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Marymount's Emanuela Scalia and Rota's Megan Shaw fight for the ball Saturday in the Admirals' 3-1 victory.
Marymount's Emanuela Scalia and Rota's Megan Shaw fight for the ball Saturday in the Admirals' 3-1 victory. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Marymount's Emanuela Scalia and Rota's Megan Shaw fight for the ball Saturday in the Admirals' 3-1 victory.
Marymount's Emanuela Scalia and Rota's Megan Shaw fight for the ball Saturday in the Admirals' 3-1 victory. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Marymount's Miriam Hassan, left, and Matilde Di Tommaso sandwich Rota's Tatiana Manning while going for the ball in the Admirals' 3-1 victory Saturday.
Marymount's Miriam Hassan, left, and Matilde Di Tommaso sandwich Rota's Tatiana Manning while going for the ball in the Admirals' 3-1 victory Saturday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
American Overseas School of Rome's Anne-Constance Blanchette tries to kick the ball past Aviano's Kaila Lusson in the Saints' 4-3 victory Saturday.
American Overseas School of Rome's Anne-Constance Blanchette tries to kick the ball past Aviano's Kaila Lusson in the Saints' 4-3 victory Saturday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Rota's Alberto Rodriguez, left, and Marymount's Antonio Di Tomaso fight for the ball in the Admirals' 5-3 victory on Saturday.
Rota's Alberto Rodriguez, left, and Marymount's Antonio Di Tomaso fight for the ball in the Admirals' 5-3 victory on Saturday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Aviano's Kirshten Masiclat and American Overseas School of Rome's Maria Rossi battle for the ball Saturday in the Saints' 4-3 victory.
Aviano's Kirshten Masiclat and American Overseas School of Rome's Maria Rossi battle for the ball Saturday in the Saints' 4-3 victory. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Aviano junior Hailey Pulliam, who scored all four of her team's goals Saturday - kicks the ball away in the midfield in the Saints 4-3 victory over American Overseas School of Rome.
Aviano junior Hailey Pulliam, who scored all four of her team's goals Saturday - kicks the ball away in the midfield in the Saints 4-3 victory over American Overseas School of Rome. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
American Overseas School of Rome's Gabriel Smith and Aviano's Hayden Roers battle for the ball Saturday in the teams' 0-0 draw.
American Overseas School of Rome's Gabriel Smith and Aviano's Hayden Roers battle for the ball Saturday in the teams' 0-0 draw. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
American Overseas School of  Rome's Luca Baldestein and Aviano's Jason Cleveland battle for the ball Saturday during the two teams' 0-0 tie.
American Overseas School of Rome's Luca Baldestein and Aviano's Jason Cleveland battle for the ball Saturday during the two teams' 0-0 tie. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Aviano goalkeeper Giacommo Fabbro guesses correctly to stop a penalty kick from American Overseas School  of Rome's Bar Poleg as the two teams tied 0-0 Saturday.
Aviano goalkeeper Giacommo Fabbro guesses correctly to stop a penalty kick from American Overseas School of Rome's Bar Poleg as the two teams tied 0-0 Saturday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Marymount's Julian Van Heusbengen splits a pair of Rota defenders to move the  ball forward in the Admirals' 5-3 victory Saturday.
Marymount's Julian Van Heusbengen splits a pair of Rota defenders to move the ball forward in the Admirals' 5-3 victory Saturday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Rota's Jayson Lathem Penez fires a penalty kick at the Marymount goal to put the Admirals up 4-2 on the way to a 5-3 win Saturday.
Rota's Jayson Lathem Penez fires a penalty kick at the Marymount goal to put the Admirals up 4-2 on the way to a 5-3 win Saturday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Marymount's Anna Mathiesen gets set to throw the ball into a teammate Saturday in Rota's 3-1 victory over the Royals.
Marymount's Anna Mathiesen gets set to throw the ball into a teammate Saturday in Rota's 3-1 victory over the Royals. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Aviano goalkeeper Saskia Zaremba scoops the ball up right before a horde of players gets to her spot in the Saints 4-3 victory Saturday over American Overseas School of Rome.
Aviano goalkeeper Saskia Zaremba scoops the ball up right before a horde of players gets to her spot in the Saints 4-3 victory Saturday over American Overseas School of Rome. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
American Overseas School of Rome's Bar Poleg tries to shoot around an Aviano wall of defenders Saturday as the two teams battled to a 0-0 draw.
American Overseas School of Rome's Bar Poleg tries to shoot around an Aviano wall of defenders Saturday as the two teams battled to a 0-0 draw. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Marymount's Elton Mizine splits Rota defenders Liam McMurray, left, and Kaden Rodriguez in the Admirals' 5-3 victory Saturday.
Marymount's Elton Mizine splits Rota defenders Liam McMurray, left, and Kaden Rodriguez in the Admirals' 5-3 victory Saturday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

AVIANO, Italy – If one had to pick a team that the Rota boys soccer team would defeat for its first victory of the season, the defending European champion wouldn’t be the first choice.

But the Admirals – coming off 5-1 and 6-0 defeats on Friday in their only other DODEA-Europe contests before the season-ending championships, did have a few advantages against Marymount in their 5-3 victory.

Due to international testing and other factors, the Royals brought only nine players up north from Rome. And one of them hobbled all game with an ankle injury. Seven starters didn’t make the trip.

Of course, the Admirals had a few issues as well. Two players were out from injuries sustained in Friday’s games. Rota hasn’t had any comparable competition due to its isolation from other DODEA schools. And there was that 30-hour bus trip to get to the games.

So coach Jason Fox and his players were OK with a little celebration after the victory.

Fox said moving some players around the field from Friday to Saturday “was a huge shift for us.”

Sam Weaver was in the right place at the right time all game for the Admirals. He scored his first goal to tie the contest when Marymount saved two quick shots on goal, but couldn’t get the ball away from the net. After the Royals went ahead again, Weaver scored another goal on a rebounded shot. Then just a few minutes later, he stole the ball near the goal and fired into an empty net to put Rota on top 3-2 at the half. Jayson Lathem Penez took over from there, with a penalty kick and a shot from half field that was misplayed into another goal.

Aviano 0, American Overseas School of Rome 0: The two schools that defeated the Admirals on Friday couldn’t find the net in the last of the eight games during the two-day event.

The Falcons, missing four starters to international testing, had the better chances. But Aviano goalkeeper Giacomo Fabbro stopped nine shots, including a penalty kick.

Neither coach was that happy with the result.

“It was a very physical game,” said AOSR’s Valerio Aureli. “We had our chances, but …”

“I’m looking forward to the tournament,” Aviano coach Ian Birch said. “This team has shown quite a bit of character and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”

Girls

Rota 3, Marymount 1: The Admirals haven’t had a lot of experience playing this season. But the Royals don’t have a lot of experience period, with only one upperclassman making the trip.

Each coach called this year “a rebuilding year.”

But Rota coach Clarice Brown would like “to be in the top two when we get to Germany.”

Nicolle Perez, Sydney Shaw and Cecelia Diaz scored for the Admirals.

Aviano 4, AOSR 3: On senior appreciation day, junior Hailey Pulliam stole the show, scoring four times for the Saints. She was the only Aviano player to attempt a shot in the first half and scored on three of four tries.

Coach Robert Tiffany said his team doesn’t have a lot of other scoring options, but hopes that will change with some more practice time. Though after the team fell apart Friday against Rota, that might not be the top priority.

“Conditioning is going to be addressed,” he said.

Harris.kent@stripes.com

Migrated
Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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