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Patch's Kaitlyn Farrar takes the ball up the field against Ramstein's Liana Ochoa, left, and Danae Veloso in the girls Division I final at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Patch won 2-1 in overtime, and Farrar has been selected as the Stars and Stripes girls soccer Athlete of the Year.

Patch's Kaitlyn Farrar takes the ball up the field against Ramstein's Liana Ochoa, left, and Danae Veloso in the girls Division I final at the DODDS-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Patch won 2-1 in overtime, and Farrar has been selected as the Stars and Stripes girls soccer Athlete of the Year. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

Kat Farrar plays two simultaneous roles for the Patch Panthers girls soccer team. She’s its primary offensive weapon, among many others. And she’s the key that makes them all more potent.

As a result, Farrar is the 2015 Stars and Stripes girls soccer Athlete of the Year.

Farrar didn’t score in Patch’s dramatic 2-1 overtime defeat of Ramstein in the 2015 Division I championship match. But Panthers coach Daniel Coapstick said her contributions were nothing short of game-changing.

Farrar absorbed an extreme amount of attention from Ramstein’s potent defense, Coapstick said, often drawing three defenders. The Royals’ defense focus eased the pressure on Patch’s own defense, Coapstick said, and opened opportunities for Farrar’s teammates.

One such opportunity decided the championship. Coapstick said the game-winning goal unleashed by Danielle Mannier was made possible partly by Farrar’s “great run across the line of sight” of Ramstein’s goalkeeper, “providing enough distraction” to aid Mannier’s shot in finding the net.

That’s not the most glamorous role the high-scoring Farrar plays in the Patch offense, but it’s one she happily accepted in the interest of team success.

“It was really tense. I had to depend on my team a lot,” she said of the title game. “I was being marked, and it’s really hard to shoot when you’re being marked.”

Besides, Farrar didn’t need a goal in the championship game to validate what had already been made repeatedly clear — that there are few players in DODDS-Europe as dangerous as she is.

In the regular season, the junior scored 11 goals and dished out five assists. She increased that pace in the tournament, totaling seven goals and three assists over the four-day run. That production came despite near-constant double-teaming from opponents determined not to let her get the best of them.

Predictably, Farrar downplayed her key role in the Patch attack, calling herself “just a finisher” while further deflecting credit to her “role model,” former Patch standout and 2013 Stars and Stripes girls soccer Athlete of the Year Caroline Rivera.

“It’s really a team effort,” she said. ”I’m just the last person to finish, just like any other striker.”

But the job of a striker is more complex than just fielding a pass and rerouting it through the net.

Farrar needs a level of unspoken communication with her offensive teammates, knowing when a midfielder is about to deliver a through ball or a wing is set to launch a high cross into the box. She needs to be perpetually in sync with her fellow striker, Janey Greenberg, to avoid redundancies and maximize the degree of difficulty for the defense.

Farrar has been cultivating this particular set of skills since the age of 4.

“You have to be fast,” she said. “And you have to know the game.”

Farrar has both of those boxes checked. At her advanced level, she’s learned to combine her athletic gifts and situational awareness with those of her teammates to form a championship-level offense.

“They really help me with telling me what to do,” she said. “As a striker you don’t really see the whole field.”

That fact hasn’t stopped Farrar from controlling it.

broome.gregory@stripes.com

Twitter: @broomestripes

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