LOS ANGELES — Though half the Mission League season remains, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's soccer team knew full well the magnitude of Friday night's game against visiting Chaminade.
Thus, when all was said and done, the Tologs realized just how important their victory was after goals by Savannah Viola, Kayla Mills and Laura Thompson propelled them to a 3-1 win over the Eagles at Occidental College.
“It was a big, big win,” Viola said. “We need it. We definitely needed to pick up our heads and get our confidence going and this was the game that triggered that.”
Viola’s goal, coming in just the third minute, served as the quick start the Tologs needed. Mills’ score on a penalty kick stood as the game-winner and Thompson’s late tally put the victory in the bank.
“Very big,” said Mills of the win. “It was a nice little reminder that we know we can play the way we can play.”
The victory comes after the Tologs (11-1-3, 3-1-1 in league) opened the week Monday with a 3-0 loss to first-place Harvard-Westlake and then relinquished a two-goal lead on Wednesday in a 2-2 tie with Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Hence, the win was pivotal in reestablishing the Tologs’ confidence going forward.
“I think it was big in terms of giving us a foundation to keep going,” said Mills, who played phenomenally all game on the defensive end. “Now we know how hard we have to work.”
Just as important, if not more so, was the win’s implications in the standings, as the Tologs are now tied with Chaminade (13-2-2, 3-1-1) for second place with Harvard-Westlake (4-0-1) leading the league. So far, the top three aforementioned teams in the Mission League have combined for just four overall losses, lending further credence to just how important Friday’s tilt was.
Leading into the match, Chaminade had allowed just one goal in league play and hadn’t given up more than one in any match.
That changed quickly when Casey Basso sent a through ball to a streaking Viola, who slid a score past the onrushing goalie for a 1-0 lead less than three minutes in.
“Breakaways make me nervous, but I kept my composure,” Viola said.
The score remained 1-0 until three minutes into the second half, when Thompson’s cross inside the goal box resulted in a hand ball. Mills took the ensuing penalty shot and drilled it low and to the left for a 2-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Chaminade countered, as a throw-in deep in the Eagles’ attacking third forced Tologs goalie Dani Garcia out to try and grab the ball away. She was knocked to the ground, however, and the ensuing scrum saw Chaminade’s Maddie Romeo finish the pinball sequence with an open-net score.
The fireworks continued shortly thereafter when Hailey James got off a cross right in front of the Chaminade net, but another Tolog couldn’t pounce. A minute later, Thompson had a good look saved.
“We kept composed and kept our heads straight,” said Viola of the Tologs’ play during the frenzied span that was just roughly five minutes of play.
Garcia finished with four saves and the Tologs finished with a 15-6 advantage in shots. But it was Thompson who finished off the Eagles, as Krista Meaglia worked her way to the center of the field before a marvelous pass right to Thompson, who drilled a waist-high shot from 10 yards out.