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New crop to fill in local girls' soccer fields

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Flintridge Prep, La Cañada High all going through transition periods.

November 28, 2012|By Grant Gordon
  • La Canada's Natalie Ragusa heads the ball.
La Canada's Natalie Ragusa heads the ball. (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

With another winter ready to usher in another start to the high school girls' soccer season, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy will once more look to fill the void left by a departing All-Area Player of the Year.

The Tologs will also begin a major renovation as it relates to the coaching ranks.

As La Cañada looks to carry over the momentum of a CIF quarterfinal run, it must fill some huge holes left by decorated graduated mainstays.

Flintridge Prep boasts a steady stream of returning talent, but for a second straight season finds itself needing to replace its top scorer while looking to win a third Prep League crown in a row.

No matter the team, there are myriad changes as the 2012-13 season kicks off.

Sacred Heart, which followed up a CIF Southern Section Division I and Mission League championship in 2011 with a second-place league mark and a first-round playoff loss, must move on with the losses of graduated seniors such as All-Area Player of the Year Breeana Koemans — who followed a two-year run of Tologs defender Natalie Zeenni winning the award — Katie Johnson and Tera Trujillo, among others. Of course Johnson and Trujillo were already gone all of last year with knee injuries, as much of the story for last season's Tologs was trying to overcome injuries.

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Now, this year's Tologs welcome back senior midfielder Krista Meaglia, who was lost all of last year with a knee injury, as one of a great deal of experienced senior standouts.

"We have a seasoned defensive core and some fast, talented offensive players," said first-year Tologs Coach Cesar Hidalgo, who previously coached at Crescenta Valley and assisted the Tologs last season. "We are not 18 deep as we have been in previous years, but if we can keep our best 16 healthy we will be fun to watch."

Hidalgo's arrival means the departure, of sorts, of longtime and hugely successful co-coaches Frank Pace and Kathy Desmond. Pace will stay on as the associate coach, while Desmond is the coach emeritus.

Along with plenty of experience on the sideline, Sacred Heart has eight seniors with starting experience, led by Meaglia, defender Sarah Teegarden and Kayla Mills, who could play forward, midfielder and defender.

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