For the first time in 12 years, the Edison High girls' soccer program is returning to a CIF Southern Section championship final.
The Chargers earned their first trip to a title game Tuesday by taking down another higher ranked opponent in postseason play. This time, third-seeded Foothill fell victim to the Chargers who took a 1-0 home field victory in a Division 1 semifinal.
The triumph puts 10th-ranked Edison in the Saturday's division final. The Sunset League champion Chargers (11-6-7) will take on Trinity League champ Santa Margarita at 5 p.m. at Corona High.
Fifth-ranked Santa Margarita took down top-seeded Harvard-Westlake in Tuesday's other semifinal. The teams played to a 1-1 tie through regulation but the Eagles advanced by winning a penalty kicks shootout, 4-3.
Edison and Santa Margarita will meet for the first time this season.
"We have not played Santa Margarita this season but they are a quality side with just as much tenacity as us," Edison Coach Kerry Crooks said..
Senior MacKenzie Cerda scored off an assist from Sarah Riley in the early stages of Tuesday's semifinal game. Zoe Clevely recorded four saves as Edison put an end to Century League champion Foothill's eight-game win streak.
Cerda, who has scored five goals in four tournament games, was injured late in the game when she took a kick to the rib section, Crooks said.
"Our defense played pretty flawless by not allowing quality chances by Foothill and gave them no corners," Crooks said. "The back four of Aubrey Grandon, Rachel Flory, Danielle Thomas and Bailey Webster were an absolute wall and made our goalkeeper's job super-easy. MacKenzie Cerda has been unstoppable in these playoffs."
In its previous tournament outing, a quarterfinal match-up Friday against Aliso Viejo, Edison advanced to the semifinals by knocking off the second-seeded Wolverines with ease, 3-0. Cerda scored twice, Riley once, Thomas and Webster each had an assist, and Clevely had nine saves in the upset of the South Coast League champion.
Edison last reached the a division final in 2002, the same year the Chargers last won a Southern Section title. The program won its first CIF-SS title in girls' soccer in 1985.
Edison's road to Saturday's title game includes postseason wins over Rosary (1-1, advanced, 4-3, on penalty kicks), ninth-ranked Capistrano Valley (1-0), Aliso Niguel and Foothill.
In the postseason, Santa Margarita has posted wins against San Juan Hills (2-0), Huntington Beach (2-1), Villa Park (1-1, advanced, 5-4, penalty kicks), and Harvard-Westlake.
Huntington Beach girls fall
Santa Margarita 2, Huntington Beach 1
Huntington, which won its Feb. 20 playoff opener against Northwood, appeared to have scored the tying-goal in the game's final minute only to have it negated by an off-sides call, was eliminated from the Division 1 tournament Feb. 26 by fifth-ranked and Trinity League champ Santa Margarita.
Sawyer Koelsch scored off an assist from Halie Burgeron in the 33rd minute to tie the score and Kate Hart had eight saves for the Oilers who finished runner-up in the Sunset League and concluded an 11-5-5 season.
Edison boys' soccer season ends
Palos Verdes 2, Edison 2
(Palos Verdes advances on penalty kicks, 4-2)
Bay League champion and seventh-ranked Palos Verdes scored the tying goal in the final two minutes of regulation and following a scoreless overtime, the visiting Sea Kings won a penalty kicks shootout, 4-2, to stun the No. 2-seeded Chargers who suffered only their second loss of the year.
Ty O'Connor scored goals off assists from Devin Anderson and Adam Hepburn and Brendan Fix had three saves during regulation play for Sunset League champion Edison. In the penalty kicks phase, Taylor Kane and Connor Gordon converted shots and Garrett Babbit had one save for the Chargers who ended their outstanding season at 23-2-1.
Gordon set a school single-season record this year with 27 goals.
"I'm really proud of what this team accomplished this season," Edison Coach Charlie Breneman said. "I think we played well enough to win that game. PV scored a couple of opportunistic goals, which kept them in the game.
"Our guys left everything out on the field. It's a shame the game had to be decided in PKs ."
Palos Verdes played No. 3-seed San Clemente (South Coast League champ) to a 1-1 tie in a Tuesday semifinal, but the Sea Kings were elminated after the visiting Tritons took the penalty kicks shootout, 5-4).
San Clemente will meet top-seeded Loyola (Mission League champ) in the Division 1 final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Warren High in Downey. The Lions and Servite (Trinity League champ) battled to a 1-1 tie in Tuesday's other semifinal, but the Cubs moved on by winning, 10-9, on penalty kicks.