Heart of a warrior

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Tera Trujillo drives Tologs with her tough physical play and killer instinct

March 12, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk,

A championship-caliber team needs an enforcer — a strong personality and physical presence that keeps teammates in line and opponents in fear.

For the decorated Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team, that role belongs to Tera Trujillo.

"She's probably as tough and as competitive a kid as we've ever had," Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace says of the junior midfielder/defender. "She's got what we call a warrior mentality. She is a warrior. …She defines fun as measuring your best against the other team's best."

Over last year's historic run and the even more glorious campaign that the Tologs are a game away from bringing to completion, Trujillo has always been ready to role up her sleeves and set the tone when push came to shove in the team's biggest signature wins.


"It really sends the [other team's] forwards a message that you can't really get by us, you can't mess with us because we'll easily push you off the ball," Tologs senior defender Natalie Zeenni says.

Sacred Heart has a plethora of talented goal scorers and offensive facilitators sprinkled among its deep roster. But the victories that have defined Sacred Heart's burgeoning dynasty — from the weekly battles in the Mission League, to one-goal playoff wins over Esperanza and San Clemente in the 2011 CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, to the 2-1 win over Francis Parker for the program's first-ever CIF title last season — almost always come down to who can best stop the other team.

In a nutshell, that's why Trujillo thrives on being a stopper in the clutch.

"It's more my natural position because I never want to let anybody down and I always want to defend," says Trujillo, who plays defender on her club and youth national teams, and brings a decidedly defensive mindset to her starting midfielder spot on the Tologs. "I like to be more defensive than offensive.

"It's also really fun because you get to get in people's heads and you get to make big things happen, even though it's not scoring, but it's part of the team."

Sacred Heart (23-1-1), which captured the Mission League and CIF Southern Section Division I titles this year, will defend its CIF Southern California Division III Regional crown at 10:30 a.m. today against Oaks Christian at Warren High in Downey.

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