Miami Herald (Sunday)

Edison extends historic soccer season; Gibbons wins

- BY ANDRE FERNANDEZ afernandez@miamiheral­ Andre C. Fernandez: @FernandezA­ndreC

Dadie-Love Cherenfant never had a doubt.

Even after a frustratin­g end to regulation. Even after two scoreless overtime periods. Even after she and her Edison girls’ soccer teammates had battled Ransom Everglades to a stalemate after taking six penalty kicks each.

Cherenfant and the Red Raiders refuse to lose.

And that’s why Cherenfant was fully confident when she dove to her left and smothered a shot from Ransom’s Andrea Paniagua to secure Edison its first trip to a regional final following a 5-4 shootout victory over the Raiders in a Region 4-3A semifinal on their home field.

“That was a tough game, but we believed in ourselves and we did it,” Cherenfant said. “We had a lot of emotions, but we did it. We’ve done a lot of training and because we haven’t lost a game, that’s even more of a motivator.”

Edison (16-0) is having a dream season.

The Red Raiders had never won a GMAC championsh­ip, or a regional playoff game before this season and had advanced to regionals only once in 1990.

Friday’s win, which came after a grueling two-and-a-half hour match following a 2-2 tie through regulation, extended Edison’s breakthrou­gh campaign to at least next Wednesday when it will travel to Davie to face NSU University School with a chance to advance to the state final four for the first time. The Sharks are the top seed in the region and were state runners-up last season.

“I’ve been fighting for this for 22 years,” said longtime Edison coach Wilnord Emile, a Red Raiders’ alum who played soccer at the school. “I had the girls’ team and we were never good. But this year this group from ninth grade to seniors are finally getting through. It’s been amazing.”

Edison, which rallied from a one-goal deficit to beat Somerset South Homestead in the previous round, found itself unable to hang on to a pair of one-goal leads against Ransom. With only seconds left in regulation, Ransom’s Sofi Rua gained possession and dribbled toward the goal, firing a shot past Cherenfant to even the game at 2.

But the Raiders (12-5-2) missed a pair of shots in the shootout round, leaving things even at 3 through the first five attempts for each squad. Each team made its sixth shot before Cherenfant made the winning play in goal.

Region 4-4A semifinal — Cardinal Gibbons 2, North Broward Prep 1:

Sophomore Caroline Findley controlled a through ball from Julianna Torres and fired a shot that found the back of the net to lift the Chiefs to victory at North Broward Prep.

Gibbons (10-6-1), the No. 4 seed in the region, will next travel to Delray Beach to face American Heritage on Wednesday night in the regional final.

Gibbons lost to American Heritage in this same round in 2022 before the Stallions went on to win a state title. Last season, Heritage was the state runner-up.

It is the fifth time in the past six years that the Chiefs have made it to the regional finals and second time in three seasons since winning their first state title in 2021.

“This team is very different from when we won it all,” Gibbons coach Margo Flack said. “They work hard for everything they do and I think it shows by our record. Our season was a frustratin­g one, but we played a very tough schedule. Now if you ask them they’d understand why we did it. It prepared us for a tough game like tonight.”

Gibbons lost 1-0 to North Broward Prep on Nov. 28. It was part of the Chiefs’ 4-6-2 start to the season that included losses to NSU University School, St. Thomas Aquinas, Archbishop McCarthy and Pembroke Pines Charter.

Friday’s match appeared headed that route until Torres, a senior and one of two players remaining from Gibbons’ 2021 state championsh­ip team, provided the equalizer in the 51st minute.

The rest was up to Findley, who followed up an impressive four-goal performanc­e in the regional quarterfin­als, with her clutch shot near the end of regulation.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States