3-time champs conquer Incirlik

***image1***The Ramstein Lady Rams trampled over its competition in the U.S. Air
Force in Europe Soccer Tournament, scoring a total of 16 goals and
earning a three-peat tournament title.

The 2005 tourney, held Oct. 18 through Saturday in Camp Darby, Italy,
pitted five USAFE installation teams in a grueling week of pool play
and playoffs.

Teams from Incirlik, Lakenheath, Spangdahlem and Aviano challenged the
defending champions but came up short as keeper Betty “BJ” Marshall
allowed only one goal to get past her throughout the entire tournament.

Ramstein ran up 16 goals and relied on a number of players for its
offensive power. Amber Reynolds scored six, McKayla Clark and Steffanie
Metzger claimed 3 each, Mandy Ellars sunk in two, and Emily Reagan and
Cara “CJ” McQueen both put one in the net.

“You can see from the goals scored that not one player is responsible
for our success in this tournament,” said Coach March Hernandez. “We
spread it around. It took everyone – offense, defense and bench

After four rainy days of 50-minute games, Ramstein ranked first with 10
points, only narrowly beating out Incirlik due to their plus-three goal
differential. Incirlik ranked second with 10 points, Lakenheath ranked
third with four and Spangdahlem ranked fourth with three. Aviano, with
only one point from a tie, was eliminated early after pool play.

In the Oct. 21 semi-final match, the top-seeded Rams handed
fourth-place Spangdahlem its second shutout, 5-0. The Rams’ solid ball
possession, constant attacks and phenomenal defense flustered
Spangdahlem. The game turned physical in the second half and one Spang
player was ejected with a red card.

“We just played our game and we played magnificent,” said the Rams’ coach.
Saturday’s championship game pitted the tournament’s main contenders against one another – Incirlik and Ramstein.

In their previous match-up, Incirlik managed to score quickly on
Ramstein with a lucky goal. The Ram’s tied it up easily and dominated
offensively but could not pull off the victory.

Their rematch in the championship game was another repeat stalemate,
only this time 90 minutes long. Both teams were physically drained and
playing in 80-degree weather for the first time that week. Incirlik
dominated the first half, winning most of the 50-50 balls. But the
Ramstein defense, lead by sweeper Suzanne Talbert, stopped the
offensive runs and picked up the extra man to prevent any solid shots.
In the second half, Ramstein dominated, linking passes and narrowly
missing shots. But the score remained 0-0.

Halfway through the first 10-minute overtime, Ramstein midfielder
Reynolds was tripped in the box while on a breakaway and about to
shoot. She sunk her penalty kick, securing the 1-0 victory and
first-place trophies for Ramstein.

“We just had the hustle,” said Reynolds, who was the tournament’s
second high-scoring player. “In the end, our girls gave everything they
had, 100 percent of the time.”

Reynolds, Clark and Metzger were named tournament all-stars.
This was only the third year USAFE has sponsored the women’s part of
the tourney and Ramstein has walked away with the champion title every

“It’s amazing what we had to work with from age differences to varying
skill levels,” said coach Hernandez, who started practices with the
team in August.

“We had players who had never played before and players who had played in college. Somehow we made it all gel into a team.”

For information about future practices and joining the 2006 team, contact the coach via marc.hernandez@ramstein.af.mil
(Courtesy of the Ramstein women’s soccer team)