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Aliso Niguel finds way past Edison, 1-0

FOR OCVARSITY.COM

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Aliso Niguel girls soccer coach Randy Dodge said that Tuesday night's second-round playoff game at Edison was all about "surviving," despite the fact his team was the defending CIF-SS Division 1 champion.

Aliso Niguel did just that, handing Edison its first loss since December, 1-0, and advancing to the quarterfinals.

The Wolverines (11-2-7) will be host to Villa Park on Thursday.

Edison (16-4-4) dictated play for the better part of the 80 minutes, but the game turned on two plays – one just before halftime and the other just after it.

The Chargers were inches from going ahead in the final minute of the opening half when Kelsey Wetzstein's shot hit the post and stayed out.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Aliso Niguel's Sarah Roberts put the visitors on top, 1-0, with an assist from Lauren Miller.

Roberts collected the ball at the right corner of the penalty area and sent a shot on target. Edison goalkeeper Jordyn Gressier got a piece of the low shot only to have it slip under her and into the goal.

The Chargers and their attack, led by MacKenzie Cerda, Sydney Stout and Kelsea Arenado, pressed forward for the remaining 38 minutes but could never quite break down the Aliso Niguel defense.

"Bottom line for us, our back four ... did a (great) job," Dodge said. "They just pitched a shutout against a great attacking team."

Aliso Niguel goalkeeper Riley Sims recorded 10 saves and her defensive back line of Kenya Roberson, Nicole Smolinski, Myranda Baca and Allie Griffith kept her from having to make more.

“We definitely have a lot of energy going into the next game,” Roberts said, “but I think the bigger picture in our mind is we have to defend our title and that’s our motivation right now.”


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