Tologs topple Los Tacos field

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Since the inception of the Los Tacos Holiday Festival, two teams have virtually dominated.

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and La Salle High have combined to win or share the tournament title every season since the event kicked off in 2005. The two teams were once again on display in the tournament's latest championship match and looking to add additional hardware to their respective trophy cases.

For the first time in tournament history, there was a repeat champion.

Flintridge Sacred Heart received one goal apiece from Jill Jacobs and Natalie Zeenni in the first half to earn a 2-0 victory against La Salle on Wednesday at the Glendale Sports Complex.

"We were really excited to win it again and we have a lot of friends over at La Salle," said Jacobs, a junior who headed in a cross from Alyssa Conti to give the Tologs a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute. "We got the job done by hard work and hustling.

"On my goal, I tried to get on top of the ball and [Conti] gave me a good cross."

Flintridge Sacred Heart (8-0), the No. 1-ranked team in the state by ESPN RISE, won its third tournament title outright and fourth overall. La Salle (7-2-2) won in 2006 and 2008.

The Tologs, who posted tournament wins against Highland and Royal on Tuesday before sewing up the Red Bracket with a 2-1 win against Saugus on Wednesday, extended the lead to 2-0 in the 12th minute. La Salle, which captured the Green Bracket, turned the ball over deep in Flintridge Sacred Heart territory. Katie Johnson then dribbled the ball down virtually the length of the field and passed to Zeenni, the reigning All-Area Player of the Year, who beat La Salle goalkeeper Cassidy Rey with a low shot to cap the scoring.

The Tologs, who captured the CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championship last season, didn't yield a shot on goal. Flintridge Sacred Heart, which will begin league competition at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday against rival Harvard-Westlake at Occidental College, finished with eight shots on goal.

"There's bragging right from the game and we know La Salle," said Flintridge Sacred Heart co-Coach Kathy Desmond, whose team outscored its opponents, 14-1, in four tournament matches. "But, the end of our season is the goal with the playoffs.

"The talent is here and it's about keeping them focused and staying disciplined. It's about them knowing what they can achieve. It's great to win our tournament. We didn't give La Salle chances and we didn't make any mistakes."

Junior Tera Trujillo was named the tournament's Jessica Hanson Most Valuable Player. Trujillo scored a goal in the Tologs' 3-0 victory against Royal and the midfielder helped play a major role in leading the transition game. Nine Tologs scored in the tournament, with Kayla Mills notching three goals and two assists and Johnson tallying two scores and three assists.

In the match against Saugus (8-2-1), the Tologs received goals a minute apart late in the first half from Lauren Torres and Johnson. Torres scored an unassisted goal in the 28th minute to give Flintridge Sacred Heart a 1-0 lead and Johnson scored off a pass from Zeenni to make it 2-0.

The Centurions, who fell to the Tologs in a CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinal match last season, scored with about 13 minutes remaining in the match.

Flintridge Sacred Heart goalkeeper Lindsey Espe finished with four saves. Espe was in net the entire way against La Salle, as well, en route to the Tologs' sixth shutout of the season.

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