COSTA MESA — The Newport Coast Elementary School girls' soccer team was involved in a shootout Saturday morning. The fifth- and sixth-graders converted four chances, but still lost.
An hour later, they had another chance to advance to today's Daily Pilot gold division semifinal. Newport Coast wasn't involved in a shootout this time.
Carden Hall shut down Newport Coast and used a goal late in the first half by Maddie Kernan and an auspicious one by Elizabeth Barbaresi to win, 2-0, at the Costa Mesa Farm Complex.
"We really want to win this year because we want to get our revenge," Barbaresi said. "We've always been trying to win for Carden, [which] hasn't won in [the fifth- and sixth-grade girls' gold division since 2005]."
Carden Hall is two victories away from being crowned champion today.
The offense and defense has played superb soccer in three matches. Carden Hall, which recorded its second straight shutout, has outscored opponents, 10-1.
Players like Kernan, Leila Modjtahedi and Emily Goltz have supplied the offense. Tara Morris and Barbaresi anchor the defense.
Barbaresi got involved in the offensive end in the 43rd minute. After coming up short on a plethora of scoring chances, Carden Hall got a break.
Barbaresi kicked a long dribbler toward the keeper, who let the ball go through her legs and into the back of the net. Carden Hall went ahead, 2-0, too big of a deficit for Newport Coast to rally back from.
Coach Craig Matesky said Newport Coast went into the match without its starting center midfielder, Jasie Dunk. Matesky said she had a family commitment.
"We couldn't control the middle and we didn't get enough shots on goal," Matesky said.
"We didn't get any shots."
Not helping matters was Carden Hall marking Newport Coast's top threat, Taylor McMorrow. The defense sent two and sometimes as many as three defenders McMorrow's way, slowing her down.
Carden Hall knew all about McMorrow, who plays for the Newport Beach-based Slammers Futbol Club. Carden Hall has quite a few club players as well.
One of those is Leila Modjtahedi. Her passing set up the game's first goal before halftime.
Modjtahedi sent a beautiful cross to Kernan. She gained control and scored in the 27th minute.
"I was just like thinking I had to score," Kernan said. "It was a lot of pressure, so I saw that opportunity and I just tried to score."