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One last title tussle for Tologs

Soccer: Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy faces Oaks Christian for Southern California Regional crown to cap season.

March 12, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
  • Katie Johnson, center, and the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team will defend their CIF Regional title today.
Katie Johnson, center, and the Flintridge Sacred Heart… (Tim Berger, Staff…)

GLENDALE — As any squad still playing in mid-March can likely boast, the Oaks Christian High girls' soccer team appears to be playing its best soccer of the season.

But is the Lions' best good enough to beat a much-lauded Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy team also hitting on all cylinders?

That question will be decided today at 10:30 a.m. at Warren High in Downey in the finale of the CIF Southern California Division III Regional Soccer Championships.

The defending-champion Tologs enter with a 23-1-1 overall mark, while the Lions are an impressive 25-2-1. Both teams are riding double-digit win streaks and the euphoria of recently capturing a CIF Southern Section title in their respective divisions.

"We're looking forward to a great game," said Sacred Heart senior forward Alyssa Conti, whose top-seeded team ascended to the No. 1 ranking in ESPN Rise's national poll after beating San Clemente, 1-0, in the CIF Southern Section Division I title game on March 4. "They're coming off a [19]-game [win] streak and that's kind of intimidating, but we're looking forward to playing them. We're coming out guns out.

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"This is the last game [the seniors are] ever going to play together, we know that for a fact, so we're going to give it all we have and leave everything on the field and hopefully come out with a victory."

The third-seeded Lions haven't lost since Dec. 20, and their current 19-game streak includes a 2-0 win over Canyon Springs in the Division IV title game on March 5 and regional tournament shutout wins over LACES and The Bishop's School.

"We're playing some good soccer right now, we're on a little bit of a roll," said Oaks Christian Coach Sebastian Alvarado, whose team defeated the San Diego Section Division IV champs, 3-0, in the semifinals on Thursday. "We played a great game against Bishop's, they were the best team we've played all year.

"The second half of that game was our best half of the year so far against a good team."

Oaks Christian got three goals from senior forward Ally Courtnall to claim a decisive victory over Bishop's in a game that was tied at halftime.

"I don't know if I was impressed, but it certainly caught my attention," Tologs co-Coach Frank Pace said. "I'm surprised that the margin of victory was so great.

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