You could consider Amy Burlingham a people person by the way she
handles ball-control details for Newport Harbor High's girls soccer team.
"I enjoy having the ball and connecting with other people," said
Burlingham, a junior who scored three goals and added five assists in
Newport Harbor's impressive run in the Excaliber Tournament at Foothill
High, where Coach Jason Sorrell's Sailors reached the championship game.
Burlingham, an all-tournament selection, scored the lone goal in the
Sailors' 1-0 nonleague victory over Dana Hills Dec. 18, triggering a five-game winning streak for the Sailors, four of which came last week in
the Excaliber Tournament.
The Sailors started the campaign 0-4-1, but defeated Dana Hills in
their home opener, "which kind of turned things around for us and now
we've come together," said the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week.
"We started out having a hard time working together, even though we
had unbelievable talent ... in the (Excaliber) Tournament, we showed how
good we can be and how well we can play," added Burlingham, who switched
positions this season, going from forward to right-side midfielder, where
she is the heart and soul of Newport's offense with her handling of the
"If you stop Amy, you'll stop our offense," Sorrell said. "She's that
type of player."
Burlingham, who plays club soccer for the Mission Viejo-based Southern
California Blues, led the Sailors in tournament victories over El Dorado,
Buena Park, Dana Hills and Marina (semifinals) last week, before they
lost to Santa Margarita, 4-0, in the title game.
"I think she's naturally a forward ... she's explosive and she's so
quick. She just beats players," Sorrell said. "She started off as a
forward, then I asked her to play outside right and she just goes about
her business. She just gets it done. As a player, she has so much
In the tournament, Newport Harbor rallied from deficits against Dana
Hills and Marina to win.
"Amy can change a game for you," Sorrell said. "We were down against
Dana Hills (in the tournament, the second time the Tars faced the
Dolphins in 10 days) and she was the one who brought us back (with two
Burlingham has been a Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week in each of her
first three years at Harbor, including last spring in track and field
when she advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II finals in the
A serious club soccer player since the fifth grade, Burlingham has
been involved in the Olympic Development Program since the eighth grade
and last summer made the U.S. Youth National 16-and-under team. She hopes
to make the U.S. 18-and-under squad next year.