Southern Section 4-A Girls' Soccer : Edison Finishes Season Undefeated but Tied for Title

For a team that had just completed an undefeated season, Edison looked rather depressed Friday night.

"It just doesn't feel complete," Charger Coach Colleen Silva said Friday after Edison and Mission Viejo battled to a 1-1 tie to share the Southern Section 4-A girls' soccer championship.

"We didn't finish tonight," Silva added. "We pushed it up there, but we just didn't finish."

Half a title might be better than none, but the 100-minute duel in Hanford Rants Stadium at Artesia had to be a major disappointment for top-seeded Edison (25-0-3) and a moral victory for Mission Viejo (22-3-3), which entered the playoffs as the No. 2 entry from the South Coast League. Edison, the Sunset League champion, was the No. 1 ranked 4-A team all year.

"It sure beats losing," Diablos Coach Hiram de Fries said. "But I thought we dominated the overtime."

The Diablos took more shots on goal in the 20-minute overtime session (five) than they did in the 40-minute first half (two).

"We appeared nervous in the first half," de Fries said. "We were somewhat overwhelmed and got out of synch. But we came on a lot stronger as the game progressed. We had several chances to get it in, but it just didn't go."

A defensive-oriented team, Mission Viejo did take advantage of its first scoring opportunity when Kerri Kennedy, off an assist from Kim Dutton, fired a goal from 20 yards out less than six minutes into the match.

Edison, which spent most of the first half in Mission Viejo territory, tied the match at the 18:20 mark when Janell Rogers headed the ball into the net after a corner kick by Joy Biefeld.

The Chargers also came out aggressively after intermission, but Mission Viejo goalie Julie Hembree came up with an outstanding save, one of 14 on the night, and her Diablo teammates began an offensive attack that resulted in nine shots on goal in the second half.

As the game progressed, the Diablos' defense got stronger.

Shana de Fries, the coach's daughter, did an excellent job guarding Biefeld, the Southern Section's leading scorer who was held scoreless for the first time in the playoffs. De Fries, a 5-7 senior power defender, also got plenty of help from speed defenders Sherri Bertell and Katie Zeich.

Edison needed some outstanding defensive play, especially from Mitch Nadon, to salvage the tie. Mission Viejo's overtime dominance started when a shot by Kennedy hit the crossbar in the 84th minute. An ensuing corner kick led to a shot by Kim Dutton that sailed over the goal. On a direct free kick by Dutton, Nadon leaped high for a saving block. A header that followed by Kennedy went over the bar.

In the closing minutes, Dutton fired a long-range shot that almost got by Edison goalie Jill Worden, who bobbled it and then smothered it, inches away from the net and a charging Mission Viejo forward.

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