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Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart, La Cañada girls' soccer turn to postseason

Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart, La Cañada girls' soccer turn to postseason
The Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team will begin the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs Thursday with a home match against Buena at Occidental College. (Mike Mullen)

A season ago, the Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team embarked on a historic postseason run. It culminated with the Rebels advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division III semifinals as well as the semifinals of the Southern California Regionals.

Though the Rebels came up short in their quest to win a pair of championships, the experience left them hungry for a shot at redemption.

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Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and La Cañada are set to take part in the CIF playoffs after the CIF Southern Section office released its playoff brackets for all seven divisions Monday.

Flintridge Prep (19-4-2) earned the third seed in Division III and will meet visiting Buena (4-9-2) in a Division III match at 3 p.m. Thursday on the upper field at Occidental College. The Rebels won the Prep League championship without a blemish and have won 15 straight matches overall. They are 15-0-2 in their last 17 games and haven't lost since suffering a 3-1 defeat against Harvard-Westlake on Dec. 9 in the Aliso Cup.

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"If we continue to improve on our strengths and weaknesses, then we'll be OK," Flintridge Prep coach Esteban Chavez said. "You might get hit in the face with a surprise in the playoffs, so we just have to be able to focus on our own team.

"Our players have the playoff experience from last season and we really made a great run. We learned a lot and we have most of the team back. We know there are going to be a lot of good teams out there again. The farther you go, the better the team you'll face."

Buena finished third in the Channel League.

The winner of the Flintridge Prep-Buena match will meet Culver City (14-3-3) or Knight (14-5-2) in a second-round match Feb. 20. Culver City won the Ocean League title and Knight took third in the Golden League.

Flintridge Sacred Heart won the Mission League title for the first time in seven seasons. The Tologs (10-4-4) posted wins in their final two matches against rival Harvard-Westlake and Chaminade to claim the league crown.

Flintridge Sacred Heart will be at home to take on Valencia Valencia (10-6-6) in a Division II first-round match at 3 p.m. Thursday at Occidental College's Patterson Field.

"We came away with the big victories against Harvard-Westlake and Chaminade, so we feel good about the way we are playing," Flintridge Sacred Heart coach Mark Snashall said. "We are on a nice roll and we have some good momentum.

"Plus, we have some players who could be back in the lineup after being injured. We'll be a little deeper."

The Flintridge Sacred Heart-Valencia winner will face Sunny Hills (17-4-3) or Yorba Linda (6-8-4) in a second-round contest Feb. 20. Sunny Hills and Yorba Linda finished second in the Freeway and Crestview leagues, respectively.

La Cañada (10-5-5) took second in the Rio Hondo League and will host Temescal Canyon (11-8-5) in a Division IV first-round match at 5 p.m.Thursday.

The Spartans finished 3-0-2 in their last five league matches, perhaps giving them confidence entering the postseason.

Temescal Canyon finished second in the Sunbelt League behind Paloma Valley. The Titans are 3-0-1 in their last four contests.

The La Cañada-Temescal Canyon winner will battle Cerritos Valley Christian (20-3), Mayfield (8-7-5) or Highland (9-13) in a second-round tilt on Feb. 20. Cerritos Valley Christian won the Olympic League, Mayfield took second in the Prep League and Highland was fourth in the Golden League.

Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich

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