GLENDALE — When the girls’ soccer teams from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and St. Lucy’s met in a nonleague scrimmage in November, nobody even kept score.
The competitive tone of today’s CIF Southern Section Division II second-round match between the Tologs and Regents will be ratcheted up a few notches, to say the least.
Meanwhile, Crescenta Valley will look to keep the scoring one-sided in its favor, as it has all season, when the Falcons continue their journey through the Division II bracket in a second-round match against Corona del Mar.
Both teams will hit the road for 3 p.m. games, with second-seeded Sacred Heart and St. Lucy’s squaring off at Damien High in La Verne and fourth-seeded Crescenta Valley traveling to face the Sea Kings on their home field.
Tologs co-Coach Frank Pace, who saw his team emerge from the first round with a strong, all-around 3-0 win over Brea Olinda on Saturday, said the early season scrimmage is all but irrelevant in measuring the two teams against each other now.
“Both teams were missing players and, for both teams, it was probably their first games of the season,” said Pace, who helped guide the Tologs (17-1-3) to a runner-up finish in the Mission League. “In no way would either of our two teams [at that time] represent what we put on the field [today].”
But the familiarity factor between the two programs is strong, with many players on both teams coming from the same club soccer background.
“There will be a little extra incentive for the kids,” said Pace, who has scheduled an official regular season meeting with St. Lucy’s for next year, “bragging rights for the next 12 months or at least until we play them again.”
St. Lucy’s (12-9-3) didn’t allow a goal against Lancaster in its first-round contest on Friday, prevailing in a penalty kick shootout.
The Regents scored 44 goals and allowed 23 this season to finish third in the Sierra League. With the Tologs coming in on a streak of seven straight shutouts, the match has a chance of being a defensive battle. Then again, having scored three times on Saturday, Sacred Heart may be on the verge of picking up its scoring pace again after facing defensive-minded adversaries down the stretch of league play.
“They’re a good defensive team with an excellent goalkeeper,” Pace said. “They defend well as a group, like to counter-attack and they’re very good on set plays.
“We felt good about the way we played on Saturday.”
Crescenta Valley (16-1-3) is quite capable of putting up shutouts, as well, having done it 17 times this season, including in Friday’s 2-0 first-round win over Knight.
Falcons Coach Reggie Rivas said his team is still looking to improve on its overall performance in the playoffs.
“We would like to capitalize early on them if we can,” Rivas said. “Our backline and our defense as a team has been fantastic this year and they’re riding on a lot of confidence.
“I’m very pleased with our performance now, but we expect more out of ourselves after Friday’s game and we need to bring everything we have.”
Corona del Mar (12-6-5) is the third-place team from the Pacific Coast League and advanced to the second round with a shootout win over Montclair on Friday.
“Don’t let the third place fool you, that’s a very strong, strong league. ...They can beat anyone at any time,” Rivas said. “They’ve got a lot of speed that we’re gonna have to control, they’re midfield’s very strong and they’re strong up top. We’re gonna have to contain them and counter on their attacks.”
Sacred Heart will be looking to go beyond the second round after having its season ended there last year by eventual CIF champion Saugus. Crescenta Valley will be looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the second straight year.