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Tologs take home 6-A-Side tourney

Soccer: Led by Koemans, young FSHA squad wins tourney with OT victory.

June 29, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

GLENDALE — With an unconventional and youthful lineup, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team won an unconventional tournament for the first time in its long history.

Led by Breeana Koemans, one of just two varsity returners playing in the tournament, the Tologs won the 18th annual Travis Jackson 6-A-Side Tournament on Sunday at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

Koemans scored the game-winner in sudden death overtime to give Sacred Heart a 4-3 championship win over Palos Verdes.

"It was sort of like the new season started where the old one left off," said Tologs co-Coach Frank Pace in reference to his team's 2009-10 season, in which the program won its first-ever CIF Division III Southern California Regional Championships title, advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals and finished Mission League play unbeaten with all three accomplishments characterized by close contests and many come-from-behind efforts. "For us to end up winning this tournament against really exceptional high school talent is just an indication of how deep the program is right now."

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Koemans, who had 10 goals in seven tournament contests, and Krista Meaglia, who had three goals, were the only Tologs playing in the tournament that were varsity mainstays during last season's championship run.

"Our intention was to take a look at other kids vying for varsity spots," Pace said. "We originally weren't gonna go [to the tournament] because so many of our kids were away."

Thus, with a cavalcade of All-Mission League, All-Area and All-CIF talent involved with club tournaments, a roster of players that won't necessarily even be on the varsity squad in the winter was able to propel the Tologs to the tournament title, the program's first in the 10 years it had appeared in the tournament.

"The younger kids did what nobody's been able to do in 10 years," Pace said.

In pool play, the Tologs defeated Long Beach Poly, 2-1, tied Culver City, 2-2, and then beat both El Rancho and La Mirada by 4-0 scores.

In knockout tournament play, Sacred Heart received a bye before defeating Estancia, 2-1, and South Torrance by the same score in the semifinals.

"I thought that would be as far as we could go," said Pace of drawing South Torrance in the semifinals.

But after prevailing against South Torrance, the Tologs took on Palos Verdes and won in dramatic fashion.

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