Said Ebbinga: “My first-grade teacher told me that if you want to succeed in your life, you never give up.”
Andersen must follow Ebbinga’s lead if it is to hold on to the crown that the school has had on this level for the past two years.
Richard Raguse, one of the team’s three coaches, knows his players won’t ever give up. That’s what’s most important. He said they are aware of the titles, but they are just playing in the moment, and being kids.
Toward the end of the game, which ended at 6:30 p.m., the majority of the players and their families were talking about catching the Lakers game on TV.
“We want to win, that’s our goal,” Raguse said. “But at the same time we want to make sure everyone gets involved.”
Everyone for Andersen seemed to be involved throughout Thursday’s game at Costa Mesa Farm Complex.
Brian Chelf opened the scoring in the 12th minute, when his shot slipped through the goalie’s hands.
In the second half, Joe Alvarado put Andersen up, 3-0, when he connected from about 20 yards out. The ball floated through the air and settled into the left side of the net.
But Eastbluff answered three minutes later. Bjorn Hoffmann got one past the Andersen goalie on a quick counter.
With a little under seven minutes remaining, Andersen’s Tim Hanson found the back of the net to round out the scoring.
Andersen, which has outscored opponents, 13-2, plays in a quarterfinal Saturday at 9 a.m. Semifinals are later in the day. The tournament ends with championship games on Sunday. Andersen will try to reach the championship at noon and be crowned for the third straight time at the awards ceremony scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
If Andersen plays it like Ebbinga, the boys have a shot.
STEVE VIRGEN may be reached at (714) 966-4616 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.