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Another tale of Tologs triumph

During its run to a CIF title, Flintridge Sacred Heart soccer had plenty of nailbiting dramatics.

August 11, 2011|By Grant Gordon and Charles Rich, grant.gordon@latimes.com and charles.rich@latimes.com

The top 10 high school games from the 2010-11 season were selected by the sports writers of the Glendale News-Press.

1 Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer defeats Esperanza, 1-0, OT, March 1, 2011

"Off the bench and into the annals of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy history.

Tologs senior forward Alyssa Conti did not begin overtime of Tuesday afternoon's CIF Southern Section Division I semifinal on the field, but she ended it there.

Propelled by the fortuitous right foot of Conti in the 83rd minute of an overtime nailbiter at Esperanza High, third-seeded Sacred Heart defeated No. 2 Esperanza, 1-0, to advance to the program's first-ever CIF Southern Section championship final.

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'I am so excited right now I can't even put it into words,' said Conti, who took a ball on the right wing from junior forward Breeana Koemans and went high with her shot for arguably the biggest goal in Sacred Heart soccer chronicle. 'It was a great team effort, though, we all worked really hard on the field and it comes out with a good goal in the end, I guess.

'I was making sure this was not my last game for this team. I'm not ready to leave.'"

Grant Gordon

When all was said and done during the Tologs' magical season, their thrilling overtime triumph on the road against Esperanza was not the biggest win in program history — or the season, in that regard.

But had it not been for the cardiac kick of Alyssa Conti, the perfect pass of Breeana Koemans, the sliding save of Natalie Zeenni or the overall host of dramatics put forth by the Tologs against Esperanza, the CIF Southern Section Division I championship that ultimately defined Flintridge Sacred Heart's season would not have been possible.

And as far as dramatics, circumstance and clutch performances, one would be hardpressed to find a more suitable example than what played out over 83 exhilarating minutes on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in Orange County when the Tologs beat Esperanza, 1-0.

"Esperanza was exhilarating for so many reasons," said Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace. "Few gave us a chance, but they didn't know what we knew. Coming through the Mission League, we were used to playing great teams in a hostile environment. I felt we had the better run of play throughout the game. I was also confident that we were ready should the game go to PKs. Still, when Alyssa knocked that goal home, she created a memory that will last a lifetime for all who were there."

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