Tologs reap rewards of Mission League title

Soccer: League championship leads to nine all-league selections for Tologs, including MVP for Johnson.

April 02, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk,

GLENDALE — The CIF Southern Section and Southern California Regional playoffs held some of the toughest matches the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team played all season. The nonleague portion of the Tologs' season was no cakewalk either.

But the month-long stretch of Mission League games in which the Tologs suffered their only regular-season loss, recorded their lone tie and won four matches by one goal or less, was likely as challenging as any this season. And, by the end of a season packed with triumphs, the achievement of winning the league title for the second time in three seasons stood as tall as any.

"Over a 10-game [league] season, to win that league, that's always what we measure the success of our year by," said Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace, whose team went 23-2-1 with an 8-1-1 league mark and went on to win the Division I section crown and place runner-up in the Division III regional tournament.


Sacred Heart remained the top team in the Mission League this season and had the contributions of numerous individuals to thank for that, many of which earned all-league recognition, as voted on by the league's coaches.

At the top of that list were junior forward Katie Johnson, who was voted most valuable player, and senior defender Natalie Zeenni, voted the co-most valuable defensive player.

Johnson was the Tologs' most prolific offensive player, finishing with 23 goals and a career-high 12 assists on the season.

"I was really excited, I felt like I made a good accomplishment and I was proud of myself because I feel like I worked hard for that award," Johnson said. "On my team there's a lot of good players and just within my team there's a lot of competition, so I felt honored to get that award."

Johnson also led the Mission League with 24 points (10 goals, four assists).

"It is a huge honor for us, we've only had one outright MVP before," said Pace in reference to 1997 MVP Kelly Sinner. "That's really a testament to Katie's play."

Zeenni earned the defensive MVP honor, which she shared with Sherman Oaks Notre Dame's Jen Pace, for the second year in a row.

"Natalie is the latest in a long line of our defensive MVPs," Pace said of Zeenni, who has a place among past defensive MVPs Angie Torres, Lauren Bustos and Sinead Fleming. "It's sort of something we've been known for. She's the latest in a long line of great players who have distinguished themselves on the defensive side of the ball."

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