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CHAMPIONSHIP:Bubba be good for Andersen

GIRLS' 3-4

DAILY PILOT CUP: Coach's dog, who is the unofficial team mascot, is along for the ride on team's sixth straight title.

June 04, 2007|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — Most teams have a secret weapon. The Andersen Elementary girls' third- and fourth-grade Gold Division team had a secret canine.

All week long at the eighth annual Daily Pilot Cup, the Craig family dog, Bubba, was there to watch the Andersen girls.

The girls, who named the English bulldog their unofficial mascot, made Bubba proud on Sunday afternoon at the Costa Mesa Farm Sports Complex.

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They also made history. In the Gold Division championship match, Andersen edged Pegasus School, 3-2.

It's the sixth straight championship for Andersen on the girls' third- and fourth-grade level, which has never been done before by any school in any division of the tournament. Andersen has also won three straight Gold Division titles since the division was established in 2004.

"I think all of us were thinking that we need to win to break the record," Andersen's Maddy Givant said. "We've won five years in a row, and we wanted to make it six for our school."

All of the Andersen girls play club soccer, and most of them were also on the Silver Division team from last year.

But this year, they were determined to keep the streak alive. Especially after tying the same Pegasus team, 3-3, in their tournament opener on Tuesday.

"That team was very hard, and last time we tied them," said Andersen goalie Katie Craig, who made five saves in the title game. "This time, we feel very proud to beat them by one."

Pegasus won the pool-play game's penalty-kicks shootout on Saturday morning, 3-0, to claim the Pool A No. 1 seed and bump Andersen to a wild-card spot.

"We went the hard way," Andersen Coach Linda Craig said. "We had Pegasus in that first game, we were up the whole game. The girls wanted to come back and win this game the way they should have the first time. They did great."

On Sunday, it was Andersen's Emily Meckler who opened the scoring in the sixth minute. She took Brynn Motal's throw-in and, standing straightaway in front of the goal, angled a shot into the right corner to give the Dolphins the early lead.

"It feels great to be playing with your friends on a great team," Motal said.

In the 24th minute, Motal's corner kick was accidentally tapped in by a Pegasus defender for an own-goal, although several Andersen forwards were there ready to strike. The goal upped Andersen's advantage to 2-0.

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