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Daily Pilot Cup: Harbor Day's in the sun

In the first half, Harbor Day played uphill and against the wind. The third- and fourth-grade girls from Corona del Mar still managed to score in the final minute of the half against Newport Beach Andersen.

Isabel Gomez continued to put away goals, finding the back of the net for the third time during the 15th annual Daily Pilot Cup soccer tournament.

Gomez and Megan Shean accounted for Harbor's Day scoring in a 2-0 win in a Gold Division match at Jack Hammett Sports Complex on Wednesday.

Harbor Day claimed Pool B after it improved to 2-0, while Andersen dropped its opener. Four days remain in the six-day tournament for Andersen to bounce back.

"They were incredible," Andersen Coach Mark Valentine said of his players. "They played with such heart and determination. We trained hard to come to this match and played a good team. Looking forward to the rest of this tournament."

Andersen's next match is on Friday, when it plays Newport Beach Eastbluff at Jack Hammett Sports Complex at 4:30 p.m. Eastbluff is the side Harbor Day beat, 3-0, on Tuesday.

In two contests, Harbor Day has produced two shutouts. Goalkeeper Maggie Dietrick made a couple of nice saves against Andersen, and defenders Claire Eusey and Elyse Johnson helped Dietrick out.

There used to be a time when Eusey went to Andersen. She left the school a couple of years ago for Harbor Day. Her best friend is Ava Axelson, who started at goalkeeper for Andersen.

Axelson kept the match scoreless through the first 23 minutes, until Gomez struck a ball over her head for a goal in the 24th minute.

"Kind of changed the dynamics a little bit," Valentine said of the goal.

Grabbing the lead gave Harbor Day the momentum, and in the second half, it had the wind and the field conditions in its favor. Those two factors allowed Harbor Day to score again.

Shean, a forward, took a pass from Katherine Von Der Ahe, and attacked. Shean found herself in a one-on-one situation and she delivered a goal in the 44th minute.

"We told her to stay on the last defender," Harbor Day Coach Mike Gomez said. "She's very, very fast, so we knew if she got the ball she'd have a breakaway, and good things happened."

The defensive break down was Andersen's only one in the second half. Midfielders Emily Valentine and Bianca Bays stood out for Andersen, as did Kate Gooding.

Harbor Day awaits its next opponent in the quarterfinals on Saturday. The team will face the second-place team from Pool C at Jack Hammett Sports Complex at 12:45 p.m.

"We've had two tough games against Eastbluff and against Andersen," Gomez said. "Girls really gave it their all, played very disciplined, we got some good breaks, and we're fortunate enough to get through the second round."

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