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Edison falls in PKs at Torrey Pines in CIF SoCal Regional Division I opener

Edison falls in PKs at Torrey Pines in CIF SoCal Regional Division I opener
Edison High goalkeeper Bennett Flory receives a hug from teammate Johnny DiGiovanni after the Chargers lost 5-4 in a penalty-kick shootout at San Diego Torrey Pines on Tuesday in the CIF Southern California Regional Division I opener. (Photo by Andrew Turner)

Emotions are heightened on a drama-filled stage.

In its last three matches, the Edison High boys’ soccer team experienced both ends of the spectrum.

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The Chargers felt elation in knocking out Los Angeles Loyola, the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, on a golden goal in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals at San Clemente, the tables were unceremoniously turned on Edison.

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It was only fitting that extra time and more would be needed to decide Edison’s first-round match in the CIF Southern California Regional Division I tournament on Tuesday night.

The Chargers rallied to erase three separate one-goal deficits, but No. 2-seeded San Diego Torrey Pines defeated No. 7 Edison 5-4 on Nicolas Castellanos’ goal in the seventh round of a penalty-kick shootout.

Michael Mines, Alec Philibbosian, Ted Merrifield and Denzel Zepeda also scored in the shootout for the Falcons (16-2-7). The CIF San Diego Section Open Division champions have now won three of their last four matches by way of penalty kicks, and they will host Los Angeles Cathedral in the semifinals on Thursday. The No. 3 Phantoms defeated No. 6 San Diego Point Loma 3-1 in the first round.

“It was a lot of fun,” Chargers coach Charlie Breneman said of his team’s playoff run. “It was a great group of kids. Really honest, hard-working good kids. They care about each other. They love each other. They work for each other. That’s why we got to where we were.

“[Penalty kicks], kind of a crapshoot, but we went to the seventh round of PKs versus the top team in San Diego. On any given day, this team could beat anybody.”

A frantic finish played out toward the end of regulation. With the score tied at 2-2, the Chargers received a great chance to take their first lead when Kai Peterson lined up to take a penalty kick in the 76th minute. Torrey Pines goalkeeper Nicholas Bello dove to his right and kept Peterson’s shot out.

Contrary to Torrey Pines’ fore-mentioned experience in penalty kicks, Breneman said that Peterson’s attempt was the first penalty shot taken by the Chargers (16-7-5) this season.

The Falcons retook the lead when Zepeda got to a loose ball after Chargers goalkeeper Bennett Flory punched out a long throw from Carsten Nahum in the first minute of stoppage time.

With the final whistle set to blow at any moment, Chandler Kane lined up three consecutive long throws, as the Falcons continued to clear toward the sideline. On the last one, the ball came out to the right edge of the box, where Kane crossed the ball in.

Padric Pigeon swung his leg through, and although he did not get much on his shot, it rolled into the left side of the net for the tying goal to send the match to overtime.

Torrey Pines carried the play in the overtime session, taking six shots and putting four of them on target. The Falcons tested Flory on set pieces, too, bending balls in near the goal line to make him make a play on the first touch.

“The boys switched it back on,” Falcons coach Andy Hargreaves said. “They were a little down when we came in after [regulation], so we tried to pick them up and get them refocused and win it in overtime.

“They were trying. You could tell that they were trying to. The keeper from the other team was amazing. He made some great saves.”

Ryan Crean (23’) and Nahum (34’) scored the other goals for Torrey Pines. Wyatt Burris (29’) and Chase Bullock (57’) responded with tying goals when the Chargers went down by one.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys,” said Burris, who is a Concordia commit. “We fight back. We’ve been through a lot of overtimes, a lot of golden goals.”

Pigeon, a junior left back, said that this season’s playoff run will inspire confidence for the next one.

“We could have gone all the way,” Pigeon said. “Be ready for Edison next year.”

10:15 a.m.: This article was updated to identify Johnny DiGiovanni in a photo.

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