Second-half surge spurs Tologs

WEST HILLS — In the teeth of the wind, Krista Meaglia made two perfect passes.

The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer player couldn't have picked a better time to make them with the Tologs locked in another tight battle against Chaminade.

Meaglia played the role of playmaker, as she assisted on second-half goals by Katie Johnson and Breeana Koemans to help visiting Flintridge Sacred Heart pick up a big 2-0 Mission League victory against Chaminade.

"I would say I'm a playmaker," said Meaglia, a sophomore midfielder. "They all called for the ball [on the goals] and I didn't know where it was going with the wind.

"It's good to get the win because we heard [Chaminade] is good. We came out with a lot of intensity."

Flintridge Sacred Heart improved to 12-0-1, 4-0-1 in league for 13 points midway through the league portion of the schedule. Chaminade dropped to 13-2-1, 3-1 for nine points.

In the previous eight matches involving the Tologs and Eagles, seven of the final scores ended up 1-0. The other match finished in a 1-1 deadlock.

Thursday's match appeared to be heading down the same path.

The Tologs, ranked No. 7 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division I poll, took a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute. Meaglia lofted a clean pass to Johnson, who lined a shot past Chaminade goalkeeper Chinaar Desai.

Flintridge Sacred Heart, also the top-ranked team in the latest ESPN Rise poll in the state and fifth in the country, padded its lead to 2-0 when Meaglia threaded a pass to Koemans in the 77th minute.

The Tologs limited the Eagles, tied for No. 10 in Division I with league rival Harvard-Westlake, to two shots.

"I thought it was one of our better team efforts after coming off an unsatisfactory week of practice," said Flintridge Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace, who, along, with Kathy Desmond, piloted the Tologs to the CIF Southern California Division III Regionals championship last season. "[We] were doing everything right in the first half.

"We were forcing the ball in the middle of the field too much [in the first half]. We asked them to go back to stretching their defense wide. The games have been close against them. It was good getting to pad the lead and we were finally able to put it away."

Flintridge Sacred Heart, which is in the middle of a five-match road trip, had the better scoring opportunities in the first half. Desai turned back a shot by Johnson in the 18th minute and a shot by Meaglia missed the right post by inches in the 27th minute.

Desai finished with eight saves, giving the Eagles an opportunity to win or tie. Instead, the Eagles had their three-match winning streak snapped.

The Tologs, who have won four matches in a row, will next compete in a road match at 5 p.m. Monday against Harvard-Westlake. The teams played to a 2-2 tie Jan. 5 at Occidental College. The Wolverines are 8-1-3, 1-1-1 in league for four points.

"This gives us a lot more confidence going into that game," Meaglia said. "We want to win league badly."

Flintridge Sacred Heart and Chaminade will meet once more at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 7 at Occidental.

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