A relatively youthful Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team relied on the experience and leadership of senior fullback Chelsea Johnson this past season.
Johnson, one of only five upperclassmen on the Rebels' 20-player roster, did not disappoint.
The linchpin of Flintridge Prep's defense, Johnson was recognized for her exploits outside of her squad in being named the Prep League's Defensive Most Valuable Player on the recently-released league awards.
Johnson was one of eight Rebels lauded, but received the highest praise from her coach, Esteban Chavez.
“She was the leader of our team and did everything that was asked of her,” Chavez said. “Just on defense, she was a great defender who marked her player well and had great anticipation.
“But, she was so much more than just defense. She helped push the offense forward, took most of our set pieces and was overall a big reason behind our success.”
Chavez' words are backed by Johnson's stats, as the senior finished with 10 goals and 10 assists, while she was particularly deadly on corner kicks.
Johnson was joined on the league's first team by three teammates.
Senior halfback Kaitlin Liston, freshman midfielder Ali Sivilotti and sophomore goalie Lauren Stiles were all named first-teamers and helped paced a Rebels team that finished 13-5-5 overall, second in the league standings and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.
Liston, a defensive midfielder, scored two goals and two assists, while Sivilotti added four goals and one assist and Stiles finished with 148 saves and eight shutouts.
“I really didn't know what to expect when the season started because we were so young,” Chavez said. “But we received great contributions from Kaitlin, Ali, and Lauren, who are all on the first team.
“What made this season special was that we also received contributions from a lot of other players who really grew.”
One moment of progress was perhaps best demonstrated in the Rebels' two match-ups with defending league and divisional championship Pasadena Poly.
The Rebels were soundly drubbed, 3-0, in the first meeting between squads at Poly on Jan. 8.
Yet, just a little over a month later, the Rebels snapped the Panthers' 14-match league winning streak with a 2-2 tie on Feb. 11 at Flintridge Prep.
As for the second team, the Rebels merited four selections in sophomore forward Isabella Boyle (three goals and one assist), freshman midfielder Jillian Brady (eight goals and two assists) and sophomore forwards Alexis Gordon (six goals) and Katherine Pinney (eight goals and six assists).
Pasadena Poly’s Noel Askins was named the league’s offensive MVP.