Top-ranked tussle ends in tie for Tologs

Soccer: Conti, Viola score in Sacred Heart's 2-2 league tie with rival Harvard-Westlake.

January 06, 2011|By Grant Gordon,
  • Harvard-Westlake's Danielle Duhl, left, and FSHA's Jillian Jacobs fight for the ball.
Harvard-Westlake's Danielle Duhl, left, and FSHA's… (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

LOS ANGELES — As a showcase for two of the most talented and potent girls' soccer teams in the nation, Wednesday evening's clash between host Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and archrival Harvard-Westlake more than lived up to the hype.

But as a showcase to determine the best of the best as it relates to the Mission League, Wednesday's evening's battle left everything unsettled.

The Tologs rallied from an early one-goal deficit only to relinquish a one-goal halftime advantage en route to a 2-2 tie with the Wolverines at Occidental College in both teams' league opener.

"I think it's a little bit of both," said Tologs standout forward Katie Johnson when posed with the question as to whether it was a positive outcome or a negative. "It's a good tie, because we played really well on offense.

"[On defense], all we had to do was make two mistakes and we did that."


Both mistakes came at the fleet feet of Harvard-Westlake's Danielle Duhl, who drew first blood for the Wolverines (7-0-3) with a goal in the eighth minute, before senior Alyssa Conti scored the equalizer for the Tologs (8-0-1) less than a minute later.

Sophomore Savannah Viola put Sacred Heart ahead with a score in the 26th minute, but Duhl answered once more in the 45th minute.

"It's a tie," said Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace, whose team went 1-0-1 against the Wolverines last season, but still finished runner-up in the league standings. "We're still getting it all together. We're a very good team and they're a very good team."

The credentials for both squads coming in were staggering, as Sacred Heart, which won the CIF Southern California Division III Regionals Championships and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals last season, entered the contest as the top-ranked team in the state via ESPN Rise and the No. 7 team in the nation. In the same polls, Harvard-Westlake is ranked fifth in the state and 15th in the country.

While the scoreboard didn't show a discrepancy between the two teams on Wednesday, the shot totals certainly did, as Sacred Heart bombarded Harvard-Westlake with 24 shots, answered by nine from the Wolverines. In net, Tologs keeper Lindsey Espe had just two saves to make, while Harvard-Westlake goalie Reba Magier made 13.

"Statistically, we had the better run of the game and their goalkeeper was the player of the game," Pace said. "That's why it was a 2-2 tie."

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