Girls soccer: Patch accustomed to tournament pressure
Apparently, performing in the spotlight takes a lot of getting used to.
“We liked it better last year. We weren’t in the spotlight,” Patch coach Tom Manuel said about the team that won the school’s fifth straight European Division II girls soccer crown last May.
The only reason that club wasn’t in the spotlight entering the tournament was because its 48-game winning streak was snapped, and Hanau won last year’s regular season title.
Patch, however, avenged the loss by winning the tournament championship, beating Hanau 4-0 in the title game. The Lady Panthers haven’t lost since, and after a 7-0 regular season, they’re back in the glare of the favorite’s spotlight.
Patch’s title string actually goes back farther than the five D-II crowns. The Panthers won the European big schools title, for D-I and D-II schools, in 1999.
“We always mind pressure,” Manuel said, “but we’ve got some girls playing very well and some starting to peak.
“We’re not a one-person team,” he said. “The last person off the bench is just as important as anyone. I tell our team it doesn’t matter what they do individually until after the season’s over. Then we can sit down and see what kind of contribution each player made to our success.”
Sharing the unbeaten and untied spotlight in the girls’ field are Ramstein, the Division I regular season champion, and Aviano, champion of the Mediterranean Regional.
“It’s now or never for us,” said Ramstein’s Bill Belmear on Wednesday. “We lose most of our team after this season.”
A look at the teams:
(Listed in order of seeding; Overall and conference records in parentheses)
1. Ramstein (7-0, 6-0, 2004 conference champion) — Bill Belmear’s team is loaded — 10 goals and four assists from Heather Harvey, eight goals and four assists from Mari Shakir, seven goals and two assists from Collette Bannister, five goals from Melissa Hirzel, and just three goals allowed by Andra Vanderneck.
2. International School of Brussels (5-1, 5-1) — Gavin Ward’s young team depends on Brazilian star Paula Oliveira and Canadian Michelle Kilian.
3. Heidelberg (5-2, 4-2, 2001-2003 European champion) — The Lady Lions rally behind two-time All-Europe first-teamer Megan Brousseau.
4. Würzburg (4-3, 3-3) — Liz Boehm, Sarah Hill and Suzanne Hamilton do the scoring; Bianca Garcia mans the nets for Stacy Huffman’s team.
5. Wiesbaden (2-5, 2-4) — Jessi Eidem and Indira Jackson fuel Jim Campbell’s team.
6. Kaiserslautern (1-6, 1-5) — The Lady Raiders rely on Allyson Bunch for success.
7. Lakenheath (0-7, 0-6) — Goalkeeper Jory Bergman keeps Betsy Deacon’s club, which has scored just one goal this season, close most of the time.
1. Patch (7-0, 7-0, 2004 conference champion, 1999-2003 European champion) — Sabrina Silver and Ashlee McConnell provide most of the scoring, aided by Kylie Marchant, for Tom Manuel’s latest championship team. Heather Hall and Patch defenders have posted five shutouts.
2. Black Forest Academy (3-2-2, 3-2-2) — The Falcons lean on Miriam Townsend for scoring.
3. SHAPE (3-2-2, 3-2-2) — Norwegian stars Charlotte Grimstad and Amalie Andersson and Nicole Fox provide the offensive spark.
4. Hanau (3-2-2, 3-2-2) — All-Europe second-team sophomore Kyri Bye-Nagel scores in buckets, helped by Courtney Smith, for Sam Cassou’s club.
5. Bitburg (3-4, 3-4) — Adrianne Ruiz and Chelsea Gavagan are the offense, and Melodie Duperval the defense for Bitburg.
6. Mannheim (3-4, 3-4) — The Lady Bison found a scorer in Kelsey Chavarria.
7. AFNORTH (1-4-2) — Annika Carlson is a very bright spot for the Lady Lions.
8. Vilseck (1-6, 1-6) — Krystal Trinidad leads the team in scoring.
1. Alconbury (1-4-1, 1-3, III-North tournament champions) — Caitlin Laingen, a veteran of last season’s co-ed team, scored seven goals in the III-North Regional to land the school’s first all-girls’ team in the Europeans.
2. Aviano (6-0, 6-0, 2004 ASIL champion and Med Regional champion) — The Saints are one of the true powers in the tournament, getting scoring from Emily McNulty, Alexa Wan, Aubree Mariz and practically everyone else. Aviano allowed just seven goals.
3. Ansbach (5-1, 3-1, 2004 III-South tournament champions) — Caroline Robinson, Sara Herold and Alison Hazen fuel the offense, and Keke Johnson plugs all the holes. Only loss was 1-0 at Hohenfels on March 27.
4. Hohenfels (3-1-1, 3-1, 2004 III-South regular season champion) — Kathleen Clemmons gets plenty of mileage from athletic goalkeeper Danielle Green and goal-scorers Kelsey Axon and Joanne Youngblood.
5. Naples (5-1, 5-1, 2003 European champion) — Tracy Light is rock solid for Barbara Dunsmore’s defense.
6. Menwith Hill (3-2-1, 3-1) — Justine McHone keeps the nets, and Nicole Romero provides the sock.