Only once in Chris Anderson’s four years as Matthew C. Perry girls soccer coach had his Samurai beaten Yokota — a “B” squad match featuring Panthers JVs and Perry eighth-graders two years ago .

Now, his Samurai can claim a varsity triumph over Yokota.

Karla Stroud scored her 16th goal of the season in the second half to break a 1-1 tie as Perry stunned Yokota 2-1 Saturday at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni’s Penny Lake Field.

“This was really nice for the girls. They played really well. The defense has really stepped up,” said Anderson, whose Samurai (8-5-3) equaled their victory total of last season. Yokota fell to 14-3-2.

The Samurai defense, paced by sweeper Nicolette Austin and goalkeeper Kate Cutshall, held Yokota to one goal over the weekend. Perry tied Yokota 0-0 on Friday night.

Cutshall made 17 saves in the two matches. Austin kept tabs on high-scoring Panther forward Julia Martel, who scored Yokota’s goal, while Heather Hyson and Stroud closely marked playmaking junior Lauryn Thomas. “They did a good job,” Anderson said.

He credited two losses last week to Zama American for snapping on a light switch in the minds of his players regarding the physical aspects of the game. He said he hoped this would be the spark they need going into the Far East Class A Tournament May 18-21 at Iwakuni.

“Every coach hopes their team will peak at the right time,” Anderson said. “If we carry this through to Far East, we should have a really good chance.”

While the Samurai celebrated, Panthers coach Matt Whipple wondered if his team was still caught up in its 1-1 tie Tuesday at American School In Japan, the first time the Mustangs gave up a goal this season. Saturday’s loss was also Yokota’s fourth match in five days.

“We’ve gone this past week full throttle,” Whipple said. “I think we kind of peaked at ASIJ; I have to get them to peak again” for the Far East Class AA Tournament hosted by Yokota May 19-23.

More surprisesPerhaps the warning shot that this week might be unusual came Wednesday, when Yokota’s boys (14-2) scored their first victory since 2003 over Christian Academy In Japan (5-1).

A day after scoring four second-half goals in a 4-0 victory at Robert D. Edgren, Zama’s girls (13-2-1) were held to a 0-0 tie by the Eagles (0-12-2) on Saturday.

“We played terribly,” Zama coach Vanessa Little said.

“Edgren played well. They stepped to the ball and we didn’t. They deserved it. We didn’t want it.”

SATs and injuries depleted Zama’s girls and boys (10-3), who were missing six starters. Behind the leg of Brandon Massie, the Eagles boys (4-10-1) grounded the Trojans 4-2 on Friday before Zama rallied Saturday to beat Edgren 2-1.

Okinawa teams continue to grow by taking lumpsFour of the defending Class AA girls champion Kubasaki Dragons’ five losses this season have come against Japanese club teams. Coach Terry Chumley says she’d schedule clubs as often as she could, for all the things her charges learn from those matches.

“Their passing is awesome. They know where each other is on the field. We have to amp up our speed and quickness,” Chumley said after the Dragons survived a 1-1 draw with FC Ryuho.

Those qualities are starting to show in the play of the Dragons (10-5-1). “We’re definitely coming together as a team, starting to play better,” Chumley said.

Kadena’s boys (7-7-1), with five losses to adult teams, came away with a 1-1 draw with FC Teada, a Japanese adult club. Kubasaki’s boys (4-9) lost 3-0 to Teada.

Falcons capture another DODDS-Korea softball titleBehind the pitching of Kris Spann and Jennifer Simmons and the keystone combination of shortstop Lindsay Clark and second baseman Maria Garcia, Seoul American again has won the DODDS-Korea softball league.

The Falcons blanked Osan American 15-0 in three innings and beat Daegu American 11-3 on Saturday at Osan Air Base to run their record to 8-0.

Even if Seoul American loses its last four games, the Falcons still hold tiebreaker edges over Daegu (4-4) and Osan (0-8), having beaten each four times.

“The maturity level on this season has been phenomenal,” coach Julian Harden said.

“Jen has developed into a great pitcher. Kris gives us two tough pitchers, with Jina Kim in the wings. We have the best shortstop-second base duo in the Pacific; it’s hard to get anything past them. And once they get on base, they score. And the other girls feed off that.”

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