NORTHEAST GLENDALE — In several of its recent matches, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team has developed a knack for scoring goals late in a half.
It’s a key reason why the Tologs are unbeaten through nearly the first month of the season. The Tologs found another way to accomplish the feat Thursday afternoon against Burbank during a Los Tacos Holiday Festival Red Bracket match at the Glendale Sports Complex.
Krista Meaglia scored a key goal with five seconds left in the first half to help Flintridge Sacred Heart earn a 3-0 win.
“I think it has a lot to do with tempo,” said Flintridge Sacred Heart first-year Coach Cesar Hidalgo, who got a pair of goals from Hailey James. “They have that ability to push up late in a half or game, and it’s about them feeling confident they can do it.”
Flintridge Sacred Heart (6-0-1) earlier opened the tournament with a 2-0 bracket victory against St. Joseph. Burbank (3-4) began with a 1-0 bracket defeat against West Ranch.
James opened the scoring when she took a nice pass from Meaglia and beat Burbank starting goalkeeper Sarah Rangwala in the 17th minute.
The turning point came in the closing seconds when Lauren Savo made a perfect pass to Meaglia, who made it 2-0.
“That second goal was a tough one to give up,” Burbank Coach Eric Montoya said. “The goal got our spirits down.
“I thought we matched up well at times with them. We had a few chances and couldn’t convert. That’s a great team that we just played.”
Flintridge Sacred Heart, which has won the tournament three times and shared it once since its inception in 2005, limited Burbank to two second-half shots.
“[The defense has] been doing a great job,” said James, who closed out the scoring in the 54th minute off an assist from Hanna Armendariz. “They actually help us get more scoring opportunities.
“With our offense, we all have speed and the ability to pass the ball around well. You try to make that right turn to the net, and it worked perfectly between Krista and I. She saw me and gave me a great pass and all I had to do was tip it in.”
Rangwala registered 10 saves. Her two best saves came on successive shots in the 17th minute. Rangwala first stopped Miranda Saldivar before foiling James on the rebound.
In the match against St. Joseph, the Tologs received a goal and assist in the second half from Armendariz and Laura Thompson.
Rangwala made three saves for the Bulldogs against West Ranch.
Burbank and Flintridge Sacred Heart will next participate in bracket matches Friday at the same venue. The Bulldogs will take on St. Joseph at 10 a.m. The Tologs, who will look to capture the tournament for the first time in two seasons, will meet West Ranch at 11:30.
The third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches will follow and the championship contest will begin at 3:45 p.m.