Daily Pilot Cup: Dolphins show strength

Daily Pilot

COSTA MESA — Maddie Musselman spent the first half, lounging in goal.

The Andersen Elementary School sixth-grader didn't mean it as disrespect to her opponent. She was just bored. So she took a seat. There were no shots coming. She only sat and watched her friends score on the other side. Four goals.

In the second half, it was her turn to play in the field, a rarity for the goalie. And, what do you know, she found the back of the net, a sweet highlight in Andersen's 6-0 win over Killybrooke Friday afternoon at the Costa Mesa Farm Complex.

With the win Andersen won its pool and continued on its quest to win its fourth straight championship in the girls' fifth- and sixth-grade gold division.

"That's one of the first times I played in the field," Musselman said. "It was fun."

Musselman is no stranger to providing highlights in the Pilot Cup. She's been an important part of three championships in her time at Andersen, winning two straight on the third- and fourth-grade level. Last year, she could've taken home the game ball. She stopped two shots during a penalty-kick shootout in the championship game. She was also the goalie in a title game that ended in penalties in 2008. That gave Andersen its seventh straight title in the girls' third-and fourth-grade gold division.

Now, the pressure is on for the Dolphins to continue their dynasty. But two of the team's top players do not believe there's much pressure.

"I think we can do it," Courtney Johnston said of getting the school a fourth straight title on the fifth- and sixth-grade level.

Caroline Bethel was a bit more reserved.

"I'm excited to see what happens," she said with a smile.

Bethel technically recorded a hat trick against Killybrooke. The Dolphins scored four goals in the first 15 minutes, one came as an own goal, but was credited to Bethel being at the right place at the right time.

She scored the first goal. The second goal came courtesy of a Killybrooke player.

Then Johnston, who is right dominant, struck for a goal with her left foot. A high, rainbow-type shot over the goalie from about 25 yards out.

Bethel ended the first-half scoring with a goal off a rebound.

Bethel and Johnston then traded spots as goalie during the second half and watched as Musselman scored.

It's been about two years since Musselman gave up soccer to specialize in water polo and swimming. She was a goalie for a Newport Beach-based Slammers team. Her older sister, Alex, is the starting goalie for the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team.

Maddie plays goalie sometimes in the water. Today she'll be swimming for the Newport Hills Swim Team at a meet. She doesn't think she'll be able to play for Andersen, which faces Eastbluff in a quarterfinal at 10:15 a.m.

"That's OK," she said. "We have an extra goalie."

Playing soccer is fun for Musselman in the Daily Pilot Cup.

After Musselman's goal, Emily Taxman added the final tally with about two minutes left to play.

The Killybrooke goalies also played well, recording four saves in each half. Kintak Keju played the first half and Roshani Maharaj was in goal in the second half.

Killybrooke didn't score any goals in its two games in the Daily Pilot Cup, but Coach Randy Ranieri walked away happy, and with pride. He kept saying his girls never quit and that they had fun.

Before their two games, the Killybrooke girls had fun jumping together in a choreographed cheer.

They yelled together: "We are Killybrooke! Dynamite we blow you up! We break you down to the ground! Woo!"

Ranieri could only smile.

"That's what it's all about," he said.

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