Edison's MacKenzie Cerda, left, and Brooke Lillywhite celebrate a first half goal during their 3-0 win over Westview in a quarter-final game of the Excalibur Tournament at Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo on Friday.
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Edison continues surge into Excalibur semifinals


MISSION VIEJO - A recent break from games has helped Edison's girls soccer team develop some of the skills and mental toughness needed to be an elite team.

Senior Kelsey Wetzstein scored two goals to help lead the Chargers to a 3-0 victory over Westview of San Diego in the quarterfinals of the Excalibur Tournament on Friday at Capistrano Valley High.

“We’ve been trying to work on keeping our composure and not letting teams get in our heads,” Wetzstein said. “Working together as a team and keeping everyone calm really helped us.”


OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's soccer and water polo


Edison (7-2-1), which had only played one match in a 19-day span entering the tournament, has won four consecutive matches overall. The Chargers defeated Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, 2-1, earlier on Friday.

During their recent winning streak, the Chargers have outscored their opponents, 9-2. They will face Bishop O’ Dowd of Oakland in the semifinals Saturday at 11 a.m. at Yorba Linda High.

The Dragons advanced to the semifinals with victories over Mater Dei, 1-0, and Temecula Valley, 3-0, on Friday.

“We haven’t played a lot of games, but we have been doing a lot of practicing,” Chargers coach Kerry “Mac” Crooks said.  “These games today are really the first times this season that we have played soccer using our skills. I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far.”

The Chargers' pressure began early in the match and they appeared to take the lead in the second minute. Off a pass chipped over the Wolverine defense by Audrey Minar, Wetzstein rolled a shot toward the goal that appeared to cross the goal line before it was kicked away by the Wolverines. However, the ball was ruled to not have completely crossed the line.

Wetzstein left no doubt on the Chargers’ next offensive run. After a crossing pass from Minar bounced through the box, Wetzstein knocked the ball into the goal to give Edison a 1-0 led.

“I saw Audrey (Minar) crossing the ball over and I thought Brooke (Lillywhite) was going to hit it in,” Wetzstein said. “When it came across to me, it was kind of a surprise, but I was able to get a touch on it.” 

Westview appeared to tie the match in the fourth minute, after senior Meagan Harbison headed a shot into the net. But the Wolverines were called for being offside, negating the  goal.

Edison upped the lead in the 10th minute. Wetzstein managed to elude a Wolverines defender and send a cross to the middle of the box. The ball was deflected by senior goalie Andrea Leano, but right to Minar who blasted a shot into the middle of the goal.

“In that situation, I wanted to stay focused so that I could place that shot in the goal,” Minar said. “Those are the type of shots that you can shank if you don’t stay composed.”

Junior goalie Alison Jahansouz helped keep Westview off the scoreboard with two big saves in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Led by seniors Sierra Krenik, Brooke Webster, Karly Wester, Brooke Lillywhite, and Karly Freeman, the Chargers cleared several attacks before the Wolverine could get quality shot attempts leading to transitional scoring opportunities.

Then in the 56th minute, Wetzstein sprinted down the field to reach a lead pass sent by junior Mackenzie Cerda. She managed to touch it past the run up of Leano and boot a shot into the far corner of the goal for the final score of the match. 

“Mackenzie (Cerda) was trying to pass it to Audrey (Minar), but it went by her foot and I just kept running,” Wetzstein said. “I was able to finish my run and the ball went by the goalie.”

Though impressed with what she saw from the Chargers offense, Crooks’ analysis of what her team needed to do in the semifinals to advance to the championship match centered around one common theme.

“Defense wins championships and will be the key for us,” Crooks said.

In another Excalibur quarterfinal match:

No. 7 Capistrano Valley 2, Long Beach Wilson 0: Senior forwards Anne Hinman and Samantha Celani each scored goals to lead the Cougars (8-1-1) to a win over the Bruins at Capistrano Valley.

The Cougars will face Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga in the semifinals today at 11 a.m. at Esperanza High.

The Grizzlies advanced to the semifinals by edging San Clemente 5-4 in PK's after the teams played to 0-0 tie in their quarterfinal.

At the North Orange County Classic:

JSerra 0, Schurr 0 (JSerra wins on Pk's 4-3): The Lions (9-2-3) claimed the Red Division tournament title by outlasting the Spartans in penalty kicks at Buena Park High.

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