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The final weekend of the DODEA-Europe soccer regular season holds a number of last-minute chances for teams to optimize their seeding in the upcoming European soccer tournaments, set for May 21-24 at sites around the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

The Stuttgart Panthers and SHAPE Spartans are among the Division I boys squads hoping to improve their status in the nine-team field. The two teams bring a combined 10-3 overall record into their Saturday match.

The Panthers are right on the edge of title contention. They’ve won four of six Division I games this spring, including their last three, and even their setbacks - a 1-0 season-opening loss to Wiesbaden and a tight 4-3 decision against Ramstein - indicate a very dangerous tournament team.

SHAPE was limited in its only loss, a 3-1 defeat to Ramstein on April 20, but has otherwise fielded one of DODEA-Europe’s most explosive offensive attacks. The Spartans scored 13 combined goals last weekend in blowout defeats of solid lower-division programs AFNORTH and Spangdahlem.

A pair of struggling Division I girls teams, meanwhile, have the chance to finish up their regular seasons on a positive note this weekend, albeit at the other’s expense.

The Kaiserslautern Raiders have struggled mightily in games against divisional powerhouses Stuttgart, Ramstein and Wiesbaden. They’ll find a more manageable opponent Saturday in the winless Vilseck Falcons.

DODEA-Europe’s lower-division schools are largely booked for cross-divisional matchups to wrap up the regular season, including regional rivalries like Baumholder’s set against Spangdahlem. The regular-season finale between Alconbury and Brussels, however, carries major implications for the upcoming Division III boys and girls tournaments.

Twitter: @broomestripes


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