Edison boys’ soccer starts fast, beats Huntington Beach in Surf League opener

Edison's Wyatt Bellinger and Huntington Beach's Jonathan Finemel battle for a ball during a Surf League match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Not long ago, the Edison High boys’ soccer team had won its fifth consecutive league title.

That streak came to an end last season, but that has not changed the standard of excellence that head coach Charlie Breneman would like to see from the Chargers.

“I want to win league,” Breneman said. “We blew it last year, and that’s eating at me. It’s something that’s ... important for this program and the standard we set, so I’d really like to win league. It’s going to be tough. Los [Alamitos] is good, and CdM is not anything to sneeze at.”

The six-game Surf League sprint began on Wednesday, with Edison posting a 2-0 win over visiting Huntington Beach in the league opener.

The Chargers received first-half goals from junior forward Cameron Snyder and senior forward Brady Powell, then clamped down on the defensive end.

Edison (9-4) did not allow a shot on target in the second half, as goalkeepers Dylan Dwight and Andrew Mosham combined on the shutout.

Edison's Dane Peterson and Huntington Beach's Dillon Kosai go up for a header during a Surf League match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Micah Novak, Scott Hess, Nathan Jackson and Jack Chapman formed the back line in front for the Chargers, as they protected the lead.

Edison poured numbers forward early, leading to a fast-developing goal for Snyder in the 14th minute. Working in front of the Huntington Beach net, Powell took a touch and played the ball off to the right side of the box, where Snyder stepped into a clean finish.

Huntington Beach (3-5-4) created its best chance in the 27th minute. Senior forward Mario Hernandez attacked the left wing with support from junior midfielder Matias Calapaqui. The ball found junior midfielder Kyle Sueki in space, but his bid found the arms of Dwight for one of his three first-half saves.

Powell scored on a counterattack just two minutes later, turning and firing a shot inside the left post to double the Edison lead.

“It was just bouncing,” Powell said. “There was an open gap. I just took my chance, and it was a good shot. It went to the corner. It kind of hit the striker, Tai [Khoshkbariie]. It kind of just bumped off him, and I just hit it in the air.”

Dwight was forced from the game in the 45th minute after a collision with Huntington Beach senior forward Hayden Kenny, who was racing for a ball in behind Edison’s defenders.

Huntington Beach's Hayden Kenny collides with Edison goalkeeper Dylan Dwight during a Surf League match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Sophomore goalkeeper Sansiro Murata made six saves for Huntington Beach. Sophomore defender Jonathan Acosta also prevented a goal in the second half, deflecting a shot off a corner kick over the crossbar with his shoulder.

A victory in the league opener allowed Edison to keep pace with Los Alamitos, which defeated visiting Corona del Mar 3-1 in the other Surf League matchup on Wednesday night.

The Chargers hope they learned a lesson in finishing games in the Laguna Hills Hawks Invitational, when they missed out on advancing out of their group after conceding the decisive goal in the final two minutes of a 2-1 loss against San Juan Hills on Dec. 28.

“Every single loss was us, it felt like, where we didn’t get that second [goal],” Breneman said. “That’s sort of our threshold. If we can score that second goal, we’ll probably win the game. Those losses have been 2-1, where we make a mistake or we don’t take care of the game, and then can’t get that second, and then they end up getting one. You want to learn from your mistakes and your losses and try to not repeat them.”

Huntington Beach dropped to 1-3-2 in its last six games. Outside of a 4-0 win against Westminster on Dec. 28, the Oilers have failed to score in the rest of those contests.

“It’s pretty much a brand-new team,” said Huntington Beach coach Sean Dick, who added the Oilers have one returning starter this year. “We’re in the top flight, playing Division 1 soccer, against great opponents. We are literally just going to play dynamite defense and hope and pray a lot.”

Edison's Wyatt Bellinger pulls back a ball as Huntington Beach's Matthew Moseley charges in during a Surf League match.
Edison’s Wyatt Bellinger pulls back a ball as Huntington Beach’s Matthew Moseley charges in during a Surf League match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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