COSTA MESA — The College Park Elementary boys' third- and fourth-grade silver division team came out scoring with ease from the start of the whistle.
A hat trick from forward John Paul Bottazzi helped College Park defeat Mariners Christian, 8-0, in the championship game at the Daily Pilot Cup Sunday afternoon at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.
"Once I knew I had two goals I wanted another one and when I got it I was happy," Bottazzi said of his hat trick.
The Cougars came out aggressive, and it showed. Six different players scored for the Cougars in the game including goalie Ernesto Reynoso via a penalty kick. On the first corner kick of the game for them, midfielder Joel Ramos scored after a ricochet in the box and gave his team a 1-0 lead. On the Cougars' next possession, another corner kick, defender Angel Fuentes scored after a bad clearance by Mariners Christian defenders making it 2-0. Salvador "Chava" Hernandez a midfielder had the most impressive goal of the match.
Hernandez won the ball away from a defender, he crossed it into his teammate forward Gael Mojica who headed it back to Hernandez, and he calmly chest the ball, and drilled a right-footed shot into the back of the net. That gave the Cougars a comfortable 3-0 lead. Bottazzi was not done scoring, as he found himself wide open and dribbled the ball from midfield. He dribbled furiously past three defenders and pulled the Mariners Christian goalie out and calmly put the ball past him for a 4-0 halftime lead.
The Cougars came out in attack mode at the start of the second half and Bottazzi scored after a great pass from Hernandez giving him his second goal for the game and making it 5-0. It wasn't until halfway in the second half that Mariners Christian got its first scoring opportunity and first shot on goal of the game.
Mariners' Alex Tisherman stole the ball from a Cougar defender and shot toward the goal by Cougar goalie Reynoso, who was there for the glove save. The Cougars struck again as Bottazzi netted his third goal of the game. He found himself wide open off a pass from Charlie Favila making the score 6-0. Tisherman was still playing hard, and he found himself dribbling past two defenders but was unable to convert as his shot went wide.
There was another corner kick and another goal from the Cougars as defender Ramiro Mendoza headed the ball into the net.
With a few minutes left Mariners Christian was whistled for a tripping inside the box, penalty kick was the call.
Cougar Coach Hernan Bottazzi called his goalie Reynoso to take the penalty kick. Reynoso took the penalty shot and beat the goalie nearside making the score 8-0.
When asked about how they were able to score so quickly and fast, Coach Bottazzi mentioned that he told his boys to pass the ball and have fun prior to the game.
"Next year, this group of boys is moving up a grade level and we are going to try win the championship," he said.