Pilot Cup: Ella goes for four

COSTA MESA — Eating a postgame dessert after Newport Heights' 6-2 win during Saturday's third- and fourth-grade gold division quarterfinal win, Ella Hopkins didn't know if her four goals scored was a season high.

Either way, Hopkins helped the Sharks chomp on a sweet victory over a skilled Mariners Christian squad of Costa Mesa at the 13th annual Daily Pilot Cup.

Jonathan Klinsmann, a soft-spoken 15-year-old Mater Dei freshman goalie, coached Mariners Christian at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.

Klinsmann is the son of Juergen Klinsmann, the head coach of the U.S. national men's soccer team. Jonathan plays for the Monarchs' varsity team. His father is in Tampa, Fla., preparing for a 2014 World Cup qualifying match June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda.

Newport Heights advanced to Sunday's semifinals at 9 a.m. on field No. 4 at Jack Hammett Sports Complex against Eastbluff Elementary, a 3-1 quarterfinal winner over Pegasus.

The championship game is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday at field No. 3 at the Hammett Sports Complex.

"I tried to shoot for the corner and they passed it to me," Hopkins said. "It feels really good [to reach the semifinals]."

Hopkins, wearing a purple sock on her left foot and a white one on her right, struck quickly, scoring in the fourth minute.

Emma Martin, wearing rainbow-colored socks that stood out from 100 yards away, scored in the fifth. Both of those goals came on nice, soft crossing lobs by her teammates, which gave Newport Heights a 2-0 lead.

"The girls communicate together," Newport Heights head coach Kim Coyne said. "They're tough. Everyone was locked in. I'm more proud of our passing than our scoring. Everyone was giving it up."

Hopkins scored off of not one, but two rebounds in the 17th minute. Mariners Christian got on the scoreboard thanks to Taylor Murphy's high, hard shot, to cut the lead to 3-1.

Murphy, a tall blonde-haired girl who was MC's only consistent scoring threat, also struck one off the post with a little less than eight minutes left, to cut the lead down to 4-2.

But Newport Heights turned on the afterburners, after Nicole Laz scored on a diagonal kick to the corner, then Hopkins followed with her fourth goal.

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