Apparently, there’s not a lot of difference between the 2008 European Division I and Division II soccer champions.
Heidelberg All-European Kevin Beerman and Black Forest Academy’s Serge Ukety matched unassisted second-half goals Saturday as the D-I champion Lions and the Falcons, winners of the D-II title game last May, stayed unbeaten with a 1-1 tie.
"It was an exciting game," Heidelberg coach Perry Puppolo reported about the clash of perennial powers. "The teams were evenly matched."
The draw was the second of the season for the Lions, whose goalkeeper, All-Europe sophomore Zach Harrington, yielded a goal for just the second time this season. Heidelberg has two victories and is 2-0-1 in Region II, as is BFA.
In other games of note Saturday:
Patch 7, Ansbach 1: At Ansbach, Jesse Hanes and Shant Malhas each scored two goals and assisted on one as the Panthers rebounded from their only loss, 4-1 to Black Forest Academy the previous Saturday.
Jacob Camacho posted a goal and two assists for Patch (4-1 overall, 3-1 in Region III). Ansbach (0-5, 0-4) got its goal from Paul Farinos. Eighteen saves from goalkeeper Kevin Stadler kept Ansbach from suffering a courtesy-rule defeat.
Baumholder 1, AFNORTH 1: At Brunssum, Netherlands, All-European James Perea rammed home the second-half equalizer to All-European Alassane Doukoure’s first-half strike in a battle between European D-III contenders.
"Doukoure made outstanding overlapping runs and put tremendous pressure on the AFNORTH defense throughout the first half . . ." Greg Blankenship, coach of the defending D-III champion Lions, wrote in an e-mail. "The Baumholder team (3-0-1 overall) passed the ball extremely well in the first half, and gave Alassane three good attacking runs through the AFNORTH defense.
"Prince Owusu did a superb job keeping his defense in position on the pitch and ran down all AFNORTH attacking runs throughout the first half. AFNORTH was limited to only one solid attacking run throughout the first half. . . ."
In the second half, Perea and Jose Munoz began to put more pressure on the Baumholder defense, and Riley Robinson and Brock Blankenship began to neutralize the play of Baumholder’s Edgar Acosta in midfield, leading to more offense by AFNORTH, Brockington reported. "As a result, Tobias Christmann and Aaron Black began to comfortably counter the Baumholder offense throughout the second half and dominated the defensive side of the pitch," he said.
He added that Perea and Munoz had several opportunities to put AFNORTH (1-1-2 overall) ahead in the second half but failed to score.
Sigonella 3, Milan 2: At Sigonella, Brett Gilbert, Alec Herb and Ricky Schroff scored first-half goals that All-Europe keeper Conor Quinn made stand up in this match between Division IV contenders. Sigonella is 2-1-1 overall and in Region IV. Milan fell to 2-2.
Naples 3, Florence 0: At Florence, 16 saves by home-team keeper Christian Acosta produced the closest loss of the season for winless Florence. Victor Sanchez, Daniel Brew and Nick Stewart beat Acosta, who played what Naples coach Joy Bork called "a fantastic game." Naples improved to 2-2. Florence fell to 0-4.