The county’s first big preseason tournament is scheduled to begin Monday afternoon, as Aliso Niguel High School will host the eighth annual Aliso Cup Tournament.
The tournament will once again feature 24 teams from around the county and throughout Southern California.
Pool play matches are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Quarterfinal and semifinal matches are slated for Saturday, with the kickoff of the championship match scheduled for 5 p.m. at Aliso Niguel High.
Here is a list of the pools and teams scheduled to compete in the tournament.
Canyon, Upland, Santiago/Corona
Buena, Villa Park, Edison
Dana Hills, M.L. King/Riverside, Sunny Hills
Long Beach Wilson, Los Alamitos, Orange Lutheran
Aliso Niguel, Long Beach Poly, Valencia/Valencia
Esperanza, Palos Verdes, Trabuco Hills
Hart, Peninsula, Yorba Linda
Beckman, Etiwanda, Newport Harbor
Defending Champion: Aliso Niguel
A championship season for the Wolverines officially started when Aliso Niguel captured its’ own tournament title. The Wolverines posted three shutouts in five matches and outscored their opposition 16-3. In the title match, a goal by midfielder Sarah Roberts in the closing moments of regulation was the difference in a 2-1 win over Orange Lutheran.
Here is a look at the pool play schedule:
Newport Harbor at Etiwanda, 3:15 p.m.
Los Alamitos vs. Long Beach Wilson, 3:15 p.m.
Dana Hills at M.L. King, 5 p.m.
Canyon at Upland, 5p.m.
Long Beach Poly at Valencia/Valencia, 5 p.m.
Trabuco Hills at Esperanza, 5 p.m.
Edison vs. Villa Park (at Fred Kelly Stadium), 5 p.m.
Peninsula at Hart, 5:00 p.m.
Santiago/Corona vs. Canyon (At Fred Kelly Stadium), 5 p.m.
Buena at Edison, 5 p.m.
Sunny Hills at M.L. King, 5 p.m.
Long Beach Wilson at Orange Lutheran, 3:15 p.m.
Aliso Niguel at Valencia/Valencia, 5 p.m.
Palos Verdes at Trabuco Hills, 5 p.m.
Hart at Yorba Linda, 5:00 p.m.
Etiwanda at Beckman, 5 p.m.
Upland at Santiago/Corona, 5 p.m.
Villa Park at Buena, 5 p.m.
Sunny Hills at Dana Hills, 5 p.m.
Orange Lutheran at Los Alamitos, 3:15 p.m.
Valencia/Valencia at Aliso Niguel, 5 p.m.
Palos Verdes at Esperanza, 5 p.m.
Yorba Linda vs. Peninsula, 5 p.m.Newport Harbor at Edison, 3:15 p.m.
Three county teams to watch:
Aliso Niguel: The defending CIF and Regional champions began their standout season last year with a stellar run to the tournament title. A roster that boats one of the county’s deepest and most talented teams is once again looking to help the Wolverines keep the tournament title at home.
Edison: The Chargers opened the season last week with back to back shutout victories over Lakewood and Long Beach Poly. They open the Aliso Cup with a tough test against a talented Villa Park squad also eager to perform well on a big early season stage. With several key returners back, the two-time defending Sunset League champions will look to enjoy a success start to their tournament schedule.
Los Alamitos: The Griffins saw several of their younger players contribute last season and will look to see those players continue to play well entering their first tournament of the new season. Los Alamitos will look to build confidence with a strong early season tournament effort, with an eye toward building a team to recapture the top spot in the Sunset League.