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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Frank Pace, Kathy Desmond coached Tologs soccer to unprecedented heights

For 14 seasons together, FSHA co-coaches built program into an area, Southern California powerhouse.

February 06, 2014|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Former Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer coaches Frank Pace and Kathy Desmond, at the La Canada Flintridge school on Thursday, January 23, 2014. Both will be inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame soon.
Former Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer coaches… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Frank Pace was the frenzy in a pair of slacks and dress shoes.

Kathy Desmond was the quiet one in a hoodie, shorts and sneakers.

Together, they were architects of the most successful girls’ soccer program in area chronicle.

Desmond and Pace didn’t begin their time at Flintridge Sacred Heart together, nor did they end it that way. But on Saturday, once again together, they will be enshrined as the first coaches in the school’s athletic hall of fame.

“They’re of utmost deserving,” says Stephanie Contreras, the FSHA athletic director. “They certainly built this program. It takes a lot of time and dedication.

“As soon as I brought it to the committee, they were like, ‘What a great idea.’”

Together, they orchestrated the first and only CIF Southern Section Division I girls’ soccer championship run in area lore, just a season after an equally historic CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championship.

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“We just worked really well together,” Desmond says. “It was sort of the perfect fit. I don’t know what to say, the yin and yang.

“It just worked perfectly. We both respected each other’s opinions.”

More than 50 players, four of them high school All-Americans, emerged from under the Desmond-Pace umbrella to play at the collegiate level. A pair of Mission League titles, a 36-game unbeaten streak and ascension to the top of the national rankings likewise marked the pinnacle of success that was their reign.

Alas, for this tale of Tologs triumph, one must climb up a hill to get a view not of the top, but of the bottom from whence Flintridge Sacred Heart soccer climbed.

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Kathy Desmond, having played soccer throughout her life including four seasons at Sonoma State before plying her trade on the semi-professional level, was working in the front office at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy when an opening came about.

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