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Kaiser does it again

Daily Pilot Cup

Nowak, Rodman score to help Knights' core group win second Pilot Cup trophy in three years.

June 02, 2013|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — Sami Nowak just wanted to make a difference Sunday afternoon in the Daily Pilot Cup girls' fifth- and sixth-grade gold division championship match.

The Kaiser Elementary sixth-grader wasn't doing that as goalie. Nowak only touched the ball twice in the first half, as Kaiser dominated possession against Andersen but failed to finish off its chances.

As Nowak came off the field, she took off her gloves. The message sent to Kaiser Coaches John Fay and Jayme Amirie was clear.

"I played goalie a bunch this whole tournament," Nowak said. "I only got to come out at the end for like three minutes in the other games. I just really wanted to play out. I said, 'If I come out, I promise I will try my hardest to score.'"

Nowak made good on her promise four minutes into the second half, scoring the game's first goal. Fifth-grader Trinity Rodman scored the second, a sliding shot from near the top of the box with five minutes left.

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Kaiser was well on its way to blanking defending division champion Andersen, 2-0, at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.

It was a sweet way to end the tournament for the Knights. Twelve of the 15 players, including Nowak and Rodman, were on the Kaiser team that two years ago won the third- and-fourth grade gold division title over Newport Heights. That list also included sixth-graders Chanse Hill, Grace Fay, Haley Bullard, Maddie Baldikowski, Olivia Belida, Payton Steiner, Sofia Velasquez, Tyesha Aguilar and Bella Fonk, as well as fifth-grader Jasmine Amirie.

"It's really awesome, knowing that you get to do it again," Nowak said. "And also, I really wanted to win because [it's my] last year at Kaiser."

The 2011 final ended in a shootout. Nowak was a hero in that game as well, as she scored in the shootout and stopped the last shot to win it. She actually used to attend Andersen, before arriving at Kaiser in third grade.

Sunday's championship match wasn't going to a shootout. Kaiser was good after Nowak and Rodman scored. The Knights also had a stifling defense, led by goalkeepers Nowak and Grace O'Neill as well as Fay, Amirie, Mackenzie Trigo and Calista Kerins. They allowed just one goal all tournament.

That goal was in Kaiser's pool-play first game, a 1-0 loss to Carden Hall, but the Knights rebounded from that. They blanked Mariners, 3-0, in a semifinal match earlier Sunday.

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