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Taking the Lead

Sacred Heart’s Carter Vettese stepped into new roles as a forward and leader with Tologs reaping the benefits in one of their best seasons yet

April 16, 2008|By Story by Gabriel Rizk?Photo by Tammy Abbott

Nothing changed about the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls’ soccer team’s typically arduous schedule in the 2007-08 season.

If anything, it was one of the toughest the Tologs took on in recent years, as 22 of their 24 contests were played against CIF Southern Section Division I or CIF playoff-bound teams and five of their opponents went on to capture their respective league titles.

And there are never any matches off in Sacred Heart’s own stacked Mission League.

Nonetheless, it was a season to remember. The Tologs posted their best-ever Mission League mark of 6-3-1 — during a league campaign including program records of five shutouts and an eight-game unbeaten streak — and earned the program’s first home playoff game since 1997, while qualifying for the Division I playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

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In addition to her team-leading nine goals and seven assists, senior midfielder Carter Vettese provided the steady guiding presence the team required to stay on course and achieve its goals and was voted the Jessica Hanson Most Valuable Player by her team.

And for those efforts, she is the 2007-08 All-Area Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year, as voted by the sports writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Sun.

“I always say that high school and college teams take on the personality of their senior class and I think that Carter was the leader of [our] senior class,” Sacred Heart co-Coach Frank Pace said. “Much of the success that we had this season came from her leadership on and off the field.

“She exhibited not only a do-as-I-say, but a do-as-I-do example and I think that enthusiasm fed our team for the entire season.”

For Vettese, a first-time captain on a team with other accomplished players, it was a role that took some growing into.

“Every year up until senior year, I was always the one following the captains and I wasn’t used to having the responsibility of getting everyone focused in warmups and concentrating on the game,” she said. “I guess the hard part was quickly having to adjust to that, but once I did it was a really important aspect.”

With some of last year’s offensive weapons graduated and reigning Mission League Offensive Player of the Year Carly Crowder sidelined by injury for much of this season, Vettese also had to adjust to new responsibilities on the field.

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