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Business as usual at Los Tacos

Soccer: Flintridge Sacred Heart wins first two games of tourney as it looks for third-straight title.

December 27, 2011|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Two games, two wins, two shutouts and all seems to be rolling along as planned for the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team in its annual Los Tacos Holiday Festival.

“It was a good day overall. We started to see some things that we’ve been working on jell,” said Tologs co-Coach Frank Pace, whose team opened up tournament pool play on Tuesday at the Glendale Sports Complex with a 6-0 drubbing of Santa Maria St. Joseph before defeating Royal, 3-0, in the afternoon cap. “We’re about where we were last year at this point.”

Which is great news for the Tologs (7-1), who are the defending CIF Southern Section Division I and Mission League champions. Currently, they’re looking to win their third straight Los Tacos title. They’ve won or shared the tournament crown four out of six years that the tournament — which has undergone its share of name changes — has existed.

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Sacred Heart won its fourth consecutive game against Royal (7-4-2) on Tuesday afternoon and tallied its fourth shutout of the season.

“It’s definitely starting to come together real well,” said Sacred Heart senior Lauren Torres of the team’s defense.

The Tologs, in general, have been a mixed-and-matched group for much of the season with the All-Area and All-CIF trio of Katie Johnson, Krista Meaglia and Tera Trujillo all nursing injuries and other starters missing games for various reasons.

“We’ve all had really good attitudes about it,” said Torres, who had a goal and an assist against Royal, of the different lineups and players playing different positions. “We’re starting to get into a groove.”

While the offense is averaging more than four goals a game, the defense has struggled at times, but seems to be on point as of late.

A few factors loom large in that department. The return of senior standouts Alexa Montgomery and Katelyn Almeida has certainly helped, all four shutouts have come with junior Sarah Teegarden playing in the back and sophomore Kendall Sandoval has solidified herself as a starter.

“She solidified our defense and allowed us to keep Kayla [Mills] up top, which has been a great help,” Pace said.

Senior goalie Lindsey Espe needed to make just three saves in tallying the shutout against Royal, while she combined with sophomore Dani Garcia in net for the shutout against St. Joseph (3-6-2).

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