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Rivals topple Tologs, 2-0

Soccer: Early goal and continued scoring woes lead to third straight shutout of FSHA in league opener.

January 04, 2012|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

NORTH HOLLYWOOD — Judging by the first half and the final score of its 2-0 loss to host Harvard-Westlake High on Wednesday evening, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team is hardly where it needs to be.

But, for the reigning and defending league and CIF Southern Section Division I champions, the second half of their league opener might very well be a saving grace that has the Tologs headed along the same path as last season, according to co-Coach Frank Pace.

“I leave here very encouraged,” said Pace, whose Tologs gave up two first-half goals, including one just 70 seconds into the match. “They finally bought what we were trying to sell, which is hard, aggressive defense.

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“I finally feel we are where we want to be.

“The message finally landed today.”

Nonetheless, the overall results did not, as the Tologs (7-3-1) fell to 0-2-1 in their last three games, a span in which they’ve been dealt three consecutive shutouts. All told, Sacred Heart has been held scoreless for a span of roughly 208 minutes dating back to the second half of a 3-0 win over Royal on Dec. 27, 2010.

“I just think we’re not finishing right now,” said Pace of an offense that saw the likes of Breeana Koemans, Kayla Mills and Lauren Torres lead the way in a nine-shot second half but come up empty. “We’ll get ‘em. ... We will score.”

But it was being scored upon that was the problem on Wednesday, as the defense appeared confused and out of sorts when a breakdown allowed a Hannah Lichtenstein goal from the right wing, up close on a low shot just 1 minute 10 seconds into the match.

Indeed the early goal buoyed Harvard-Westlake (8-1-1). With 23 minutes left in the half, Danielle Duhl worked her way through the defense of two Tologs on a breakaway, forcing Sacred Heart keeper Lindsey Espe to come out and force the play. Duhl’s attempt was deflected by Espe, but trickled to a speedy Cami Chapus — the defending state 1,600-meter champion in track and field — who booted in a 2-0 lead.

“They just can’t freelance and do whatever they want to do,” Pace said. “With [Katie Johnson, Tera Trujillo and Krista Meaglia] out, we’re not good enough to freelance.”

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