With Sunset League play fast approaching next week, the Edison High girls’ soccer team continues to improve.
The Chargers lost 12 seniors from last year’s league championship team, and have used the preseason for learning on the job.
“They’re all trying to figure out what their strengths are,” Edison coach Kerry “Mac” Crooks said. “It’s hard to do. It’s basically one month that they have to do that in.”
On Wednesday night at the SilverLakes Sports Complex, the Chargers played on an adjacent field from the team which they will face in the league opener on Jan. 2, Huntington Beach.
The teams had different results in their second and final pool-play game at the prestigious Excalibur Tournament of Champions. While the Oilers easily beat Santa Margarita 3-0 to advance to the championship division quarterfinals, the Chargers lost to Spring Valley Steele Canyon 2-1 to finish in third place in their three-team pool.
Edison (3-2-4) suffered its second loss of the day in the tournament after falling 5-4 in penalty kicks to Group H champion Cypress on Thursday morning, after the teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation.
The Chargers will play in the “Guinevere” bracket on Thursday, for teams that finished third place in their respective groups. Edison begins with a Guinevere bracket quarterfinal game against Long Beach Poly at 11 a.m. back at SilverLakes.
Crooks said her team played better in the second half against Steele Canyon (2-3-2), from the San Diego Section. The Cougars went ahead early, scoring in the ninth minute. Olivia Zeldon headed in a goal, despite colliding with Edison senior keeper Amy Kirk (four saves) near the top of the box.
Edison got the equalizer in the 48th minute, scoring its first goal of the tournament. Senior Amanda Chadwick put the ball into the lower left corner, assisted by fellow senior captain Kayla Herbert’s cross from the right.
Chadwick said it was her third goal of the season, each one coming on a cross from a teammate.
“During halftime, ‘Mac’ told us to just relax,” Chadwick said. “We started connecting our passes, and that’s how we scored our goal. I think we just relaxed and played the simple ball.”
Crooks turned to her team, saying that if anyone deserved to score that goal, it was Chadwick.
“Amanda was working her butt off the whole game,” Crooks said. “She was running from the top of one 18 [yard box] to the other 18. If anybody deserved to score, it was her, because of her work ethic.”
But Steele Canyon scored the eventual game-winner in the 61st minute. Junior Savannah Thompson took advantage of a nice build-up, and buried the shot from just outside the box.
“We’re still trying to find ourselves, and they had a couple of special players up top who were super-speedy,” Crooks said. “They took care of their opportunities, obviously, and we didn’t.”
Edison junior Cecelia Roghair created several chances for the Chargers throughout the game, including a pair of corner kicks in the first half. But they ultimately couldn’t take advantage.
Now, they have one more day at the Excalibur Tournament of Champions to prepare for league play to begin.
“You can only get better,” said Chadwick, who recently committed to Pace University in New York. “You learn from your mistakes, you can work on it at practice and improve on it. Hopefully we’ll play a good game against Huntington.
“Each game that we play, we’re connecting more and there’s more progress. We’re just still learning how each other plays, and the style of everyone. Overall, I think we’re getting better and better each game.”