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Tologs want to keep that winning feeling

Flintridge Sacred Heart will look to take league

other local squads seek playoff appearances.

November 27, 2010|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • FSHA's Natalie Zeenni battles a teammate for the ball during practice.
FSHA's Natalie Zeenni battles a teammate for the… (Roger Wilson, Glendale…)

GLENDALE — Even after winning the program's first Southern California Division III Regional Championship title last season, there wasn't complete satisfaction.

Before winning the championship, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team let some opportunities elude its grasp. For starters, the Tologs finished second in the competitive Mission League while going undefeated and then marched to the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals before falling in penalty kicks.

Most teams would have gladly traded spots with Sacred Heart. Then again, most teams aren't Sacred Heart.

"We finish second in league and go undefeated and then we lose to Beckman in penalty kicks," Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace said. "Had we worked harder on penalty kicks in practice, then maybe we are not eliminated.

"We didn't become a very good team until we beat Saugus [in a quarterfinal match]. We have a long way to go to get back to that level. We don't feel we have any laurels to fall back on."

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While the Tologs return the majority of their star-studded starting lineup, which will feature several players who will eventually compete at the NCAA Division I stage, there will be some new additions across the local landscape of girls' soccer. For example, Crescenta Valley High, Hoover, Glendale and Holy Family will have new coaches on board. In addition, Glendale Adventist Academy will field a team for the first time in its history and will participate in the Liberty League.

Sacred Heart, Crescenta Valley and Flintridge Prep all qualified for the playoffs last season. All will look return once again in February, although there will be plenty of challenges around the corner to keep them up to the task.

It's possible that Hoover, Glendale and Holy Family will be in transition mode while learning from their new coaches.

The Tologs figure to have a wealthy surplus of depth backing up standouts like midfielder Natalie Zeenni, the reigning All-Area Player of the Year, forward Katie Johnson and forward/midfielder Breeana Koemans. All three, who will attend Division I universities next season, figure to play major roles once again for the Tologs, who are ranked No. 7 in the Division I preseason poll. Johnson and Koemans finished with 55 and 54 points, respectively, last season.

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