COSTA MESA — Joel De Marzo, a former water polo player at Costa Mesa High, likes to say he has coached soccer a few times.
"I've got about 10 years on the pitch so to speak," De Marzo said with a smile.
De Marzo is guiding one talented girls' side from Davis Elementary School during the 14th annual Daily Pilot Cup.
His third- and fourth-grade gold division team opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory against Our Lady Queen of Angels at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex on Wednesday.
After one match, it's easy to understand why these girls play so well together.
"A core group of these girls are from our [AYSO] All-Star team here [in Costa Mesa] Region 120," De Marzo said. "We have a couple of club players."
The first goal Davis produced was a club-caliber one.
Faith Nguyen scored the beauty in the 22nd minute. While going to her right, she sent the ball toward the other end of the net, finding the upper-left corner to break a scoreless tie.
Fans rose to their feet to applaud the effort. They clapped again a couple of minutes later.
Right before halftime, Karli Rask gave Davis a 2-0 lead. Emily Elliott recorded the assist. Davis was on its way to blanking Our Lady Queen of Angels, which advanced to the silver division final last year.
This year, Our Lady Queen of Angels moved up to the premier division. The school ran into two of the top teams in the gold division in pool-play action, first losing to Carden Hall, 4-0, on Tuesday, and now Davis.
"Girls are a little disappointed after last year," said Craig Gibson, the coach of Our Lady Queen of Angels, who praised the efforts turned in by Analiese Bancroft, Anne Gibson, Julia Muldowney and Julia Noya.
"The girls had a great time playing together. That's what the tournament is all about. We're looking forward to doing it again next year."
De Marzo is looking forward to Friday's collision course with Carden Hall at 4:30 p.m.
The winner will most likely claim the B pool and advance to the quarterfinals. Carden Hall is atop the pool with 10 points, followed by Davis' nine.
De Marzo believes his team can contend for the overall Pilot Cup title.
"Ask me on Friday," De Marzo said.
Other standouts from Davis included Koko Tachiki-Urias, Erin Galvin, Sophia De Marzo, and goalkeepers Jackie Corkhill and Frida Molina.
"Great effort," De Marzo said. "The girls worked hard, played tough."