HUNTINGTON BEACH — The second round had been the stumbling point for the Edison High boys’ soccer team.
This year, though, it seems like anything is possible.
The Chargers used junior Bajj Chela’s first-half goal to edge Mira Costa, 1-0, at home Tuesday evening in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs. Edison plays at Mater Dei at 3 p.m. today in the quarterfinals.
It’s the furthest Edison has advanced since it shared a CIF title in 2000, Coach Charlie Breneman said, even if his team might have been a bit fortunate in holding off a furious Mira Costa surge in the second half.
“We didn’t have the same energy we normally have,” Breneman said. “Our legs were a little bit slow today, and we kind of just hung in there. But that’s what it takes for CIF sometimes, just a little bit of heart to battle defensively.”
Chela scored in the 11th minute off a pass from fellow junior Mitch Alvarez. It held up, although late in the second half the visiting Mustangs mounted a big rally, with corner kicks coming seemingly nonstop.
Yet a Chargers defense anchored by senior Captain Alec Pinto and, among others, David Massena and Tyler Smith, managed to hold strong. Sophomore goalie Scott Campbell had five saves.
It was defense that helped Edison win the Sunset League title after finishing last a year ago. In 10 league games, Edison gave up just six goals.
“We’re pretty tight [defensively],” said Pinto, one of two Edison captains, along with senior forward Adam Black. “We all communicate with each other and we keep it tight in the back, and we have good coaching.”
He said he and his teammates really look forward to today’s game at Mater Dei, seeded fourth in the division.
“I think it’s going to be intense and fast-paced,” Pinto said. “We’ll just have to play our game.”
Edison had topped Long Beach Jordan in the first round, 4-1, behind single goals from Kyle Ball, Tyler Bigenho, Jake Little and Sadalah Shehadi.
JSerra 2, Huntington Beach 0: The Trinity League champions, the second overall seed, eliminated the Oilers from the Division I playoffs Tuesday at Huntington Beach High.
The Oilers (8-10-3) used goals from Jonathan Ayala and Yair Sanchez to top Long Beach Wilson, 2-1, in the opening round of the playoffs Feb. 18.
Edison 1, Redondo Union 0: Brianna Webster scored in the 65th minute on an assist by Nikki Fedele, as the Chargers advanced in the Division I playoff game Friday at Redondo Union.
Goalie Megan Thomson made two saves for Edison (13-5-4).
Edison played at home against Moorpark, which upset No. 3-seeded El Toro, in the second round Wednesday. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday, with the semifinals on Tuesday.
Ocean View 2, El Segundo 1: Mikhaila Bowden and Maddie Koci each scored as the Seahawks won the Division V first-round game on the road Friday.
Kara Pedersen had an assist and Kalie McColloch made 10 saves for Ocean View (11-6-4).
Ocean View played at home against Whittier Christian in the second round Wednesday. Quarterfinals are Friday, with a possible semifinal match Tuesday.