COSTA MESA — Kate Hampton said the goal for Carden Hall Elementary is to three-peat at the Daily Pilot Cup.
The fifth- and sixth-grade girls' soccer team began its title run Wednesday with a resounding 4-0 victory against Harbor View in the gold division.
"We're hoping [to win it all again]," said Doug Nichols, one of Carden Hall coaches. "We know that [the players are] certainly trying."
It took Carden Hall 27 minutes to get going.
Once it struck, Carden Hall poured it on. Four players scored, starting with Rachel Davis, followed by Missy Taylor, Sophia Morris and Kate Hampton.
Harbor View goalkeeper Brooke Gelgand did her best to slow down Carden Hall in the first half. She shut them out, but Carden Hall plays a possession style game and it definitely controlled the ball.
The first time Harbor View was able to move the ball down the opponent's sideline, its coach, Heather McKenzie, said to a parent, "Oh! I didn't know that side of the field existed!"
Carden Hall was in the attacking zone for much of the 50-minute match. The scoring opportunities were not in short supply for Carden Hall. Orianna Rousseau created many in the first half.
Two minutes into the second half, Davis snapped a scoreless tie. Davis, who is only one of two-fifth graders on the team, gave Carden Hall the spark it needed.
Then it was Taylor's turn. She produced a goal on a beauty from way out. Hampton got the assist on the goal, but it was Taylor finding the upper-right corner of the net.
Hampton looked like she was about to score, but Gelgand turned back a powerful shot. The save impressed Rick Taylor, one of Carden Hall's coaches.
Hampton got one through in the waning minutes. As strong as the offense played in the final 25 minutes, Carden Hall's defense, led by Beatrice Marshall and Desi Gomez, was first rate for the entire match.
Keep in mind that the defense was without Emma Nichols. Her father, Doug, said she is dealing with a back problem.
"Growing pains," said Doug, who expects Emma to return.
Carden Hall will need Emma to claim three straight Pilot Cup crowns.