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Edison edges LIC in soccer quarterfinals

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The Inventors finished the regular season undefeated by ambushing teams early and punishing them late with their defense. In a departure from their normally hasty approach, Edison served up a delicious thriller by waiting until the final minutes to defeat Long Island City 1-0 in the PSAL 'B' quarterfinals at Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn in the first game of a doubleheader last Thursday. The second game was startling from beginning to end as fourth-seeded John Bowne upset second-seeded Newcomers 2-1 and will face Edison for the fourth time this season in the semifinals. Edison is 2-0-1 against Bowne this year. The game was scheduled to be played Wednesday at Bayside Athletic Field. Edison (19-0-1) is in the semifinals for the first time in school history, and junior forward Carina Edwards made sure the road there was an eventful one. The junior from Ozone Park scored the game-winner with 4:36 left on a bizarre play that left some of Long Island City's players in tears."It was the biggest goal I ever scored," Edwards said. "Nothing like that has ever happened to me."Edwards chased the ball down the field when stopper Jennifer Williams, positioned a foot off the line, tried to clear the ball to another hemisphere. She missed completely, like Charlie Brown taking a swipe at the pigskin only to have Lucy pull it away at the last moment. Goalkeeper Yuri Giraldo was nowhere in site because moments earlier she had left the goal to recover the ball. She misjudged it and was badly out of position. Midfielder Bianca Gachette turned around and brushed the ball with her foot before Edwards tapped it in for the wackiest play of the game."When I saw her miss the ball, I was thinking that I had to get the ball," Edwards said. "I was thinking that this was my last chance to get a goal. Their defense wasn't there and the goalie wasn't there. The goal was wide open. The whole thing was surreal."Gachette is a sophomore who plays soccer to stay in shape for the basketball season where she is the starting shooting guard for the Inventors. On the fateful play, Gachette was able to keep the ball alive for Edwards to score, and both celebrated the moment as if they were co-authors to the win. Long Island City's Williams was crying after the game and her coach, Aziz Elmrini, appeared on the verge of a nervous breakdown."She's our best defensive player," he said. "I can't tell you how many times she has saved goals for us. She just missed the ball. It was a defensive mistake. She is our defensive star. Without her, we have no defense. She was nervous on the play, and the ball went right between her legs. I would not blame the goal on her."Elmrini took over the team at the end of the season after Alex Bravo resigned with five games left for personal reasons. When the game was over. DeNunzio leaned over and put his arms on his knees as if he was out of breath. He made the quarterfinals the past two years, and was visibly shaken after surviving the game. "That was a sigh of relief," he said. "I couldn't believe we had made it to the next round. Now we get to try and win a championship for the school."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by E-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.

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