GLENDALE — Though the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team fell short of winning the Los Tacos Holiday Festival Tournament, there was still much to be positive about heading into the new year.
The Tologs ended 2015 with a victory, scoring a second-half goal and holding off Canyon Country Canyon for a 1-0 victory in a 60-minute contest for third place Tuesday afternoon at the Glendale Sports Complex.
Overall, the Tologs (7-1-2) finished their own tournament with a 2-0-2 mark and will be back in action Jan. 6 at Maranatha.
"Yesterday wasn't our best day and we struggled on the smaller field, but overall I like what we did," said first-year Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Mark Snashall, who received assistant coaching help from senior Lindsey Pierson, who is out until February with a broken collarbone. "Everyone put in a good effort today and we won against a very good team."
Despite outshooting Canyon, 10-4, it took a defensive gaffe and some heads-up play from Flintridge Sacred Heart's Fiona Stayton.
Tologs freshman Jillian Willis took possession of an errant defensive pass inside the Cowboys' penalty area.
Willis sent a lob inside the box toward Stayton, but the pass was deflected before it reached Stayton.
Unfortunately for Canyon (4-4-3), the Cowboys defender who touched the pass was unable to clear the ball out of play and instead tapped it right to Stayton.
The sophomore then one-timed a five-yard shot top shelf into the right corner past Cowboys junior goaltender Ally Clark for the match's lone goal in the 43rd minute as the Tologs led, 1-0.
"[Jillian] crossed it, it got kicked around and then I just flicked it in with my right foot," said Stayton, who also scored her team's lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Glendale on Dec. 4.
The goal erased a disappointing second half for the Tologs, who appeared on the brink of scoring only five minutes earlier.
Junior Sophia Saldivar took a pass about 25 yards from goal, moved to the corner of the 18 and then rifled a shot just high by a yard in the 38th minute. The shot was the third of the contest by Saldivar that came within two to three feet of scoring.
About a minute later, the Tologs' bench hollered for a penalty kick when it appeared that Canyon's Kaylani Miranda took down Flintridge Sacred Heart's Jenna Farac inside the box. No foul was called.
"We had some good shots, but we weren't scoring and that was a little frustrating," Stayton said. "I think the cool thing about scoring is that we rallied together as a team and scored and won."
Canyon's best chance at scoring may have taken place in the 34th minute when junior striker Alyssa Aguilar received a brilliant through ball and peppered a 15-yard shot that just missed and actually tucked around the outer net and momentarily appeared to score.
The shutout was the second for Tologs freshman goalie Giulia Cascapera, who was making her third start of the season in place of injured Mattie Interian, who was out with a tweaked calf.
"It was really cool to get the shutout," Cascapera said. "I didn't start until this week, until this tournament. It was nice to get some work in and I'm really glad I didn't get sored on."
The Tologs defeated West Ranch, 1-0, in the morning game Tuesday on a late unassisted goal by Sophomore Campbell Green. On Monday, Flintridge Sacred Heart tied La Salle, 2-2, and Marlborough, 0-0.