Edelstein's goal leads Dana Hills past Aliso Niguel
ALISO VIEJO- If there were any questions that the Dana Hills Dolphins might be intimidated by moving back into the South Coast League, they have passed their first two big tests in victorious fashion.
Senior Rachel Edelstein scored the match-winning goal in the second half, as No. 5 Dana Hills defeated No. 2 Aliso Niguel, 1-0, Thursday at Aliso Niguel High.
“This was a great win for our team,” Edelstein said. “I love to play for my team and my school, and to get that goal is a great feeling.”
The Dolphins (7-0-3; 2-0), which blanked San Clemente 3-0 to open league on Tuesday, have now defeated both of last season’s CIF-SS Division 1 finalists. The Wolverines (7-3-2; 0-1-1) are now winless in their last three matches overall.
The win was also the first time that Dana Hills has defeated Aliso Niguel in a match since a 3-0 victory in the 2004 Mater Dei Premier Invitational.
“We have come back this year with a lot of new players and have meshed together so far,” Dolphins coach Sheena Jarvis said. “These girls mean business, have really worked hard, and really want to win this year.”
Aliso Niguel pressured the Dolphins attacking third throughout the early portion of the match, forcing four corner kick opportunities in the first 11 minutes of the match.
However the Dolphins defense came up big, as defenders Cailey Laidlaw, Megan Matchett, and Ashlynn Harryman each made key plays to help repel Aliso Niguel’s attack.
Both teams had scoring opportunities in the final 10 minutes of the half. In the 30th minute, Wolverines sophomore Lauren Miller dribbled down the sideline and sent a well-placed cross into the middle of the box for senior teammate Lindsey Doyle. But Doyle’s subsequent shot attempt sailed over the crossbar.
A minute later, Dolphins junior goalie Meghan Dickmann blocked a shot attempt by Miller in the box.
On the Dolphins ensuing possession a minute later, sophomore Megan Shaver managed to get off a shot that flew over the crossbar.
In the 35th minute, Edelstein booted a floating shot from the left sideline that was saved by Wolverines senior goalie Riley Sims.
Aliso Niguel was on the attack again early in the second half, producing two shots on goal in the first five minutes. But the Dolphins defense again managed to keep the Wolverines from converting their pressure into goals.
Then in the 56th minute, Edelstein hit a high floating shot from just inside of 30 yards away from the goal that twisted over the reach of Sims and into the far post corner of the goal.
Though Aliso Niguel managed to work the ball into the Dolphins' attacking third in the final moments of the match, they were unable to get the match-equalizer, as the trio of Laidlaw, Matchett, and Harryman helped the Dolphins’ defense close out the win with several big clearances.
Wolverines head coach Randy Dodge felt his team gave a great effort in the defeat, but will have to find a way to get a win when they host Tesoro on Saturday.
“We’re not getting the breaks right now,” Wolverines coach Randy Dodge said. “I thought we played really well, but it’s the little things that we’re missing. This is the second straight game that we’ve let slip and we have to deal with not having an emotional letdown on Saturday.”