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Championships aplenty for La Cañada in 2011

Sacred Heart, La Cañada High and Flintridge Prep each captured a CIF Southern Section Division championship or two in the past year.

December 29, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

1 Flintridge Sacred Heart soccer wins CIF Southern Section Division I crown: Big things were expected from the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team as it came into the 2010-11 season with a roster boasting a group of experienced juniors and senior leadership in captains Alyssa Conti and Natalie Zeenni.

Expectations were exceeded, though, as Sacred Heart put up its greatest season ever with a 23-2-1 record that captured Mission League, CIF Southern Section Division I titles and a runner-up finish in the CIF Southern California Division III Regional championships.

“To go in and beat the teams we beat, mostly on their field, really is an amazing accomplishment,” Tologs co-Coach Frank Pace said. “There's nothing subjective about what we did. …You just look at the scoreboard and see the scores. Nothing was given to us. Everything that we accomplished we earned this season.”

The Tologs did what no other team in the area or San Gabriel Valley has been able to when they won the Division I crown with a 1-0 win over San Clemente on March 4.

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There were plenty of other dramatic moments throughout the year for the Tologs. First was their 0-0 (4-3) win over Aliso Niguel in the second round of the Division I tournament thanks to Sacred Heart goalie Lindsay Espe stopping three penalty kicks.

Zeenni shined bright in the semifinal and championship games. She stopped a potential own goal with a clutch sliding stop to propel Sacred Heart to a 1-0 win over Esperanza in the semis after Conti’s sudden-death overtime goal. Zeenni stopped two more shots near the goal line against San Clemente in the championship before her teammate Krista Meaglia scored the only goal of the game in the 69th minute.

Sacred Heart’s season came to halt with a 3-1 loss to Oaks Christian in the championship game of the CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championships tournament. The Tologs defeated Horizon Christian Academy (6-1) and St. Margaret’s (3-0) in the first two rounds.

“For a small school from the Valley, not from Orange County, it's definitely not expected,” co-Coach Kathy Desmond said of the team’s 2011 run. “Everybody had the same goal in mind — Mission League, CIF, state. We got two out of three.”

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