DORAL MEADOW PARK, DORAL, Fla. - The U.S. Southern Command Soccer Team defeated the Doral Mavericks 5-4 in an exciting Sunday afternoon matchup with multiple lead changes.

After gaining an early 2-0 lead on goals by Carlos Andrescano (Navy) and Oscar Yepes (Army), SOUTHCOM fell behind 3-2 at halftime, reflecting their limited capability to practice together.

The keys to the victory came in the second half, according to new coach Sylvan Franklyn, SOUTHCOM J-1. "They came together, hustling and acting like every loose ball was theirs," he said.

With players like U.S. Army Garrison-Miami's Jill Hauser bringing the heat, the teams traded goals throughout the rest of the match; two strikes by Jason Sohm (Marines), and another by Andrescano making the final difference.

Franklyn smiled when describing Hauser's fighting spirit. "She has good field and ball awareness and she hustles, totally unafraid (of larger male players)," he said.

Alex Galue, a striker with impressive speed and hustle, seemed frustrated by several close chances on goal, but still contributed an assist, as did Yepes and Andrescano.

The team will play one match per week leading up to their, as yet unscheduled, friendship tour in the SOUTHCOM Area of Focus. Last year they visited seven orphanages in Peru and Paraguay, bringing school supplies, candy and their time to more than 700 children.

In between visits the team played friendly matches with cadet and unit soccer teams from their host nations, usually followed by a sit down meal with the host group. At these meals, Hauser - normally a recreation specialist - found herself a celebrity and mentor, posing for photos and being introduced to both local military commanders and groups of female orphans.

"I sat down with a group of girls, and they asked me questions," Hauser said. "I let them know that women can do anything they want. One girl said she wanted to be a lawyer."

Visibly moved recalling the experience, Hauser said, "I felt like a ray of hope. And our purpose there was to help the children and start a friendship, to show that the U.S. is a positive thing, not 'big bad gringos'."

The next match scheduled is for Sunday, March 28 at 10:30 a.m., at Doral Meadow Park; and Franklyn hopes to gain some sideline spirit. "We would love to have fans! Go SOUTHCOM!"

For more information about the team, contact coach Franklyn at DSN 567-1277. For more photos from the game, visit the U.S. Army Garrison-Miami's Flickr site: