LOS ANGELES — There were plenty of nerves on behalf of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' soccer team coming into Thursday night's game against Buena at Occidental College.
The nerves quickly faded as goals came early and often for the Tologs in a 6-1 win over the Bulldogs. Sacred Heart was led by Breeana Koemans, who had a goal and three assists in the game.
"To be honest, I was actually nervous about this game," Koemans said. "We have never played them, I didn't know what to expect. We had to keep up the pressure."
Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Frank Pace knew history was on his team's side, even against the Bulldogs, who are currently ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division II and were last year's Division II champs.
"We are coming off four days of finals and traditionally we play like Hercules on the last day of finals," said Pace, whose Tologs are ranked No. 1 and are the reigning Division I champions. "That's the way we came out tonight. We came out really strong and really aggressive, scored early and often."
All six goals were scored by a different Sacred Heart player. Three of the goal scorers benefited from Koemans' passes as she set a school record for career assists with 38. The previous record was 35.
"I love that feeling [that anyone can score]," Koemans said. "I thought we were going to lack offense with Katie [Johnson] and Tera [Trujillo] getting hurt, but we're not at all."
Koemans got her team going early when she fired off a test shot right to Buena's goalkeeper, who went to catch the ball but it bounced off her body and rolled into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead in the second minute.
"I knew it was going to deflect because she didn't look ready for shots yet," Koemans said. "I was expecting it to bounce back out but it went in. It was a surprise, I was shocked."
Goals kept coming for the Tologs (3-0) when Buena's goalkeeper left a rebound and Sacred Heart's Savannah Viola knocked it in for an easy goal and 2-0 lead eight minutes into the game.
Six minutes later, Koemans set the school record for career assists with 36 when she crossed a ball into the top of the box to teammate Sarah Teegarden, who one-timed it into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead with 26:30 left in the opening half.
The news of Koemans' accomplishment came as a surprise to her at the end of the game.
"I knew I had a lot of assists as a sophomore, not so much as a junior and I didn't have any yet this year," she said. "I was thinking I had to start assisting."
Koemans wasn't done. She sparked a Sacred Heart counter-attack by sending a deep through ball to teammate Kayla Mills, who outran three Buena (0-4-1) defenders for the ball and scored a breakaway goal for a 4-0 advantage with 21:51 remaining in the first half.
The Tologs' Hannah Armendariz also benefited from Koemans play, as Buena's keeper saved a Koemans shot and Armendariz cleaned it up to push the lead to 5-0 with 19:51 left in the first half. Armendariz was surprised by the final score.
"I thought this game was going to be more intense, but once we started scoring all those goals it slowed down a bit," Armendariz said.
Buena got on the board when Hailie Mace fired a shot from the top of the box and into of the net to cut the lead to 5-1 with 8:45 remaining in the first half. It's the first goal the Tologs have given up all year.
Sacred Heart didn't keep up its torrid pace in the second half, but did score again off a corner kick. Viola sent the ball into the box on the corner to the Tologs' Lauren Torres, who had her back to the net. Torres just rolled a blind shot behind her that just crossed the line and upped her team's edge to 6-1 with 17:00 to go in the game.