COSTA MESA — Isn't there a saying that goes: all good things come in threes?
The St. Joachim Catholic School boys' fifth- and sixth-grade silver division team would most likely say yes because of its three Coles.
Cole Schattinger, Cole McFetters and Cole Kinder were instrumental in helping the Sea Kings advance to Saturday's quarterfinals in the 12th annual Daily Pilot Cup.
So what's the deal with all the Coles on the St. Joachim squad?
"Coles are very popular," Schattinger, 12, said.
And, who's the best Cole at St. Joachim?
"I've got to admit, it's me," Schattinger said playfully.
But the kid might be right. This Cole, Schattinger, had three assists and two goals to lead the Sea Kings to a 6-1 win over Newport Coast Elementary Friday at Costa Mesa High. McFetters scored twice. Kinder, who has stood out as a football player for Costa Mesa Pop Warner, was there to lend support with his physical play.
"It was fun," Schattinger said of the win.
Schattinger said he had fun because he was, "playing with my very good friends."
Those friends also helped with the victory that began with some intense moments.
You know it's a big game when the schools' principals show up. Sister Kathleen Marie, the principal at St. Joachim, was there to support her Sea Kings, and Dr. Duane Cox, the principal at Newport Coast, also attended to cheer for his Coyotes.
Sister Kathleen Marie had more reason to celebrate, especially early on. Schattinger's first assist came in the third minute, when Hunter Hall finished for the first of his two goals.
But on that play Rhyan Phan of Newport Coast took a shot to the face and left the field with a bloody nose.
"It was pretty physical from the start," Coyotes Coach Dan Mickelsen said. "My guys were telling me he was elbowed in the face. We didn't have [a linesman] at the time, so I'm not sure because the ref didn't see it. But he got laid out, so something happened. We would like to see it played cleanly. They were a physical team."
Fortunately, Phan came out of it OK.
"He's a very fast left-footed striker," Mickelsen said. "As soon as he was done bleeding he said, 'Coach put me back in.'"
He went back in, but Mickelsen conceded, the Coyotes were overmatched.
The Sea Kings, who play in a quarterfinal Saturday at 10:15 a.m., held a 3-0 lead at halftime. They apparently entered with great confidence.
"I was 100% confident," said Michael Lehman, a 12-year-old for St. Joachim.
Why were the Sea Kings so confident?
"Because we're St. Joachim," Lehman said.
Said McFetters: "We're going to go all the way."
McFetters gave the Sea Kings a 2-0 lead after scoring off an assist from Schattinger in the 12th minute. Then just before halftime, Schattinger made good on a breakaway.
Hall opened the scoring in the second half to give St. Joachim a 4-0 lead.
Schattinger followed with another goal with an assist from Chandler Siemonsma for a five-goal lead, that's the magic number of margin. Any more than that and the Sea Kings would get a one-point penalty, according to the Pilot Cup rules.
Newport Coast, which scored a 4-3 win over Sonora Thursday, didn't want to get shut out. John Bruder helped with that when he scored midway through the second half.
But St. Joachim answered right back with a McFetters' header off an assist from Schattinger.
Siemonsma, the Sea Kings' goalie, anchored a strong defense that was also aided by Kinder and Spencer Morrison. Anthony Agama, a short 11-year-old, also contributed.
"I'm awesome," Agama said in a silly tone after the win.
The Sea Kings, coached by Brett Del Valle, want to keep on having fun Saturday and hopefully Sunday. They said they all get along as friends and teammates.
"We're all family here," Lehman said.