The last time that the Edison High boys’ soccer team had gone to penalty kicks, a shootout ended the Chargers’ season in a CIF State Southern California Division I regional opener in February.
Edison found itself in another penalty-kick shootout on Saturday in the championship match of the Hawks Invitational against Manhattan Beach Mira Costa.
As the teams came out onto the field of play for the tie-breaking scenario, murmurs were heard from the Chargers that likened the match they were in to the state tournament.
Marcus Henze, Ethan Van Buren, Dylan Lybarger and Armand Pigeon scored in the shootout, as Edison edged Mira Costa 4-3 on penalty kicks at Laguna Hills High.
“As soon as I walked up, I was like, ‘I’m not going to let this happen like last time in state,’” Van Buren said. “I took the first one and missed wide [at San Diego Torrey Pines], and I wanted to get redemption.”
Pigeon clinched the match for the Chargers (9-1-1) in the fifth round of the shootout. He lined up as though he were going to take the penalty kick with his left foot. As he approached the ball, he realigned himself to take the shot with his right foot, and he guided it inside the left post.
After providing the only goal in Edison’s 1-0 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in pool play, Pigeon said making the final penalty kick of the tournament would be the more memorable moment.
“Getting the winning goal for the whole tournament is something special,” Pigeon said. “I won’t forget it. It’s kind of a different situation, I guess.
“I’ll probably cherish this one more, but I also like the other one, too.”
Pigeon added the tournament is special to him because he also won it as a junior varsity player two years ago.
Coincidentally, Edison beat Fountain Valley 3-2 in the junior varsity final that preceded the varsity championship match on Saturday morning.
Junior goalkeeper Bennett Flory was busy for the Chargers throughout the match. He made six saves in regulation, and he handled a number of balls sent into the box in the air.
Only Dillan Argue was able to get the ball past Flory before the shootout, as he stepped into a one-touch shot after a throw-in went off an Edison defender in the box. The goal gave the Mustangs (10-3-2) the lead at 1-0 in the 31st minute.
Edison tied the score at 1-1 just four minutes later. Fin Roghair made a throw-in from the right sideline, finding the head of Riley Holmes. Van Buren took the volley in the air, and he was able to put the ball by Mustangs goalkeeper Jared Tang inside the left post.
“Fin threw it in from the side,” Van Buren said. “I knew that Riley was hitting them back a little bit, so I lined up farther to the back post, and as soon as Riley flicked it over, it was in the air, and I just jumped up and redirected it towards goal.”
Flory guessed right on the final four shots that he faced. He was able to stop Kenneth Yap’s attempt, while also receiving a missed shot from Argue.
“It’s a combination of things,” Flory said of guessing with the penalty-kick takers. “It’s looking at their eyes, their hips, their feet, everything. You’ve got to take that all into account and try to make the best guess that you can. It worked out for me.”
Edison did not have a shot on goal after the Van Buren goal in the 35th minute, and Mira Costa held a 7-1 advantage in shot attempts in the second half.
“The thing I told my boys is, ‘This is why this sport is so cruel and frustrating, just like life,’ but I think for them, the idea is when you have the ability to control the game, you’ve got to take that and put it away,” Mustangs coach Al Brown said. “You can’t let it go to luck. You have to control the game, and you have to make sure that luck doesn’t enter into it.”
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