roxanne Sasse, who scored twice.

For Kaiserslautern, the loss ended a surprisingly deep run into this year’s tourney for the eighth-seeded Raiders.

“We gave it our all,” junior defender Paola Zorrilla said. “I know every single player played their best. I’m just very proud of our team.”

Svan.jennifer@stripes.com

Migrated
twitter Email

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up