Quinn, Schlattmann lift Brussels to Division IV girls soccer title
Stars and Stripes May 24, 2008
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – After more than 50 minutes of trying Friday, Marlena Schlattmann finally worked her way past the Hanau back line and blasted a low curving shot inside the near post to give Brussels a 1-0 victory over and its third straight European girls Division IV soccer championship.
"It was hard to get into the feel of the game," said Schlattmann, denied on several previous forays into the Hanau penalty area, "but our teamwork finally paid off. It’s all about the team."
In addition to deciding the game, Schlattmann’s shot emphasized a series of missed chances by Hanau, which was playing the final game in the’s school history. The Lady Panthers pushed a first-half penalty kick wide of the goal and were unable to finish several dangerous runs by midfielder Ashley Destafani and forward Natashia Hall, both voted to the all-tournament team.
Most of the reason for the finishing problems was solid defense by sweeper Caitlin Quinn, the tourney MVP who battled Destafani and Hall for the full 80 minutes; back-line mates Erica Clayburn and Anika Rumer; and goalkeeper Allie Lynch.
"When we saw that they were bigger, we knew we’d have to work harder," Quinn said,
Hard enough, it turned out, for the Lady Brigands to post their third shutout in four games.
Although Hanau was playing its last game ever — the school closes at the end of this school year — the game had an air of finality for Brussels, too. Three members of the team, Brianna Fitch, Lizz McVicker and Quinn, were concluding a four-year run that produced three straight Division IV crowns.
"It was definitely a sense of relief," Quinn said of her reaction to her team’s three-peat.
McVicker, a member of the all-tournament team, added, "Winning the championship as a senior – there are no words to describe it."
Fitch said, however, there wasn’t all that much pressure on the two-time champions going into the tournament. "I don’t think it affects things," the Wellesley College-bound senior said. "In DODDS, the teams are changing all the time anyway."
Although Schlattmann, also an all-tournament pick, missed out on the first of the current string of titles, she was glad to have a hand in two of them. "I’m glad to help continue the legacy of our seniors," she said.
For Hanau, the legacy ends here.
"It’s sad," said all-tournament sweeper Lisa Fontanez, a senior. "We’ve been playing together since out freshman year."
However, Fontanez’s fellow senior Lisician Ramel, said the team can finish with pride: "Even though we came in second, we played really well. I’m satisfied."