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Surprisingly, Edison Still a Force

January 03, 2002|Valerie Gutierrez

To duplicate the remarkable season the Huntington Beach Edison girls' soccer team enjoyed a year ago would be nearly impossible. After all, the Chargers went undefeated in Sunset League play and didn't allow a goal to a league opponent until Esperanza scored in the final game of the regular season.

On top of that, Edison lost three backfield players to graduation.

So the Chargers' strong start this season at 12-1-2, with victories over Dana Hills, Buena and San Clemente, has caught everyone by surprise, including Coach Kerry Crooks.

"I knew that we had the talent but we didn't have the experience," Crooks said. "But they've proved me wrong."

The Chargers, No. 8 in The Times' rankings, host Huntington Beach Marina in a league opener today. The showdown with No. 4 Esperanza (12-1-0) is Jan. 15.

"League [play] is going to be a cat fight," said Crooks, whose team lost to Mission Viejo in the Southern Section Division II semifinals last year.

Edison is led by forward Brooke Thulin, the league's offensive most valuable player last season. She has nine goals and seven assists this season. Goalkeeper Jenna Huff has 11 shutouts and has allowed only three goals.

Crooks calls Huff "the best goalkeeper in [Orange] County."

"A team would have to be amazing to score more than one goal."

Crooks has been the Chargers' coach for 12 seasons. She also coaches the women's team at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa.

"I'd love for them to go to Vanguard," Crooks said of Thulin and Huff, who have already made their college choices: Thulin will attend Brigham Young University and Huff will play at Nevada Las Vegas.

California clash: Concord Carondolet will test its No. 3 national ranking against some of Southern California's finest this week. Carondolet will play at Santa Margarita, No. 1 in The Times' rankings, today, then at No. 10 Mater Dei on Friday.

Carondolet already lost to one Orange County team last week, when No. 6 Corona del Mar won, 4-1, in the first round of the host Cougars' tournament.

Allison Harvey's two goals propelled the Sea Kings past Carondolet and into the finals of the four-team tournament, in which they lost in sudden-death overtime to Amador Valley.

Odds and endings: Santa Margarita Coach Chuck Morales tried to downplay his team's strength last week, but the Eagles made a strong case for their perch atop the region's rankings.

Santa Margarita shut out Anaheim Canyon, West Hills Chaminade, Garden Grove Pacifica and finally, Newport Harbor, 4-0, to ends its run to the championship of the Excalibur tournament....

La Verne Bonita (17-1) had its undefeated run ended with a 1-0 loss to No. 9 St. Lucy's in the Claremont tournament final. Kristyn Bright scored off a corner kick for the Regents (10-3-2) in the closing moments.



A look at the top 10 girls' soccer teams in the Southland:

1. Santa Margarita (9-1-2, SS-Serra)

Eagles earned top spot by winning Excalibur tournament title Saturday.

2. Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley

(7-0-1, SS-South Coast)

Cougars have tough game against league-rival San Clemente next Thursday.

3. North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake

(10-0-1; SS-Mission)

Jamie Artsis and Gina Farias-Eisner will need to be at their best for a league game against Chaminade on Monday.

4. Anaheim Esperanza (12-1-0, SS-Sunset)

Aztecs defeated Buena, Cypress, Edison and Redlands at Excalibur tournament.

5. Aliso Niguel (11-3-0, SS-Sea View)

Coming off 2-0 loss to Santa Margarita and third-place finish at Excalibur, Wolverines begin league play against Newport Harbor on Tuesday.

6. Newport Beach Corona del Mar

(7-1-4, SS-Pacific Coast)

Sea Kings lose in sudden-death overtime in championship game at Carondolet tournament in Concord.

7. Irvine Woodbridge (5-4-0, SS-Sea View)

Warriors lose to Marina in first round of Excalibur tournament.

8. Huntington Beach Edison

(12-1-1, SS-Sunset)

Chargers host Marina in league opener today.

9. Glendora St. Lucy's (10-3-2, SS-Sierra)

Kristyn Bright's header gives Regents championship victory at Claremont tournament.

10. Santa Ana Mater Dei (10-2-3, SS-Serra)

Monarchs host Concord Carondolet, one of country's top teams, on Friday.

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