Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer continues dominant ways in first round of playoffs

Along with a lopsided playoff win, the Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer team eclipsed the 100-goal plateau and collected its 20 win, both reportedly program firsts, on Thursday afternoon.

Indeed, with Prep League play having transferred to the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs, a streak of victories and shutouts continues to mount as the Rebels seem to be clicking.

The latest evidence came with reigning All-Area Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year Julia Gonzalez collecting two goals and an assist and Helen Schaeffer adding a score and two assists in Flintridge Prep’s resounding 5-0 first-round win at home over Paramount.

“I think that we are doing extremely well,” said Schaeffer, who scored in the fifth minute off a Gonzalez assist and added two more first-half assists. “I think we’ve improved throughout the season.”

Prep League champion Flintridge Prep (20-3-3) has won six matches in a row, all via shutout, and will now play on the road in Tuesday’s second round at San Marcos, which beat La Salle, 1-0, after defeating Paramount (11-9-1), the No. 3 team from the San Gabriel Valley League.

The Rebels, who are averaging 3.9 goals scored and are giving up just 0.61 per game, improved to a perfect 8-0 at home as they might not have played their best, at least in their own eyes, but thoroughly dominated play from wire to wire.

The Rebels out-shot Paramount, 30-7, with Paramount goalie Abilene Robles making 16 saves, while Lindsey Uteda (three saves) and Libby Penn (two saves) combined for the Rebels’ shutout with a relatively uneventful day in net.

“From [our last loss to Pasadena Poly on Jan. 14] on, they’ve been on fire,” said Flintridge Prep Coach Esteban Chavez, whose team collected a 7-0 first round win over Granite Hills before a 3-2 loss to San Marcos last season. “Defense has become one of our strengths.”

While the defense has become a strength, the offense has been jaw-dropping, as Gonzalez now has 29 goals and 18 assists, Shaeffer has 26 goals and 28 assists and Mikaela Celeste also has 20 goals and 14 assists.

“We got the result we wanted, but it could’ve been better,” Gonzalez said. “I know for me, I could’ve finished a lot more of my chances.

“I think overall it went pretty well.”

After Schaeffer’s goal early, Prep really got rolling when Mona Cesario popped in a shot off an Ellie Morrisey cross for a 2-0 lead with 14:30 left in the first half.

Seven minutes later, Celeste made a phenomenal pass up to Schaeffer, who took a hard shot, which went off the goalie’s hand and then off the post before Molly Scott scored for a 3-0 lead.

In the very last seconds of the first half, Gonzalez scored again, when Schaefer played a ball up to her, Gonzalez shot and then collected the rebound and scored.

Less than a minute into the second half, Gonzalez split the defense and scored up the middle off an assist from Natalie Brown.

“All in all, I’m feeling really good, they won, 5-0,” Chavez said. “I feel we’re stronger this year than we were last year. There’s great chemistry on the team.”

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