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Sunday, March 6, 2011
PREPS: Southern Section girls soccer finals

By Scott French

Tiny Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy celebrated its first season at the top level of CIF Southern Section girls soccer by beating a giant in the title game.


Sophomore midfielder Krista Meaglia's soft-touch goal in the second half carried the Tologs (21-1-1), from La Caņada Flintridge, to a 1-0 triumph over San Clemente in Friday night's Division 1 final at Mission Viejo High School.

The title was the first in girls soccer for Flintridge Sacred Heart, a 400-student, all-girls Catholic school that won the Southern California Regional Division III championship a year ago. San Clemente (18-3-8), making its fourth successive D1 title-game appearance, has won five top-division finals in the past 10 years.

The top-seeded Tritons were the better side most of the match and didn't concede a shot on goal until the 66th minute, not until Flintridge Sacred Heart got its counterattack going. Meaglia's goal arrived soon after, in the 68th minute, with a gentle touch to put the ball in off the left post to finish a sequence from Jillian Jacobs to Katie Johnson.

Both teams are expected to receive berths Sunday in the Southern California Regional Championships, with San Clemente in Division I and the Tologs in Division III.

Southern Section finals Friday and Saturday also were played at Warren High School in Downey.

In other championship games:

DIVISION 2
Buena (Ventura) 2, Wilson (Long Beach) 0

Wake Forest-bound Riley Ridgik scored both goals to lead the Bulldogs (20-5-4) to their fifth girls soccer title and first since 2005. Both goals were from headers off set pieces, with Ridgik rising to nod home a Macey Herrera free kick in the 10th minute and a Miranda Campos corner kick in the 34th. The Bruins tried to disrupt Buena with physical play but were unable to mount much of an attack, were outshot, 10-1, and finished without coach Jason Kirkwood, who was ejected in the 83rd minute.

DIVISION 3
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 1, Ayala (Chino Hills) 0

The Lancers (27-1-0) rode Natalie Rivas' hot streak and staunch defense to claim their first girls soccer title, knocking off the only team to beat them this season. Rivas' 26th-minute backward header from Jessie Gener's long free kick beat diving Ayala goalkeeper Alicen Wright and went in off the left post, her fifth playoff goal after scoring just three during the regular season. Alyssa Cabral was pivotal defensively for the Lancers, shutting down University of Virginia-bound forward Makenzy Doniak, who netted four goals in the Bulldogs' 6-2 triumph in early December.

DIVISION 4
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 2, Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley) 0
Ally Courtnall
scored one goal and set up another as the top-seeded Lions (23-2-1) won their sixth girls soccer title since 2003 -- and their first in three years. Courtnall set up Rachel Connors in the 28th minute and tallied from Bianca Deardorff's feed five minutes into the second half. Oaks, which has won 17 in a row, shared its first four championships.

DIVISION 5
Desert Christian (Lancaster) 1, Downey 1, OT
(Desert Christian wins on penalties, 4-2)

The top-seeded Knights (23-0-2) converted all four of their spot kicks to claim their fourth girls soccer title in five years and fifth in nine. Cara Eskenazi scored the decisive PK for Desert Christian, which moved up from Division 6 after falling in a title game last year. Freshman Brooklyn Celebron scored from Shea Richards' feed to give the Knights a 25th-minute lead, and Brandi Neilan pulled Downey even by finishing the rebound of her penalty kick, stopped by Aimee Pierson, in the 53rd.

DIVISION 6
St. Margaret's (San Juan Capistrano) 2, San Dimas 0
The Tartans (25-4-3) extended their unbeaten streak to 24 games, using suffocating defense en route to their first girls soccer title in five years. Regan Anderson scored in the 27th minute and Allie Frost in the 59th for a St. Margaret's side with only three seniors. The championship was the 22nd in girls soccer won by a south Orange County school since 1996.

DIVISION 7
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 2, Animo Leadership (Inglewood) 1, OT

Freshman Jessica Fogel, sidelined most of the match with an ankle injury, came off the bench to beat two defenders and score just 29 seconds into overtime, giving the Trailblazers (15-1-2) their first girls soccer title. Georgetown-bound Vanessa Skrumbis, the school's headmaster's daughter, gave Sierra Canyon an 18th-minute lead on a 35-yard blast and put a second shot off the crossbar, and goalkeeper Lena Perry made 23 saves to stave off an Animo attack that registered 32 shots to the Trailblazers' seven. Kayla Sanchez scored for the Aztec Eagles in the 34th.