The Huntington Beach field hockey team won the Tournament of Champions.

The Huntington Beach field hockey team won the Tournament of Champions. (Dawn Knobbe / November 7, 2012)

Edison, an at-large entry to the playoffs from the Sunset League, went on the road to face Moore League runner-up Long Beach Poly. In a game where neither team led by more than a single goal, and the lead changed hands 10 times, it was a goal on a skip shot with five seconds left by junior Alec Niederland, that lifted the Chargers (15-14) to a 10-9 victory and into a first-round date Wednesday against defending Division 1 and Trinity League champ, top-seed Mater Dei.

The score from the Edison-Mater Dei game wasn't available at press time. The winner advances to the division quarterfinals on Saturday .

Junior goalie Nick Halloran blocked a Poly penalty shot with 3:34 remaining in the fourth quarter that would have given the Jackrabbits (18-14) a two-goal lead. Center Justin Harrison scored consecutive goals to put Edison in front, 9-8, with 80 seconds left to play. Poly tied the score with 28 seconds left on a counter-attack goal after an errant pass, then the Chargers worked down the final seconds before Niederland netted the game-winner.

It was the third goal in the game for Niederland. Harrison led the scoring with four goals. Dane Estrella scored twice and Jacob Schwenk scored once.

"Our coaching staff had numerous conversations about going on the road and playing a team not in Orange County," Edison Coach Diggy Riley said. "Our theme was simple. We were going to encounter referees we don't know, an indoor pool that is so loud you can't hear the coaches or your players, [and] we would be shooting for the first time all season on wall cages, and accept the fact that we would not get any calls our way. So the solution was to not let any of these issues keep us from staying focused and playing our game.

"I was so proud of this team and their ability to not give up and to just find a way to win in the harshest of environments."

Edison finished in fourth place in the Sunset League. The Chargers scored five-straight goals in their league finale Oct. 31 to take a 9-7 lead on rival Fountain Valley, then Halloran stopped a perimeter shot with five seconds left, to preserve a 9-8 win for the Chargers. Halloran finished with eight saves and Niederland and Harrison both scored three goals.


Cross Country

The CIF Southern Section preliminaries are Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. The CIF Southern Section Championships are Nov. 17, also at Mt. SAC, and the CIF State Championships are Nov. 24 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Twitter: @MikeSciacca