half, but Andersen maintained a strong defense.
"We never gave up," said Claudio Venturini, who coached Andersen with
Linda Craig. "We knew (the Eagles) were an excellent team and we knew
they were as deserving to be in the final as we were, but we never gave
up. We worked hard and we were a little lucky. We're thankful that things
went our way. They had plenty of shots in the second half."
Natalie Hupp stepped up as an, "awesome goalie," Venturini said, and
teammate Amanda Johnson also came through with defensive support.
The Dolphins seemed poised to win the Pilot Cup from their first game.
They had 13 players, more than half of the team, who were All-Stars for
their respective AYSO squads. Luke, Anna Venturini, Katie Deverian, Kelli
Feely and Sarah Craig are names many will hear about in the Pilot Cup
next year and, perhaps, years down the line at Corona del Mar High.
They all played solid defense for Andersen, along with Hayley Raguse.
For Carden Hall, which lost in the semifinals after a sudden-death
penalty kick from champion Kaiser last year, Lauren Draganza and Gillian
Hogan were among the leaders. Morgan Williams, Tabitha Goff and Jordan
Murrel were also key contributors in the Eagles' run to the championship
Andersen virtually coasted through the competition to reach the final.
The Dolphins scored a 7-1 victory over Newport Coast in the semifinals.
Carden Hall also dominated its games en route to the final. The Eagles
defeated Harbor Day, 2-0, in the other semifinal Saturday.