By Bruce Bourquin, Special to the Daily Pilot
8:38 PM PDT, May 31, 2012
COSTA MESA — Playing like they have been together for years, the players from Rea Elementary's third- and fourth-grade girls' soccer team were organized, efficient and most of all, speedy.
Those three areas were a deadly competition Thursday, in a 5-0 silver division 'C' pool-play win over Newport Heights Elementary in Daily Pilot Cup action at Costa Mesa High.
Kaitlin Torres and Wendy Millan both scored two goals, with Linda Madriaga scoring the first goal in the fourth minute off a brief turnover by Newport Heights.
Torres scored her first goal in the 15th minute. She collected a ball at midfield, sped past three defenders, then hit a hard, low shot past the goalie, who raced out in an attempt to stop the ball. Torres kicked her legs at the ground and pumped her arms in a brief, dancing celebration.
Torres also scored in the 44th minute to complete the scoring.
"The first one was when someone passed it to me," Torres said. "I shot it and it went between the goalie's legs. We practiced a lot."
Head coach Oscar Rivera, an 18-year-old senior at Newport Harbor who played on the freshman team, knows quite a bit about playing Rea soccer. He was part of a fifth- and sixth-grade boys' team that won the Pilot Cup in the gold division two years in a row. He was among several high school-aged coaches who are helping a new generation of children learn how to play.
"I'm super-confident we can win the whole thing," Rivera said. "We try to get them to play the right way."
As for Newport Heights, one of the highlights was Romatoulaye Thioub, a Newport Beach native whose family is from Senegal. She made two hard saves as the goalie in the latter stages of the first half. She also had a hard shot early in the second half that was saved by goalie Gisele Garcia, who made five saves.
"When I played in goal, I'm more used to it," Thioub said. "Even though I never played there before. At forward, I did fine. I think I played well today."
At 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex, field No. 4, Newport Heights will play against Lincoln. The result of that game will help determine which team ends up becoming the first-place team in the pool and advances to Saturday's quarterfinals, set for 10:15 a.m. for the first-place team from Pool 'C.'