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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Kristina Wesche didn’t suit up for Kubasaki until two games remained in the regular season.

She’s made up for lost time.

The senior striker scored three goals in six minutes of the second half Monday, powering the Lady Dragons to a 6-0 victory over archrival Kadena in the rubber match of their season series.

Kubasaki (5-1), the defending Class AA Far East champion, won two of three games and outscored the Lady Panthers 14-3.

Wesche has delivered four goals in two games, including one in Kubasaki’s 3-0 victory over Naha-nishi last Saturday.

“She’s back,” coach Terry Chumley said.

An All-Far East player a year ago, Wesche sat out Kubasaki’s first four matches for undisclosed reasons.

“I know she really wanted to play, so now is her opportunity to turn it on,” Chumley said.

“She had an awesome game,” said sophomore striker Erin Foote, last year’s Class AA MVP, who opened the scoring Monday in the third minute with her 11th goal of the season.

Samantha Showns added her ninth goal in the fifth minute and Alison Buss collected her first goal of the season in the 17th.

Wesche erupted for scores in the 62nd, 65th and 68th minutes, with Julie Davis assisting on the second.

Chumley believes Wesche can give the club a big lift heading into the Far East tournament, which begins Monday at Camp Zama, Japan.

“She still gets a little winded but will certainly help us next week,” Chumley said.

Kadena (4-3-1), which lost its third straight, was again without injured goalkeeper Theresa Gittens, sweeper Kim Lyle and center-midfielder Courtnie Paschall. All are questionable for the Far East tournament, coach Hoa Nguyen said.

“I’ll need my goalie, my sweeper and my midfielder to give other teams good competition,” Nguyen said. “I just need to get my players healthy.”

The Lady Panthers beat the Lady Dragons 2-1 on March 17, but Nguyen says this is a different Kubasaki squad, one that will be a force in the Far East tournament.

“Kubasaki controlled it. Kristina’s back. She played strong. She adds a lot to that team. Now, they have Julie, Erin, Samantha and now Kristina, to go with Mary,” he said, referring to center-midfielder Mary Ann Ulrich. “Their five up front is very strong.”

Although Kubasaki relies on underclassmen on defense and in the net, “to get to the other side, you have to get past those five. That’s going to be hard,” Nguyen added.

“They move the ball well. They move without the ball well. I don’t see any team that can stop their front five. You need a good defense and a good goalie, and you have to get the ball away from them.”

Does Chumley feel her team is armed for a repeat?

“Bet on it,” she said.


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