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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy awaits Laguna Hills in first round

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Flintridge Prep, La Cañada all begin playoff journeys in girls' soccer.

February 11, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

Over the past few seasons, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer program has learned all too well of the trials and tribulations that come with venturing south to face off with Orange County foes that make up the majority of CIF Southern Section Division I soccer.

Last season, the Tologs lost in the opening round of the playoffs after a trip down south. This time around, Flintridge Sacred Heart will welcome an Orange County foe to the Tologs’ confines of Occidental College and the home team is plenty happy about the situation.

“I think we are [happy about our draw], especially playing at our field,” said Tologs Coach Cesar Hidalgo, whose team will host Laguna Hills on Thursday in the first round of Division I play at Occidental College. “We know we can have a good performance against anyone on our field.”

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Along with Sacred Heart, Flintridge Prep will also host a first-round playoff game after finishing second in the Prep League, while La Cañada has a very long trip for a wild-card match, as the Tologs, Rebels and Spartans learned their playoff fates on Monday when the CIF offices unveiled playoff pairings.

La Cañada will travel to play Nipomo on Tuesday in a wild-card matchup, while Flintridge Prep welcomes Burroughs on Thursday in the first round. All games are scheduled for 5 p.m. unless a change is agreed upon.

The Tologs have already stated their game will be at 3:30 p.m. at Occidental.

Sacred Heart closed the season going unbeaten over its last six matches with a 5-0-1 mark, as its final game was a scoreless tie against Chaminade — the result coming after a Tologs goal was overturned and preventing Sacred Heart from sharing the Mission League title. Nonetheless, Hidalgo believes his team has found its stride.

“I believe we have recognized that we have a system that works for us,” Hidalgo said. “We seem to have gone in a good uptrend. I believe that having done that is going to be good for us going into CIF.”

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