For a team that turned in a lot of firsts this year, Flintridge Sacred Heart soccer team has everything to be proud of, said Tologs Coach Frank Pace.
â€œOur girls had a great season,â€ Pace said. â€œWe accomplished much more than we thought we were going to accomplish. We won the Mission league championship for the first time.â€
Through their accomplishments they earned a No. 1 seed in the CIF Division II playoffs. The Tologs beat Beckman in the first round last week, but were overtaken by Saugus at Saugus, for the second time this year, on Tuesday, 1-0.
â€œWe lost twice to Saugus, they're a better team than we are,â€ Pace said.
Though the loss wasn't quite the same. The Tologs lost to Saugus in the second game of the season, only their second time playing together, while they were still trying to find their identity, and lost 3-1.
In this game, although Saugus held the upper hand for most of the match and had outshot the Tologs 12-5 in the first half, the game was still tied 0-0 going into the second half.
The game continued that way with one team narrowly missing on opportunity sporadically, until the 72nd minute when Saugus' Nicole Penick created some space in the Sacred Heart box. Saugus' Ysabel Padron found the ball and scored from point blank range.
It had been an outstanding game for Sacred Heart goalkeeper Dominique Oro up to that point. By the end of the day, she had eight saves.
Though Sacred Heart created a couple of opportunities after that, Saugus sewed it up and took the win.
The Tolog forwards, especially Kaite Johnson, were stymied on multiple occasions by Saugus' soft stopper-sweeper defense, where the sweeper or defender boxed out the forward and the other picked up the ball.
â€œMy stopper and sweeper play very well together,â€ said Saugus Coach Lisa Rollo, speaking of her sweeper Heather Pilch and defenders Colleen Ortega and Emily Relles. â€œThey read the other team very well.â€