LOS ANGELES — Staring at what appeared to be their first loss of the season, the members of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team found several of their go-to players down thehomestretch to rescue them Saturday afternoon.
Sarah Teegarden and Hanna Armendariz each scored a goal in the last nine minutes to help Sacred Heart earn a 2-2 nonleague tie against visiting Valencia Valencia at Occidental College.
"It's good for our confidence," said Sacred Heart first-year Coach Cesar Hidalgo, whose team improved to 3-0-1. "To come back from down two goals late against a good team like Valencia gives you a feeling like it's a win.
"We have a lot of players who have strong technical abilities. You saw that on both goals. These are the type of games to get us to the level we need to be."
Valencia (6-1-2) looked in command with a 2-0 advantage. Things then turned around in a hurry for the Tologs.
The Wake Forest-bound Teegarden scored off a corner kick from Savannah Viola to cut the deficit in half in the 71st minute. With about two minutes remaining, Armendariz took a perfect indirect kick from Kayla Mills and beat Valencia goalkeeper Nicole Joseph to close out the scoring.
"Once we had [the indirect kick], I knew we had to do it," said Armendariz, a sophomore forward. "I was able to get the defender off-balance and adjust to where I needed to go.
"We knew we had to keep fighting."
Mills said the Tologs were pressed for time before mounting their comeback.
"To be honest, things looked a little iffy," said Mills, a senior defender/midfielder who will attend USC. "Things were getting real intense out there.
"Once we got that first goal, we thought we could do it."
Sacred Heart, fresh off a 4-1 nonleague road win against South Pasadena on Wednesday, had a pair of quality scoring chances to win in the final 90 seconds.
Mills lined a 20-yard shot over the right post before Armendariz bounced a shot that Joseph smothered with 20 seconds left. Joseph finished with 11 saves.
The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute. Midfielder Bailey Reid made a nice pass to midfielder Natalie Hein, who beat Sacred Heart goalkeeper Dani Garcia with a low shot inside the left post.
Valencia extended its lead to 2-0 on a 30-yard shot by midfielder Brooklyn Stevens in the 54th minute.
Teegarden said Valencia presented the Tologs with a difficult test.
"Valencia kept us on our toes and you could see a game like this happening in the Mission League," said Teegarden, a midfielder.
Garcia finished with five saves for the Tologs, who will next participate in another nonleague home match against St. Lucy's at 5:15 p.m. Friday at Occidental.