COSTA MESA — Familiarity seemed to be the theme through most of the girls’ fifth and sixth-grade gold division championship game of the Daily Pilot Cup.
The parents of Andersen Elementary girls knew the names of players from Carden Hall, and vice versa. Many of the players on each team competed for the same Newport Beach-based Slammer Futbol Club team. Andersen and Carden Hall have traded punches before recently in title games of the Daily Pilot Cup, the youth soccer tournament that completed its 11th year Sunday.
They know each other well.
About the only aspect that appeared different was the girls’ fifth- and sixth-grade gold division champion.
Maddie Kernan and the Carden Hall Eagles made sure of that.
Kernan scored in the 48th minute, as Carden Hall won, 1-0, and halted Andersen’s quest for a fourth straight championship, at the Costa Mesa Farm Complex.
The Eagles stole the spotlight from the Dolphins, once again.
Last year, some of the Carden Hall girls beat Andersen in a penalty-kick shootout to win the third- and fourth-grade gold division title. That ended the Dolphins’ seven-year reign of the division.
Two years ago, many of the Carden Hall sixth-graders wanted revenge for their loss on penalties against Andersen for the third- and fourth-grade gold division championship.
“This is a big deal for us,” Kernan said of Sunday’s win. “I was just so pumped [after scoring]. I was like, ‘Wow, we can win this thing.’ ”
For the first 47 minutes, it appeared the teams were headed for another penalty-kick shootout to decide the winner.
Andersen reached Sunday’s final after winning on penalties, 3-1, against St. Joachim, after the teams had tied, 0-0, during regulation.
Carden Hall had a 2-0 win over Harbor Day in the semifinals earlier Sunday.
The Eagles allowed just one goal during their five games of the tournament, outscoring opponents, 13-1.
Goalie Skyler Gullick, who had four shutouts, recorded six saves.
Gullick wasn’t too busy in the second half, as Carden Hall kept the ball on Andersen’s side of field for the majority of the final 30 minutes.
When Kernan broke through she was hard to stop.
Tara Morris started the sequence, assisting Kernan on her goal
“She took her time before her shot, which was key,” Carden Hall Coach Peter Barbaresi said. “It was pretty spectacular.”
Gullick had plenty of help on defense, as Emma Nichols stifled any hope of an Andersen scoring chance in the second half. Lauren Loucks, Lizzie Barbaresi, Missy Taylor, Grace Vandervort and Ellie Hagadorn were also valuable defenders.
They helped on offense, as did Kate Hampton and Leila Modjtahedi.