LOS ANGELES — The only time the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team succeeded in finding the back of the net against Chaminade on Thursday night, the resulting goal was waved off.
When Hanna Armendariz' shot that seemed to have given the Tologs the lead 17 minutes into the Mission League match was nullified by a late offsides call, the reversal of fortune looked like little more than a temporary setback for a Sacred Heart team that continued to control possession and create scoring chances right up until the end of the scoreless first half.
But with an Eagles goal on a defensive letdown changing the tone early in the second half and even more offensive frustration to follow for the Tologs, the scoring breakout never came to fruition in a 1-0 loss at Occidental College that saw Chaminade leapfrog Sacred Heart into first place in league by one point.
"We dominated the play of the game, but the only thing that matters is what was on the scoreboard," said Tologs co-Coach Frank Pace, whose team fell to 10-4-1 and 3-2 in league. "Three or four times this year, we have just not been able to get the ball in the goal ... and we walk out on the bad end of a 1-0 score for the third time."
Indeed, Wednesday's defeat was the Tologs' fourth shutout loss of the season and third by a 1-0 score and snapped a three-game win streak that was preceded by an 0-2-1 stretch in which the team failed to score a goal.
The turning point came in the 46th minute when Chaminade (15-2-3, 3-0-1) midfielder Brittany Solis' shot on goal from the left side from 35 yards out, just the Eagles' second shot attempt of the match, was caught but dropped by Tologs goalkeeper Lindsey Espe, who lost her footing and couldn't stop the ball from rolling backward into the net.
Twenty-nine minutes earlier, another key to the game occurred when Sacred Heart's Kayla Mills' shot attempt amid a crowd of Eagles defenders in the goal box was deflected with the carom landing at Armendariz' feet. The freshman punched it home into the lower right corner, but the Tologs were denied by the offsides call.
"There's no complaining about any of the calls, we have to finish," Pace said. "It's not a matter of what the referees do or don't do, it's a matter of what we don't do. We had five or six opportunities we should have scored on and we gave up a terrible goal on a terrible goalkeeper error. That's the story of the game."
Sacred Heart looked to have a golden chance at tying the match in the 59th minute when a corner kick from Casey Basso found Sarah Teegarden open in front of the net, but her on-target header was kicked away by an Eagles' defender. Breeana Koemans fired an arching shot from 15 yards out a minute later that would have slipped just under the crossbar if not for a well-timed jumping catch by Eagles goalkeeper Chinaar Desai (five saves).
Sacred Heart, which outshot Chaminade,13-5, for the game, had five free-kick opportunities inside of 30 yards, including three taken by Koemans that missed high by inches.
"Their defense played great," Pace said. "Every time we got a ball in a scoring play, they collapsed, they had two or three people on the player. Give them credit for shutting us out, they deserve a lot of credit for keeping us off the board."