The Edison High boys’ soccer team has had its offensive struggles this season, and with that has come a small margin for error.
Conceding the first goal can be tough to come back from, and it was a bad habit that the Chargers got into on Wednesday.
After notching a come-from-behind victory in the morning, Edison could not do the same against Santa Ana, which came into the week tied for 10th in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll.
Senior striker Edgar Canela scored three goals, and the Saints shut out the Chargers 4-0 in a group play game of the Hawks Invitational at Lake Forest Sports Park.
“My teammates played defensively good,” Canela said. “They got me out wide, or I played them out wide and they played them back in. I had the ability to score three, but overall, the team played very good.”
Santa Ana (11-3-1) did not give the Chargers any time to make plays with the ball. The Saints’ pursuit of the ball allowed them to foil the Chargers’ set pieces. Edison (6-4-4) simply could not get clean looks on goal.
“We were really working on tight man marking and being close to players and challenging for every ball,” Saints coach Joe Penaflor said. “Even if they were mismatched in size and height, we still want to get up there and go for the ball and not make it easy for anybody.
“We were trying to make sure that they didn’t win anything cleanly, and then we were just coming in and picking up the second ball and moving it out to the wide areas pretty quick.”
Santa Ana won battles in the midfield, and it immediately looked to go on the counterattack after winning the ball. A quick-developing play saw the Saints move the ball down the right side, and a grounded cross from Elvis Castelan found its way to Paul Carillo, who opened the scoring just five minutes into the game.
In the 21st minute, Cesar Zamora made a strong tackle in the midfield. Manny Berumen advanced the ball to the left side of the box before turning the ball over to Canela. His shot was deflected, but it got past a diving Bennett Flory.
“They closed us down very quickly, and we weren’t very effective when we had the ball,” Chargers coach Charlie Breneman said. “We lacked communication and continuity within the midfield.
“They had more willingness to get to the ball, and we didn’t do enough of that.”
Flory, who made two saves, left the game in the second half after receiving a yellow card for playing without shin guards. Cole Coppolino came on and stopped two of the four shots that the Saints put on goal.
Canela completed the hat trick late, scoring goals in the 64th and 69th minutes. All three of the goals scored by the Saints’ captain came from the middle of the box.
Edison, meanwhile, attempted just two shots in the second half, the most dangerous of which was a one-touch shot from Bryan Corona, who made a run into the box to get on the other end of a pass from Dylan Zankich. The Chargers have scored two goals or less in all but one game this season.
“If we’re not keeping the ball well enough or being creative with the ball, then we’re not going to create that many chances,” Breneman said. “We have minimal chances each game, and because of that, we score minimal goals.”
Edison rallied past Capistrano Valley for a 2-1 victory in its first game of the day. The Chargers got second-half goals from Raymond Drake and Corona.
The quarterfinals will be played on Thursday morning. Breneman said his team didn’t advance to the championship bracket. Edison plays Trabuco Hills in a consolation match at Lake Forest Sports Park on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.