outplay us too much."
The first 15 minutes of the first half were evenly matched, with
both squads pushing the ball. Newport Heights' Alexandra Halbrook
displayed some fancy footwork in the midfield to evade Coyotes
attackers, and Makena Owen took the ball the length of the field up
the right sideline for the Sharks before Samantha Alanis made the
nice save for Newport Coast. Alanis made several other nice stops in
the first half when the Sharks used their size advantage to get the
ball inside the penalty area.
Newport Heights began to control the ball in the final 10 minutes
of the first half, keeping most of the action in the Coyote zone. The
pressure led to several corner kicks for the Sharks, and Claire
Castillo made them count.
Castillo's kick from the left corner hooked and deflected off a
Coyote defender for Newport Heights' first goal. Two corner kicks
later, Castillo again found the back of the net from the left corner
when miscommunication allowed the ball to pass Newport Coast players.
Castillo converted her hat trick about 10 minutes into the second
half when she blasted the ball from outside the box and it took a
tricky bounce, ending up inside the left goal post.
"I'm happy with our performance today," Newport Coast Coach Rick
Hergott said. "They had one superstar but our girls worked hard."
Newport Heights Coach Bart Evans thought more than Castillo
deserved the credit for the win.
"I think we passed well and we stayed active," he said. "We played
like a team out there."
The pressure the Sharks applied resulted in a win, but it also
showed Sabouni the abilities of goaltenders Alanis and Nico Sabouni,
who defended the net in the second half.
"I really think our two goalies played their best and have great
potential," he said.