Against a high school boys’ soccer team that gave Edison its only loss in the Sunset League, Zac Ingalls knew that the Chargers needed to get off to a quick start in a game that could determine the league title.
Ingalls delivered right away for the defending league champions on Monday.
The senior scored two goals in the first seven minutes, leading the Chargers to a 3-0 victory at Newport Harbor.
Ingalls scored in the second and seventh minute, and Edison (7-1-0 in league) is now a win away from taking first for the second straight season. Dustin Voorhees scored in the 52nd minute against Newport Harbor (5-2-1).
“The key was the way we came out at the start,” said Ingalls, whose team attempted 22 shots on goal, while Newport Harbor attempted 10. “We came out a lot harder than the first time we played them. We had to come out with more intensity, we had to connect our passes before the game, we wanted to get a goal early on, which we did thankfully, and we had to keep the pressure high the rest of the way.”
The Chargers kept Newport Harbor goalkeeper Emilio Carbajal busy. Carbajal had 18 saves.
The Edison defense prevented Newport Harbor from doing much in the first half. Chargers keeper Mitchell Wilson had nine saves in the shutout.
“Edison came out really hard,” Newport Harbor coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “They were ready for us in the beginning of the game. Once you play catch-up against a team like that, it is hard to do. That’s why they’ve been the top dog for a long time, while we are still trying to figure out how to be top dog.”
Thanks to Ingalls’ performance and leadership in the past few games, the Chargers are in control of the league. They improved to 14-4-2 overall and are ranked No. 9 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll.
“He’s a guy who can beat anyone one-on-one,” Edison coach Charlie Breneman said. “He has a pace and gets around them on the outside. He’s been the difference. He scored two goals last week against Marina and he was the difference maker there as well [in] the game against Huntington Beach.
“He’s our team leader, our captain and he gets us motivated. He has a ton of experience and he’s doing the job for us right now.”
Newport Harbor is still in the race for first place, but it will have to win against Fountain Valley and Marina, while needing Edison to lose its next two games. Edison can clinch the title when its hosts Los Alamitos at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
“This is a different situation than last year, [when we won the league],” Ingalls said. “Last year, it came down [to] the [end], whereas this year we have a chance to win league a little early. Every game is going to be tough for us. Newport is a good team, Fountain Valley has a good team, and Los Alamitos is another good team. The Los Al game is going to be a fun game.”