Edison girls’ lacrosse wins first Sunset League title in program history

Corona del Mar's Kate Kittleson, left, puts pressure on Edison's Sydney Hoggard during a Sunset League match on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Edison High girls’ lacrosse program is in its fifth season.

Each year, the Chargers have been building up, ever since graduate Mia Whalen’s interest helped spark the start of the program in 2018.

A significant milestone was reached Tuesday night.

Senior captains Melyssa Strope and Sydney Hoggard combined for nine goals as the Chargers beat Corona del Mar 17-12 at Edison High. With the victory, Edison clinched outright its first Sunset League title.

“There’s no better group of girls to win this with,” said Hoggard, a midfielder bound for the University of Oregon. “I’m so excited to finally put Edison’s name in the history books.”

Edison's girls' lacrosse team celebrates a goal during a Sunset League match against Corona del Mar on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

No one can catch Edison (10-6, 5-0 in league) with one league match remaining. The Chargers still had to come back after second-place Corona del Mar (11-4, 3-2) took a 9-5 halftime advantage.

This wasn’t a time for a pep talk, though. Instead, the Chargers participated in a dance circle.

“The energy was low,” said Strope, who led Edison with five goals and also had five draw controls. “We knew we had the skill, we just had to get the energy up.”

The draw controls played a big part as Edison, ranked No. 8 in CIF Southern Section Division 1 and 2, surged ahead of No. 9-ranked CdM. Edison scored the first seven goals of the second half. The hosts took a 12-9 lead on Madison Kruis’ free position goal with 17:32 remaining in the match.

Corona del Mar's Abby Grace takes a shot under pressure from Edison's Katie Wright, left, and Katie Baker on Tuesday.
Corona del Mar’s Abby Grace takes a shot under pressure from Edison’s Katie Wright, left, and Katie Baker during a Sunset League match on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Edison coach Olivia Smart said Kruis missed the previous league match against CdM with a concussion. On Tuesday, she helped Edison win 22 of the 30 draws throughout the match by contributing seven draw controls.

Hoggard, who had four goals and three assists, led everyone with 10 draw controls, even with sitting out two minutes in the first half after earning her first yellow card of the season.

“Edison is known for being really good on draw controls, and I will say that their circle girls were very strong on them today,” CdM coach Jessica Murray said. “Second half, we couldn’t get a draw control, which caused those quick goals all in a row for them.”

Bohuen Tong added three goals for the winners, while Kruis and Gwen Ontiveros scored two goals each. Sofia Chock also found the back of the net.

Edison junior goalkeeper Cailien Gorsuch made five of her eight saves in the second half, including one at point-blank range on CdM junior Abby Grace after her older sister, Belle, snagged an interception deep in Edison territory. Taylor Britton, Lila Crossett, Katie Wright and Sofia Lewellyn also helped aid the Chargers’ defense.

Edison's Sofia Chock takes a shot on goal during a Sunset League match against Corona del Mar on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Abby Grace led CdM with five goals, and Frankie Garcia scored four. Senior goalkeeper Ellie Spotts made 10 saves.

Edison closes out Sunset League play with a home match against Los Alamitos on Tuesday, while CdM hosts Newport Harbor in the second Battle of the Bay match.

With the CIF Southern Section playoffs on the horizon, the Chargers can focus on achieving another first — their first CIF playoff victory. Edison lost 8-7 in double overtime to San Clemente last year in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs.

“This was a big game for us,” Hoggard said. “It really helped us get our momentum and confidence up going into playoffs. As far as the seeding, I think no matter who we play, we’re going to give them a good game. I think we have a shot at beating any team and going all the way this year.”

Corona del Mar's Belle Grace splits traffic to take a shot during a Sunset League match against Edison on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)


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