Daily Pilot Cup: Waldorf goes Holly'Wood'

Daily Pilot

COSTA MESA — Jeff Wood might've looked silly if he was out on the dance floor. But he was on the pitch and he made himself look natural after scoring a goal, and then another, and another.

After each time he found the net, he had some special celebration. He was just having fun, and in the process he led Waldorf to a 3-2 victory over Pomona in a boys' fifth- and sixth-grade bronze division quarterfinal game of the Daily Pilot Cup Saturday.

Wood's hat trick came with some flair at Costa Mesa High. After one goal, he busted into an African type dance.

"I got that one from watching international soccer," he said.

After another goal, he ran around as if he had just hit the lottery. His hat trick also featured some type of pointing dance toward his sideline. If he were to score another, he probably would've broke into his cowboy dance. That's when he acts as if he's on a horse and bounces around.

But Waldorf's win wasn't all about Wood. It surely won't be about the playful character today. He won't be at the Daily Pilot Cup, instead in Temecula, playing in a tournament with his club team.

"Yeah, they're going to miss me," Wood said of his Waldorf teammates. "But they have my brother [Kobe] and he's almost as good as me."

Waldorf features an intriguing 18-player roster of boys and girls, as it's a co-ed team with more than half of its roster competing in soccer for the first time.

Waldorf had to battle and improve quickly against Pomona, which attacked relentlessly, trying to overcome a 3-1 deficit.

Pomona appeared to be in control early, scoring three minutes into the game. Danny Segura made good on a goal after finishing off an assist from Jonathan Perez.

But six minutes later, Waldorf, the small private school in Costa Mesa, responded with the Wood brothers. Kobe, a fifth-grader, fired off a cross to his older brother, Jeff, for an equalizer. The scored stay tied, 1-1, into halftime.

Jeff Wood opened the second half with two goals in a two-minute span to give Waldorf the advantage. He connected from 20 yards out, and then he went off the right post and watched as his ball slowly bounced into the goal.

"It was classic Jeff for sure. He did great," said John Telfer, Waldorf's coach. "The whole team did well. The boys and girls being on the same team isn't the hard part, because they all know each other and play together. But we have a lot of players who are first-time players and we have some club players. That's the dynamic that can be challenging."

With 18 minutes left, Pomona came within a goal after Mario Naranjo scored. Luis Perez assisted. It appeared Pomona had the momentum. But the Woods kept on coming, while gaining key contributions from Matt and Carly Hodes. Matt played goalie in the second half.

It made for a great game, as Pomona continually came close to scoring. The Pomona players certainly impressed their coach, Daisy Martinez, an Estancia High senior.

Martinez is in her fourth year coaching in the Pilot Cup. She said the Pomona team was the best.

Martinez, who went to Pomona, said she enjoys coaching the kids from her former elementary school. She wants to coach again next year.

"We're going to take it next year."

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