Tologs fall short of triple-crown

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team falls short of adding CIF regional title to its list of championships.

March 14, 2011|By Grant Gordon,

DOWNEY — A victory away from concluding a dream season, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team awoke too late to avoid a nightmare.

Stunned by the fleet feet of Oaks Christian striker Ally Courtnall, stalled by admitted oversight and further hindered by absences and injury, the Tologs fell short of repeating as champions in the CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championships, losing Saturday morning's final to Oaks Christian, 3-1, at Warren High.

"We underestimated them completely," said junior Tera Trujillo, who split time at defender and midfielder, scoring the Tologs' lone goal in the 67th minute as the only answer to the Lions' first-half scoring blitz. "We took it for granted that we were here."


Inside the game's first 18 minutes, which played out seemingly in the blink of an eye, the UCLA-bound Courtnall scored a pair of goals and assisted on another to propel the Lions (26-2-1) to their first-ever regional crown after having claimed the CIF Southern Section Division IV title.

"We said what the heck just happened," said Tologs junior forward Breeana Koemans of the team's reaction to falling behind, 3-0. "We underestimated them."

Courtnall led an offensive attack that matched the combined goal total for the Tologs' previous seven postseason opponents. And with the three goals came not only a championship, but a lofty upset, as the Lions knocked off a Tologs team (23-2-1) that is ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN Rise.

"I knew that our speed would get them in trouble up top, at least. …And defensively, I thought we played very well," said Oaks Christian Coach Sebastian Alvarado. "It's pretty cool that we can say we beat the No. 1 team in the nation and we beat the Division I champion."

For the Tologs, who were in search of claiming a triple crown of titles after having won the Mission League and a first-ever CIF Southern Section Division I championship, running through the first two rounds of the regionals with a 6-1 win over Horizon Christian Academy and a 3-0 win over St. Margaret's left them admittedly overconfident as they stepped on the field

"It felt too easy for a second," Koemans said of the tournament, adding that the team also grew confident leading up to the game after seeing that Oaks Christian had lost to common opponents Harvard-Westlake, 6-1, and Saugus, 2-0.

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