Koemans kicks FSHA to regional title victory

GLENDALE — The area's top-10 individual performances in a team setting from the 2009-10 season were selected by the Glendale News-Press sports department.

1 Koemans connects on title-winner, March 12: It was arguably the most important goal in the history of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer and one could make an argument for its place in area chronicle, as well.

Having battled the flu all week, Breeana Koemans was noticeably sick and fatigued but concluded an individual highlight reel and a dominant Tologs run when she scored the game-winner in Sacred Heart's 2-1 triumph over Francis Parker in the CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championships.

Koemans stole possession amid two opposing players, dribbled roughly 10 yards and let loose on a chip shot that sailed over the goalie.

After having run over its previous two regional opponents, Koemans and Co., playing without leading scorer Katie Johnson, ran into a formidable foe, but rose to the challenge.

"I kinda thought heading in it was gonna be a battle," Koemans said. "I was kinda excited, cause I wanted a challenge."

It ended a span of three games in the regionals in which Koemans scored four goals and added an assist.

2 Pappas' 30 equals quarters, Feb. 20: In a season full of huge Crescenta Valley wins and historic success, Cassie Pappas was most assuredly at the center of Falcons success and she certainly had her share of big games.

It's likely that none were bigger than in the CIF Division I-A second-round playoff game against Martin Luther King, though.

It was the fifth time during an All-Area Girls' Basketball Player of the Year season that Pappas hit the 30-mark in a game, but this one sent the Falcons to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001.

And it was on Pappas' shots that victory came, as MLK cut the Falcons' lead to 53-51 with 30.8 seconds remaining. Thereafter, Pappas came up clutch, making seven of eight free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

Said CV Coach Jason Perez: "Cassie came alive."

3 Kaplanyan makes history for Hoover, Nov. 12: When the Tornadoes needed a boost to send them to a first-ever CIF quarterfinal appearance, it was standout sophomore Hakop Kaplanyan who provided it, as he scored a match-high 11 goals in a wild and wooly 23-21 CIF second-round win over Oxnard Pacifica.

And when the Tornadoes needed Kaplanyan most, he stepped up, scoring his team's last three goals in a span of 2:05, including the match-tying goal and the eventual game-winner.

"I just told myself, this team ain't gonna beat me, I just wanted to step up and win this for my team," Kaplanyan said.

4 Kaplanyan sets the record straight, Nov. 14: When Hoover High's Hakop Kaplanyan broke the CIF record for goals in a season, scoring six times against eventual CIF champion Webb in Hoover's 18-10 CIF quarterfinal loss, perhaps the most impressive aspect was that the sophomore would have gladly given the record away in a second.

"Obviously, I'd rather win this game than set the record," he said.

Double-teamed the entire match, Kaplanyan's six-goal effort was still a sight to be seen, though, and it carried him to 229 goals on the season, besting the previous mark by three goals.

5 Posthuma runs, passes for six, Nov. 20, 2009: St. Francis quarterback Justin Posthuma put up big numbers against big-time competition all season long and it was never more evident than in the Golden Knights' 55-34 victory against Gahr in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Western Division playoffs.

Posthuma completed 11 of 17 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 71 yards in 13 carries and also scored three TDs on the ground. The feat was made all the more impressive considering the win pushed St. Francis to the second round for the first time since 2005 and Posthuma did it with his left hand and forearm in a soft cast.

"We had everything going all game," Posthuma said, "we can pass and we can run."

6 Zeenni talks big, plays louder, Feb. 26: During a season in which she was inevitably voted All-Area Girls' Soccer Player of the Year, Natalie Zeenni's performances were rarely defined by statistics. And perhaps her greatest performance came when the Tologs' prospects seemed most dire, as they trailed defending CIF champion Saugus by two goals at halftime of the CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinals.

It was Zeenni who stepped up and let her teammates have an earful during an emotional halftime speech.

"Natalie gave an impassioned speech at halftime that none of the nuns [at Sacred Heart] would want to hear," Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace.

But in addition to stepping up to lead at halftime, Zeenni also moved up to play midfielder from her usual position leading the defense. The move paid off immediately, as the Tologs were off on a stupendous comeback that saw them dominate the final 40 minutes en route to a 3-2 win and a first-ever trip to the CIF semifinals. It was a role Zeenni would flourish in during future games against Beckman and Francis Parker.

There were no stats at game's end for Zeenni, but her contributions to her team winning the game of the year were clear and monumental.

7 Johnson dazzles in CIF blowout, Feb. 24: In a season in which Flintridge Sacred Heart drew recognition as one of the top soccer teams in the country, the Tologs likely turned in their most dominant outing with a 5-0 thumping of St. Lucy's in the second round of the Division II playoffs.

And the game was a showcase for the offensive dominance of Katie Johnson.

The Mission League Offensive Player of the Year shined on the postseason stage with three goals and an assist. Johnson began the romp just 12 minutes in with a goal and added another just before the half and completed the hat trick on an unassisted score early in the second stanza.

8 Coffey keys comeback, Nov. 10, 2009: Down two games to none, the Flintridge Sacred Heart volleyball team rallied to defeat Orange Lutheran, 15-25, 23-25, 25-23, 27-25, 15-7 in the opening round of the CIF playoffs.

Coffey was a catalyst in the comeback, tallying 27 kills and 16 digs, including two huge kills down the stretch in the fourth game to force the deciding fifth.

"We wanted it," Coffey said. "There was absolutely no giving up."

9 Cardenas' "perfect" shot, Feb. 12: Needing a win and only a win to repeat as Pacific League champions on the last day of the regular season against Burbank, Crescenta Valley's fate was sealed by All-Area standout Danny Cardenas.

The midfielder launched a free kick from 22 yards out that found the back of the net under the upper right corner to break a scoreless tie in the 52nd minute and lead CV to a 2-0 win.

"Perfect," said Falcons Coach Reggie Rivas of the shot. "There was only one spot that was open, that was near post, upper 90. That was an amazing, amazing shot."

10 Fraisse, Falcons pull away, Feb. 11: Having run roughshod over Pacific League competition the whole season, Crescenta Valley's girls' water polo team got, perhaps, a bit more than it bargained for in the league finals against Pasadena.

But Pasadena, just like every other school the Falcons faced, got more than it bargained for with Kim Fraisse, the All-Area Player of the Year, as she worked through and around double-teams all match, scoring seven goals to up her season tally to 120 at that point, breaking the CV program record.

Leading precariously, 7-6, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Fraisse took over, assisting on the Falcons' first score of the period and scoring three of her own thereafter to take the match over.

Others receiving votes: Posthuma leads game-winning drives against Loyola, Oct. 23, 2009; Injigulyan scores 30 in Hoover basketball's OT playoff loss, Feb. 17; Rivera's OT hat trick leads CV polo past Glendale in league title match, Nov. 6, 2009; Riley rushes and receives for more than 100 in first half against Arcadia, Sept. 11, 2009.

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