Daily Pilot Cup: Espinoza dislays power with six goals

Daily Pilot

COSTA MESA — The purple and orange show turned it up a notch for Wilson Elementary School.

The duo of Miguel Peña and Rafael Espinoza is easy to spot. Peña is the one who wears purple cleats and Espinoza orange ones.

Peña found Espinoza's colorful feet at the right times on the soccer field Saturday at the Costa Mesa Farm Complex. Espinoza recorded a career-best six goals as Wilson easily beat Mariners, 8-3, in a third- and fourth-grade boys' quarterfinal game in the silver division at the Daily Pilot Cup.

In three matches, Espinoza has scored 12 of Wilson's 19 goals.

Mariners goalkeeper Ty Marking tried to slow down the kid with the Mohawk. Marking stopped some powerful shots, in one series four at point-blank range during the first half.

Espinoza still managed to go on a scoring rampage in the first 30 minutes against Mariners. Espinoza had four goals as Wilson led, 4-1, at halftime.

One minute into the second half, Espinoza struck again. Coaches Eduardo Saavedra and Edgar Vega yelled, "No mas!" after Espinoza's fifth goal. The third-grader obeyed, nodding his head.

It was Peña's turn to find the back of the net.

Pena scored two minutes later, putting Wilson ahead, 6-1. Pena and Espinoza knew they were on their way to leading Wilson to today's semifinal at 10 a.m.

The two left the game in the 36th minute. The only thing bothering Espinoza was his right abdomen.

A parent on the sideline said Espinoza was in slight pain because of all the running. Espinoza just smiled. He rested for six minutes, only to return after Mariners' Cameron Harper scored two goals in a two-minute span.

Harper's third goal cut the deficit to 6-3. Coach Glyn Lister said Harper was Mariners' "engine."

Wilson's trains never lost their steam.

Pena and Espinoza hooked up for another goal. Pena fed a sweet pass to Espinoza and he dribbled in and beat the goalkeeper.

Late in the match, Peña closed things out with his second goal of the day.

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