Hanau defense keys perfect finish in D-III championship
May 20, 2007
European edition, Sunday, May 20, 2007
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — When all was said and done Saturday in the girls European Division III soccer championship game, Hanau turned out to be a perfect fit.
“There ain’t too many times in life you can say you’re perfect,” Hanau coach Sam Cassou told his players after they claimed a 1-0 victory over the American Overseas School of Rome to cap an undefeated run through their first season in Division III. “You can.”
Sophomore Feiloaiga Oloi cashed in a penalty kick, awarded for an AOSR hand ball in the box 35 minutes into the game, then dropped back to help her defense make it stand up the rest of the way.
The switch from offense to defense didn’t faze Oloi, who scored 13 times as Hanau went 6-0-0 in the regular season. The only non-victory the Lady Panthers endured was a 1-1 tie at Vilseck, which defeated Black Forest Academy 2-0 for for the D-II title on Saturday.
“I played stopper last year,” said Oloi, who moved to striker this season to replace four-time All-European Kyri Bye-Nagel as the linchpin of the Hanau attack. “We were trying to keep the lead.”
The Hanau back line captained by sweeper Lisa Fontanez did just that.
“We have confidence in our defense,” Fontanez said.
AOSR came close only twice during the game, once in the first half when Derby Ruspoli found herself one-on-one in the goal mouth against Hanau keeper Liscian Ramel. Ramel, however, induced Ruspoli to head the ball wide of the post.
The second chance came after intermission, when Ramel was able to fall on a ball she had muffed an instant earlier just in front of her line.
Saturday’s victory, which Oloi characterized as “awkward,” was Hanau’s second 1-0 victory over of AOSR during this tournament.
Oloi returned to the offensive side of the field for the first part of the second half, peppering the AOSR keeper with four hard shots before returning to her defensive responsibilities.