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Defending champs dethroned

Soccer: Tologs fall in OT of first round a season removed from winning Division I championship.

February 17, 2012|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

MISSION VIEJO — It was a conclusion as unfitting as it was unsettling.

A missed kick, a missed save and a missed opportunity saw the defense of the only CIF Southern Section Division I girls' soccer title in area chronicle conclude before it really even got started.

On the strength of a sudden-death score by Katie Hinman just more than three minutes into overtime that came to be after a Tologs defender missed the ball on a clearing kick and the subsequent Hinman shot squirted through the grasp of goaltender Lindsey Espe before trickling over the goalline, host Capistrano Valley defeated the division's reigning champion, 3-2, in the first round of postseason play Friday afternoon in Mission Viejo at Capistrano Valley High.

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A stone's throw from Mission Viejo High, where the Tologs had won the CIF championship against San Clemente just a season ago, Sacred Heart looked far removed from that championship squad, with a plethora of missing players and uncharacteristic play telling the tale of a season suddenly over.

"You just can't make those mistakes," said senior captain Breeana Koemans. "You can't make those mistakes in DI, especially when we were fighting so hard."

Down, 1-0, at halftime, the Tologs (13-5-3) came out listless, failing to maintain possession and connect on passes. But with roughly 25 minutes left, Sacred Heart began to settle in and tied the game when Koemans scored off a Laura Thompson throw-in. Just three minutes later, Capistrano Valley's Anne Hinman juked past her mark for a close-up shot that she buried to go back ahead, 2-1. Still, the Tologs came back again when Thompson cashed in a Cougars turnover deep in their own end and blasted a shot inside the far post to tie it at 2.

"We picked it up and we came back — we came back twice," Koemans said. "When we came back the second time, we had it. We had it on their side of the field the entire time."

But there was no chance for a comeback after Katie Hinman's goal, which ended the season and the days of the most successful Tologs class in program and area history.

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