Ramstein girls top rival Kaiserslautern
May 19, 2007
European edition, Saturday, May 19, 2007
RAMSTEIN, Germany — The Ramstein Lady Royals won their second DODDS-Europe Division I soccer title in three seasons Friday with a 3-0 victory over neighborhood rival Kaiserslautern.
Ramstein, which lost last year’s final in a shootout, got goals in Friday’s victory from senior Susie Fluker, sophomore Macy Jepsen and senior Jayci Cachuela.
The team has been preparing since the beginning of the season for the championship game, said Ramstein head coach Ricardo Buitrago.
“Ultimately, it came down to heart,” he said. “It was not just about soccer. It was about a team effort. It was about challenging themselves not only as soccer players but as individuals.”
Kaiserslautern and Ramstein played to 3-3 tie six days before the championship match. However on Friday evening, the Lady Raiders were without one of their star players for most of the game.
Senior Joy Hrushka suffered a leg injury early in the game. She was carried off the field immediately and treated near her team’s bench. She was later carried out of the stadium on a stretcher.
Fluker got the first goal of the game at the 10-minute mark when her shot slipped past Kaiserslautern keeper Pia Coffman.
About three minutes later, Ramstein’s Lauren Williams had a shot on goal blocked by Kaiserslautern, but Jepsen tapped in the rebound.
Kaiserslautern’s Liana Knight tested the Ramstein defense repeatedly with her quickness and hustle, but the Lady Raiders could not get the ball in the back of the net.
Ramstein iced the game in the 62nd minute when Helen Della-Rovere crossed a beautiful corner kick that Cachuela headed in for the goal.
After the victory, the Ramstein players, in a pseudo-Gatorade shower, doused Buitrago with water from their small bottles.
Jepsen called the victory wonderful, fantastic and awesome.
“I can’t think of words to describe it,” she said. “It just feels awesome.”
Last year, Ramstein lost to Heidelberg in the championship game in a shootout after a scoreless overtime. In 2005, Ramstein bested Heidelberg in overtime to win the title.
For the first time since 2000, the girls Division I championship game did not pit Ramstein against Heidelberg. The last time Heidelberg did not play in the D-I girls championship was 1997.