Pomona wins while learning

COSTA MESA — When Pomona and Harbor Day third- and fourth-grade girls' bronze division teams met Thursday night at the Costa Mesa Farm Complex, it was the meeting of two teams that are exactly what the Daily Pilot Cup is all about. It's about bringing the youth of the community together around a great sport.

Of the 12 girls on second-year coach Cinthya Pasallo's Pomona team, four of them played organized soccer and only three girls on Matthew Francis's Seahawks chose soccer as an after-school activity.

Both teams were coming off shutout losses to Andersen, and it was Pomona that ended the losing streak with a 5-0 win over Harbor Day.

Coach Pasallo said she was happy with her team's performance.

"I'm just very, very proud of my girls," Pasallo said. "They were really nervous, and after [Wednesday's] game (a 4-0 loss to Andersen) I had to talk to them and tell them to be confident, have fun and not to be scared. Most of these girls have never played soccer with a team. For them to play together, and work as a team. I just feel really proud."

And while most of her girls had not played organized soccer, the ones that did, proved helpful in scoring the game's goals.

Citalle Gonzalez, a fourth-grader and experienced soccer player scored two goals. The team's first and fifth.

The second goal came from Jocelyn Ordaz, the fourth grade center forward for Pomona who began playing soccer at age 6, and quit, only to have her cousin reintroduce the game to her.

Getsemani Orozco knocked the third goal in the net and Daisy Albarran scored the game's fourth goal on a direct kick in the penalty box.

"I used to be shy," Albarran said. "But soccer helped give me confidence. It's so much fun. We get lots of exercise and get to run."

Coach Francis can relate to having some shy girls on his team, as there were plenty of "dancers and singers and actresses" playing for Harbor Day, but not many soccer players. Not yet anyway.

"One of the most rewarding things about this tournament," Coach Francis said, "I've already had two parents come to me and tell me their girls didn't want to play in the Pilot Cup and now they want to keep playing soccer."

So when Francis shouted at his defense, "Don't be so polite," not only could Albarran understand what he was trying to say, as could his own keeper, Linden Schmid needed the reinforcements.

The game challenged the Seahawks' starting keeper from the first whistle as her defense warmed up to the speed of play, but after giving up two back-to-back goals at the start of the game, it was Schmid who controlled the pace of the game from the goal box for the Seahawks.

The second half, Kimi Reddy played keeper and Schmid had her chance at forward.

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