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Mirna Ramos, left-forward for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler of Okinawa, boots the ball upfield during Tuesday’s game.
Mirna Ramos, left-forward for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler of Okinawa, boots the ball upfield during Tuesday’s game. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Mirna Ramos, left-forward for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler of Okinawa, boots the ball upfield during Tuesday’s game.
Mirna Ramos, left-forward for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler of Okinawa, boots the ball upfield during Tuesday’s game. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Cesar Mejia, right, of Iwakuni Air Station and Mitsuo Sato of 3rd Force Service Support Group ball during Tuesday's round-robin match. Third Force edged Iwakuni 3-2 in a shootout.
Cesar Mejia, right, of Iwakuni Air Station and Mitsuo Sato of 3rd Force Service Support Group ball during Tuesday's round-robin match. Third Force edged Iwakuni 3-2 in a shootout. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Goalkeeper Kevin Sweeney of Okinawa's 1st Marine Aircraft Wing watches the ball sail out of his reach during the shootout phase of Tuesday's round-robin match. Third Force won the shootout 4-1 and the match 2-1.
Goalkeeper Kevin Sweeney of Okinawa's 1st Marine Aircraft Wing watches the ball sail out of his reach during the shootout phase of Tuesday's round-robin match. Third Force won the shootout 4-1 and the match 2-1. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)
Edgar Garcia, right, of 3rd Force Service Support Group kicks the ball high and away from Terence Smith of Iwakuni Air Station during Tuesday's round-robin match.
Edgar Garcia, right, of 3rd Force Service Support Group kicks the ball high and away from Terence Smith of Iwakuni Air Station during Tuesday's round-robin match. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

(Tuesday’s tournament summaries at end of story)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — One sees limited action at left wing, usually in the second half, and not just when her Marine Corps Base Camp Butler team has a huge lead or is hopelessly out of it.

The other doesn’t even set foot on the field. Instead, she’s content to be assistant coach for Iwakuni Air Station of Japan, learning the ins and outs of the team’s digital video recorder.

Yet Mirna Ramos and Lori Stuever say they’re having a blast at this week’s Marine Forces Pacific Regional Soccer Tournament — and not just because it’s “where the boys are.”

“It’s for the love of the sport,” said Stuever, 19. When the lance corporal isn’t wearing Iwakuni’s trademark chalk-white and black-striped jerseys, she works in manpower at Iwakuni’s headquarters squadron.

“Just for fun,” added Ramos, 22, a corporal assigned to administration on Camp Foster who wears Base’s jersey No. 12, in red with white trim.

Stuever’s love for soccer began while she was growing up in Lawton, Okla. Just before entering the Marine Corps, she played for her MacArthur High School girls team.

With no women’s team at Iwakuni, Stuever competed for and earned a spot on the men’s varsity, which plays most of its games against fleet, experienced Japanese adult teams in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

At tryouts for the Marine regionals, “they voted me on as an assistant coach,” Stuever said.

“If any players had gotten hurt prior to us coming down here, she was to be the 18th player,” said Iwakuni coach John Idland.

While she won’t play, and is not eligible for a berth in the All-Marine men’s tryout camp Oct. 11-31 at San Diego, Stuever says she still enjoys the camaraderie with both her team and its opponents.

“Of course, I’m enjoying it,” she said. “Plus, I get the week off work. That’s always nice.”

Ramos, a native of Chihuahau, Mexico, indicated playing in the Marine regionals almost makes her feel at home, given the number of Spanish-speaking players from Latin countries.

“I’m trying to improve my English. Spanish is my first language,” she said.

Soccer also has been a lifelong passion for Ramos, who said she answered the call when Base advertised for tryouts in early September in part because she relishes the challenge of playing against men.

“Playing against males will help me improve my game,” she said. “It makes me work much harder. They’re so much faster than me.”

Ramos doesn’t shy from physical contact on the field, a teammate said.

“She’s one of our harder tacklers,” said forward Carlos Fogarthy. “She definitely pulls her weight. We let her do her thing but we also try to protect her when she gets a bit out of control.”

“I enjoy it a lot,” Ramos said. “I don’t get too much time to play, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, but I do my best out there.”

Tuesday's tournament game summaries

3rd Force 3, Iwakuni 2, SO (5-4)

First half: 3rd Force — Joseph Uchatyl (1) (unassisted), 3rd minute. Second half: 3rd Force — Brandon Bolt (1) (penalty kick), 34th minute; Iwakuni — Jose Donjuan (2) (penalty kick), 45th minute; Iwakuni — Jose Donjuan (3) (penalty kick), 59th minute. Shootout: Iwakuni — Jose Donjuan, Josh Melvin, Cesar Mejia, Mijael Valencia (miss), Terence Smith, Brian Authement (miss). 3rd Force — Trevor Chin, Teodoro Harris (miss), Lindsley Denis, Douglas Walker, Brandon Bolt, Christian Aguirre.

Hawaii 4, Base 1

First half: Hawaii — John Barros-Varela (3) (unassisted), 16th minute; Hawaii — Andrew Urey (1) (John Barros-Varela), 20th minute; Hawaii — John Barros-Varela (4) (Andrew Urey), 23rd minute. Second half: Base — Fabian Torres (1) (unassisted), 44th minute; Hawaii — Jimmy Sumaya (1) (Tyrone Baugh), 55th minute.

3rd Force 2, Wing 1, SO (4-1)

First half: 3rd Force — Lindsley Denis (2) (Jonathan Alzante), 10th minute; Wing — Fidel Torres (1) (unassisted), 29th minute. Shootout: 3rd Force — Teodoro Harris, Lindsley Denis, Jonathan Alzante, Douglas Walker. Wing — Peter Burcheson, Chris Villalobos (miss), Hector Reynoso (miss).

Iwakuni 4, Base 1

First half: Iwakuni — John Weber (1) (Terence Smith), 9th minute; Iwakuni — Cesar Mejia (1) (Mijael Valencia), 10th minute. Second half: Iwakuni — Cesar Mejia (2) (Jose Donjuan), 36th minute; Base — Carlos Fogarthy (1) (Markey Thomas), 42nd minute; Iwakuni — Ralph Wright (1) (Dustan Brenneman), 60th minute.

Hawaii 3, Division 1

First half: Hawaii — John Barros-Varela (5) (Andrew Urey), 5th minute; Hawaii — Andrew Urey (2) (Jimmy Sumaya), 16th minute; Division — Juan Sotelo (2) (unassisted), 19th minute. Second half: Hawaii — John Barros-Varela (6) (unassisted), 51st minute. Red cards — Hawaii, Bob Thurston and Michael Maxwell, 55th minute, unsportsmanlike conduct.

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