After missing last week’s 1-0 victory at Osan American, Sarah Eades returned to Seoul American’s lineup on Saturday and helped the Falcons finish the first month of the season with a 10-0 record.
Eades, a junior, scored her 11th goal of the season and set up one of two goals by Alicia Furner as the Falcons shut out Osan American for the second straight week, this time by a 4-0 score.
“It wasn’t an overwhelming difference, but you could feel her presence in the middle,” Falcons coach Lori Rogers said of Eades, who missed the March 24 game at Osan due to a family commitment.
The Cougars, all too aware of Eades’ presence, marked her with two, sometimes three defenders on Falcon Field, slickened somewhat by a chilly morning rain.
“That opened the field a little,” Rogers said, adding that playing on Seoul American’s field, wider by 15 yards and longer by 20 than Osan American’s turf, “made a difference. We have fast forwards who can track balls downfield. A lot of breakaways.”
Erica Anglade led off the scoring in the 18th minute with her team-leading 16th goal, off an assist by Jessie Bolander. Eades knocked a corner kick off an Osan defender into the net seven minutes later, making it 2-0 at intermission.
Then Furner took over, netting goals in the 56th and 72nd minutes. Katie Bolander assisted the first one and Eades the second.
“They’re used to playing on the bigger field. They used it to their advantage,” said Sung Plourde, whose Cougars also have 10 victories and two ties in addition to two losses to the Falcons. “The rainy weather didn’t help us, either.”
Around the pitch: Stroud making strides as Perry strikerTheir first long road trip of the season could have gone better for the Matthew C. Perry girls soccer team. The Samurai went 0-2-1 at Yokota, Zama and Kinnick despite only being collectively outscored 5-3.
“This was a great road trip, a great learning experience that they can play with anybody,” Perry coach Chris Anderson said.
His biggest worry, how to replace departed striker Taylor Dunphy’s 20 goals, has been mitigated by the presence of junior Karla Stroud, moved to center-forward from stopper. She’s responded with eight goals thus far.
“She’s a playmaker,” Anderson said. “She gets hungry for it. She’s getting a lot of support around her.”
Kinnick sophomore center-forward Brittany Evans faced an even more daunting task, trying to help replace Tara Bartkoski (38 goals, 12 assists), Frances Zukowski (29, 8) and Mariko Wood (10, 18).
“She understands that we lost three key weapons,” coach Nico Hindie said of Evans, who has 10 goals for the Red Devils (4-1-2), who were the Far East Class AA runners-up last year. “Between her and (sweeper) Nadine (Mulvany), they’re really stepping up their game.”
Zama’s boys and girls are off to their best starts in school history. The boys (5-0) got three goals from Jon Kimball in an 8-0 victory over Perry. The girls (5-1) got one goal each from Aubrey and Mallarie Ashliman in a 2-1 victory over Perry. The sisters have eight goals each this season.
David Heitstuman became the first defender to score for E.J. King this season, and helped the Cobras surpass their season goal total of last year with the team’s 29th. E.J. King edged Edgren 4-3.
On Okinawa, senior Bridget Ramirez became the first player from Kubasaki or Kadena to reach 10 goals this season, scoring in the 55th and 57th minutes as Kubasaki edged FC Unai 2-1.
Kubasaki’s victory came in the second of a record series of seven matches played in a day by Okinawa Activities Council teams, two each by Kadena’s and Kubasaki’s girls and Kubasaki’s boys and one by Kadena’s boys.
Most came against adult or advanced youth club opponents that the Panthers’ and Dragons’ coaches say provide much better competition than the standard high school fare they face regularly.
“It’s great for a young team,” Kadena girls coach Hoa Nguyen said. “You can move players around, try different things and the players learn and they grow when you play teams like this.”
It may lead to a losing regular-season record; Kadena’s and Kubasaki’s boys are a combined 3-11. The girls have fared better at a combined 11-4-1.
“But who cares?” asked Kadena boys coach Tom McKinney, whose Panthers were to play in an open military tournament Sunday at Camp Schwab. “The better your competition, the better you become.”
Rivalry Wednesday highlights last week before spring breakWednesday looms large for league rivals as they prepare for the weeklong spring break starting Sunday.
On Okinawa, Kadena’s boys and girls visit Kubasaki at 5 and 7 p.m. at Kubasaki’s Mike Petty Stadium. Each team has a victory over its rival this season; all four games have ended in 3-2 outcomes.
In Japan, Zama American’s girls (5-1) entertain Yokota (8-1), and Kinnick’s boys (3-1-2) travel to Yokota (4-1).
And in South Korea, Seoul American’s boys (7-1-1) will try to avenge their lone loss to Seoul Foreign (7-0), while the Falcons girls will try for a regular-season sweep of the Crusaders (3-2-2).