Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy
Share
Sports

St. Joachim girls’ soccer advances to Daily Pilot Cup quarterfinals with win over Wilson

Soccer teams crave a deadly set-piece attack, and some of Costa Mesa St. Joachim Catholic School’s girls have developed quite an effective way in dealing with free kicks.

The Sea Kings showcased that Friday afternoon, scoring all their goals from corner kicks to reach the Daily Pilot Cup’s Bronze Division quarterfinals for third- and fourth-graders with a 3-1 triumph over Costa Mesa Wilson at Costa Mesa High.

Madi Willard netted her third goal of the youth tournament, and Ava Farrow and Isabella Warmington also scored to give St. Joachim (2-0) the Pool G title and a quarterfinal date with Pool B winner Sonora (2-0) on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. The winner heads to a 3:30 p.m. semifinal at the adjacent Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex, and the final is Sunday at 1 p.m.

Coaches Brad Willard and Kate Ball know how tough the matchups will be.

“From our experience last year, at this point all the teams get better and better,” said Willard, who with Ball guided St. Joachim’s third- and fourth-grade Silver Division girls’ team to last year’s title game. “You see kids that play a lot of soccer, to the point where it’s anyone’s game now. ... It would be nice to see if we can avenge last year’s tough loss.”

Costa Mesa St. Joachim Catholic School’s Ava Farrow, center, scores against Costa Mesa Wilson’s Emma
St. Joachim Catholic School's Ava Farrow, center, scores against Wilson's Emma Aguayo, left, and goalkeeper Emily Ebergenyi in a girls' third- and fourth-grade Bronze Division pool-play match at the Daily Pilot Cup on Friday at Costa Mesa High.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Madi Willard and Warmington were part of that team, which fell on penalty kicks to Newport Heights, and they — along with Farrow, Ceci Ball and Bella Sahagan — provide the foundation for all the Sea Kings do. Friday’s game was largely even when they were off the field and one-sided when they were running the show.

“They played all day long at school, to get used to passing the ball to each other and move it around ...,” Brad Willard said. “[We’ve succeeded by] mixing the team up and putting some of the players that have a little more skill, a little more experience, next to some of the other players.

“All the kids out there are really working hard. They love to run, they love to have fun, so if you just kind of mix it up a bit, it generally works out OK.”

St. Joachim scored on its first two shots, both from corner kicks — among nine the Sea Kings won — by Sahagan. On the first, in the second minute, she played the ball back on the right flank for Warmington, who’s got a big leg and sent the ball sharply into the middle of the box. It caromed to Farrow, who fed Madi Willard for the lead.

It was simple, Willard said.

“The ball went to me, and I was next to the goal,” she said. “So I shot.”

Costa Mesa Wilson Elementary goalkeeeper Emily Ebergenyi kicks the ball down field against Costa Mes
Wilson Elementary goalkeeeper Emily Ebergenyi kicks the ball down the field against St. Joachim Catholic in a girls’ third- and fourth-grade Bronze Division pool-play match at the Daily Pilot Cup on Friday at Costa Mesa High.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Six minutes later, it was 2-0. Sahagan booted the ball into the goalmouth, it got past Wilson goalkeeper Emily Ebergenyi, and Farrow was at the far post to knock it home.

The Sea Kings outshot Wilson 10-2 and the Wildcats’ shots followed a handball call on goalkeeper Blake Shanahan, who after collecting balls in her box would race to the edge and throw to her defenders. Twice she took the ball too far, leading to dangerous free kicks.

On the second, about five minutes into the second half, Sadie Cortez’s free kick was handled by the St. Joachim wall, and Cortez converted the ensuing penalty kick.

Warmington got her goal in the 35th minute. Sahagan played another deep ball from a corner kick — a rather sophisticated strategy for this age group — and Warmington put the ball into the goalmouth, where it found its way into the lower-left corner.

It popped through a hole in the net, and Wilson protested that the shot had been wide. Even the Sea Kings’ sideline couldn’t tell.

“It was tough to see that one,” Brad Willard said. “We all thought it wasn’t a goal either.”

Warmington had no doubts.

“I curved it, and the girl tried to block it,” she said. “They thought they blocked it, but it went into the goal.”

Costa Mesa St. Joachim Catholic School’s Madie Willard, right, cheers after scoring her team’sz firs
St. Joachim Catholic School's Madi Willard, right, cheers after scoring her team's first goal against Wilson in a girls’ third- and fourth-grade Bronze Division pool-play match at the Daily Pilot Cup on Friday at Costa Mesa High.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Support our sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.

For more sports stories, visit latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/sports or follow us on Twitter @DailyPilotSport.

SCOTT FRENCH is a contributor to Times Community News.