TODAY’S GAMES, 3 P.M.
Saugus vs. Flintridge Sacred Heart at Glendale College: Flintridge Sacred Heart has vengeance on its mind now that it knows who it plays in today’s quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 soccer playoffs. The Tologs (18-1-3) will host Saugus (11-4-2) at 3:15 p.m. at Glendale College, but it wasn’t until later in the evening Wednesday after its 5-0 victory over St. Lucy’s in the second round that Flintridge Sacred Heart found out it was playing the defending champion who ousted them in the second round last year. There’s a stark difference with the Tologs this year in that they’re much younger, but they’re also a battle-tested group ranked 11th in the nation on the ESPN FAB 50 rankings. Their lone loss was against Bishop’s of La Jolla, the No. 9-ranked team in the nation and tops in the CIF-San Diego Section.
Flintridge Sacred Heart coach Frank Pace said Saugus is dangerous for reasons other than beaming with confidence as defending champion. “They’re on a roll and feeling good about themselves,” Pace said. “They have the mentality of a champion. We’re trying to get there. We’re playing sophomores and freshmen, but we’ll get there.” The Tologs can hold their ground, too. They’ve played with precision, and that’s complemented their offensive prowess well, led by Katie Johnson (18 goals) and Breeana Koemans (14 goals, 14 assists). Defensively, Flintridge Sacred Heart has eight shutouts and has given up only nine goals in 22 games. The Tologs also are on a roll of their own, having beaten five league champions this season to earn a No. 2 seed in the tournament. Among them: Harvard-Westlake (the top-seeded team in Division 2), Alverno (defending Division 7 champion), Royal (Division 1) and Beckman (ranked No. 44 in the nation). It’s those kind of results that make Flintridge Sacred Heart an elite power. “And this was supposed to be our transition year,” Pace said. Some transition.
Cate vs. Alverno at Rio de Los Angeles Park: Scoring seems to come easy for Alverno and the defending Division 7 champion hopes it continues that way when it hosts CATE of Carpinteria in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. today at Rio De Los Angeles Park in Los Angeles. The Jaguars (15-5-1) were worried that rust might be an issue after they earned a first-round bye and had not played in 14 days. But Alverno came out firing on all cylinders, scoring eight goals in all and getting four from Cassie Saavadra in an 8-1 victory over South El Monte in the second round. Alverno has allowed only two goals in its last seven games and in that span has scored a staggering 69 goals.