Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer player Dani Garcia is league's most valuable goalie

A tough season wasn’t without rewards for the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team.

Tologs senior Dani Garcia was named the Mission League’s Most Valuable Goalie, while senior Casey Basso was selected to the league’s first team and sophomore Lauren Savo was tabbed a second-teamer on the recently released awards list.

“It’s surprising, but not surprising, at least when I first heard about it,” Garcia said. “A couple of [Mission League] coaches said they thought I did an amazing job this season and I was honored they said that. It feels amazing to win.”

Garcia played in 18 contests, starting 17, while surrendering only 22 goals, which averaged out to 1.257 goals per match. Overall, Garcia played 1,400 minutes and finished with 96 saves.

“It was a fun, challenging season, but I’m always up for a challenge,” Garcia said. “I saw more shots this year than I ever have before, but I knew that was going to be the case.

“It was a rebuilding year, but I connected with a lot of the younger players on the team and that connection sometimes doesn’t happen when you have all experienced players.”

Garcia’s triumph was particularly intriguing considering the senior was recovering from offseason knee surgery and admitted she never was “100%.”

“Coming into the season, my goal was to try and get back to where I was last year before the surgery,” Garcia said. “I wanted to lead the team as a best as I could.”

While Flintridge Sacred Heart missed the postseason, the squad still finished with a 9-9-2 overall record, while taking fifth in league.

As for Basso, the midfielder tallied six goals and three assists this year.

“From the very beginning of the season, Casey was our most experienced player,” Tologs Coach Cesar Hidalgo said. “She was our co-captain, she kept her composure on the field and helped newcomers understand what to do on the field.”

Savo was the third honoree for Flintridge Sacred Heart and helped pace a defense that pitched shutout victories over Monrovia (4-0), Glendale (3-0), Marlborough (1-0), St. Lucy’s (1-0), Pasadena (1-0) and twice versus Louisville (5-0 and 1-0).

“Lauren was our sweeper and the anchor of our defense,” Hidalgo said. “She was the last line of defense for Dani and did her best to limit shots.”

Chaminade’s Britteny McKinney and Harvard-Westlake’s Courtney Corrin shared the league’s MVP honors, while Harvard-Westlake’s Courtney O’Brien was the league’s offensive player of the year and Lucy Putnam was the defensive player of the year.

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