CHAMPIONSHIP:Hat trick helps a repeat

BOYS' 3-4

DAILY PILOT CUP: Humphreys scores three goals to lead Andersen to its second straight title, this time against Rea.

June 04, 2007|By Tom Sheridan

COSTA MESA — Two was not enough for the boys' third- and fourth-grade team of Andersen Elementary.

After winning a second straight Gold Division title in the Daily Pilot Cup Sunday, talk of a three-peat could be heard.

"I think we can win it again next year," Andersen Coach Barry Carter said.

For now, the Dolphins will savor their second consecutive championship, which came much in part from Ben Humphreys' three second-half goals. That led the way to Andersen's 4-2 victory over Rea.


The offensive explosion after halftime was a stark contrast to the way the game began. Players such as Rea's Ron Urquiza and Andersen's Hoyt Crance provided constant defensive pressure, while Andersen goalies Austin Percy and Rea's Anthony Martinez were stellar in goal, helping keep the game scoreless for much of the first half.

The championship match remained tied at zero until Marlon Nava scored to put Rea on top, 1-0.

Thanks to an assist from a well-placed corner kick, Nava had an easy shot on goal from point-blank range. After Nava's goal, Andersen Coach Barry Carter tried to encourage his team by yelling for them to "put the pressure on."

"I think the reason we're so effective is because we're aggressive," Carter said. "We always want to keep the other team running backwards."

Andersen's strategy seemed to be working as they continually pushed the ball deep into Rea territory. Despite the relentless pressure, Rea goaltender Anthony Martinez played brilliantly, and stopped anything that came his way.

"I knew it would be a tough game because their goalie [Martinez] is really good," Carter said.

In the second half, Andersen's experience and aggressive play proved to be the difference. The defending champions returned most of the players from the team that claimed the title against Newport Coast in 2006, while Rea's players were competing in the tournament for the first time.

"We had our chances, but we had some unlucky bounces and [Andersen] played great," Rea co-coach Adrian Valencia said.

Andersen tied the game at 1-1 when a rebound bounced to Humphreys. Humphreys found the back of the net for his first of three goals. Minutes later, Andersen scored again off a corner kick to take the lead, 2-1.

"The corner kicks got us today," Valencia said. "We had a hard time defending it."

Humphreys continued to attack the goal and cut through the Rea defense with another score to stretch the lead to 3-1.

With a never-say-die philosophy, Jose Garfios got Rea back into the game with a dazzling scoring drive past multiple Andersen defenders. Garfios' unassisted goal made it 3-2.

"It was all-out effort in every single game of the tournament," Valencia said.

Harrison Carter's late goal closed out the scoring for the game, and sealed the 4-2 victory for Andersen.

"I thought all the kids did a really great job the entire tournament," Carter said. "Everyone played as a team; they are all MVP's."

In his first year, Valencia was pleased with his team's performance.

"They were a lot of fun to coach," Valencia said. "When you have kids with that much heart, you are a winner no matter what happens."

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