A handful of Pacific high school sports teams found their lineups depleted this week.
The culprit: The three-day Far East High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps competition at Matthew C. Perry High in Japan.
Most affected was Daegu American’s girls soccer team, which went into Wednesday’s match at Taejon Christian International missing six starters and one reserve.
The Warriors lost the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Council match 5-0.
"We knew this was going to happen. We did the best we could," said Warriors coach Ed Thompson.
Such is the paradox of DODDS-Pacific’s vast array of athletic events and other activities.
Although there’s plenty to choose from, many conflict with each other and force tough choices, Thompson said.
"Especially at small schools like ours, everything cuts into everything," he said.
"And small schools end up suffering most."
Seoul American’s girls also suffered the pinch, losing center-forward and team captain Kelly Gutierrez for a 2-0 loss at Seoul Foreign.
The Falcons’ team captain leads the squad with four goals.
"Absolutely," coach Robert Victoria said when asked if Gutierrez’s absence affected the team.
"We were lacking in aggression. We had opportunities — we just lacked that finisher."
Seoul American’s boys had their full complement of players, but also had trouble finding the back of the net in a 3-1 loss to the Crusaders.
Goalkeeper Mitchell Lee faced 20 shots, stopping 17.
"He played an outstanding game," coach Billy Ratcliff said.
"We stayed with them for awhile. We had opportunities. We just couldn’t close the deal. You have to play perfect ball when you go up against a good team like that."
On Okinawa, lack of daylight was the culprit at lightless Chibana Recreation Area as only the second girls softball meeting of the season between Kadena and Kubasaki was shortened to 4½ innings by darkness.
Kadena led 4-0 early, but Kubasaki chipped away, cutting it to 5-3 in the fourth inning before play was halted.
Afterward, coaches Gerald McKeown of Kubasaki and Kadena’s Jesse Costa agreed to move some games to Field 2 at Camp Foster’s Athletic Complex, which has lights.
"That’s a game we should have had a chance to play out," McKeown said.