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Glaring needs confront local girls' soccer teams

La Ca�±ada, Flintridge Sacred Heart and Flintridge Prep are preparing to retool for a new season.

December 03, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • La Caada defender Olivia Leyva, right, is one of a few key returners for the Spartans this season. (Tim Berger/File Photo)
La Caada defender Olivia Leyva, right, is one of a few key…

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Flintridge Prep and La Cañada High’s girls’ soccer teams all made postseason trips last season and all three have playoff aspirations for the 2013-14 campaigns.

However, all three also have some rather glaring holes to fill.

“Super rebuilding year,” Flintridge Prep Coach Esteban Chavez said.

Said Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Cesar Hidalgo: “Being a young team this year, calling it a rebuilding year wouldn’t be too far off.”

With the graduation of standouts Sarah Teegarden and Kayla Mills, Flintridge Sacred Heart begins this season without any remaining starters from the historic 2010-11 team that won a CIF Southern Section Division I title. In addition, Hanna Armendariz, who was likely to be the team’s most impressive offensive threat, transferred before her junior season, and Laura Thompson, who scored eight goals last year, elected to concentrate on academics and skip her senior season.

Of the 48 goals scored by the Tologs last season, only four were scored by players that will return.

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Senior midfielder Casey Basso, who had three goals and an assist, is likely to shoulder the biggest portion of the offensive load.

“She will be the go-to player, the one either assisting or scoring goals,” said Hidalgo, whose team opened with a 4-0 win over Monrovia on Tuesday. “There is a lot of things that we have to do to see where all of these pieces are going to fit.”

Joining Basso in forming the core of the team should be sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Savo and senior defender Sarah Vail. Along with them, senior goalie Dani Garcia, an All-Area pick a year ago, will return, though likely later in the season after undergoing offseason surgery.

Coupled with the uncertainty of having 13 underclassmen on an 18-player roster, Hidalgo and his Tologs must also deal with the rigors of the Mission League, which boasts defending league champion Harvard-Westlake, as well as defending Division I champion Chaminade.

“I think it’s going to be just as tough,” said Hidalgo, whose Tologs took second in league a year ago and were upset in the first round of the Southern Section Division I playoffs. “We’re going to be taking on this league a game at a time. The goal this season is to get in the top three and get into CIF [playoffs]. It’s gonna be tough.”

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