NORTHEAST GLENDALE — With both girls’ soccer squads missing significant portions of their lineups, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy defeated Flintridge Prep, 2-1, on Wednesday at the Glendale Sports Complex in the season-opener for both sides.
Junior forward Alina Okamoto scored a goal off a deflection to bring the host Rebels within one goal of tying in the 78th minute, but ultimately, the two first-half goals scored by Tologs sophomore forward Jillian Jacobs stood up for the win in a nonleague battle of crosstown foes.
The win was entirely too narrow for Sacred Heart Coach Frank Pace’s liking, which he attributed not so much to the unavailability of standouts Katie Johnson, Haley Mojica, Sarah Teegarden and Savannah Viola, who are currently prohibited from playing or practicing with the Tologs because of involvement with club soccer teams, as to a general lack of opportunity for the young team to click together.
“We look like a team that’s had no practices together with all its players,” Pace said. “We’re playing catch up. ...They know each other’s names and that’s where we are. We’ve just gotta learn to play together. We will be fine, but it’s a season for us right now of patience and perspective.”
Pace expects to have the aforementioned quartet back on the field after their club season concludes this weekend, but Prep Coach Esteban Chavez will likely to have to wait considerably longer before getting the injured Connell Studenmund and Casey Cousineau, as well as Brooke Elby (eligibility issue), back at his disposal.
All the more reason why he was pleased at his team’s ability to hang with Sacred Heart, ranked eighth in Division II.
“It was pretty much even as far as the missing players,” Chavez said. “I was just really happy with the discipline and the execution of what we were trying to accomplish and for us that was to hold them and try to counter on them.
“We did a good job of countering, the only thing is they have a lot more speed. We would break them, but they would recover.”
Sacred Heart, which had 19 shots on goal to Prep’s five, first took the lead in the sixth minute when Jacobs beat Prep sophomore goalkeeper Stephanie Bathke (16 saves) to a through ball from sophomore forward Breeana Koemans and into an open goal.
Jacobs struck again in the 26th minute, beating her defender one-on-one off a perfectly threaded pass from sophomore midfielder Tera Trujillo from just outside the penalty box.
Get in touch GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.