Rebels finding ways to hold it together

Erik Boal

GLENDALE -- o7 Odds and ends from the local high school soccer


Keeping the ship afloat: A lot of times it doesn’t appear in the match


results, but the fact that the Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer team has

been able to remain competitive in the Prep League race and maintain its

No. 4 ranking in CIF Southern Section Division V is a tribute to

second-year Coach Tim Morphy.


The Rebels (11-2-2, 5-1-2 in league) have been without senior

midfielder and second-leading scorer Sarah Sheldon for the past 3 1/2

matches with a dislocated right kneecap suffered during their 2-0 loss

against Pasadena Poly on Feb. 10.

In addition, junior forward and fourth-leading scorer Jennai Taylor

has been slowed for the past three weeks by a sore hamstring, including

seeing limited action in the team’s 1-1 tie against Westridge on Jan. 17.

“Not having Jennai [at full strength] and Sarah was the difference in


that match,” Morphy said.

“We probably could have scored a bunch of goals with our full lineup,

but it’s tough to beat them playing long ball because they are very quick

in the back.

“With those girls back, it allows us to play more on the ground, and I

definitely think we can beat them with our playmaking. Our goal is to be

back at full strength for Westridge [on Feb. 7 at Arroyo Seco Park].”

In the absence of Taylor and Sheldon -- who combined for 37 goals and


104 points last season in helping Flintridge Prep reach the playoff

semifinals -- freshman forward Coco Kleinert has assumed the scoring


Kleinert, who scored the Rebels’ lone goal in their tie with

Westridge, added two more in Saturday’s league victory at Vivian Webb and

leads the area with 14 goals. She is also tied with Flintridge Sacred

Heart Academy senior midfielder Jessica Hanson with 33 points.

Senior midfielder Lauren Hartford has also remained a consistent

producer for Morphy’s squad, tallying a goal and four assists in recent

wins against Vivian Webb and Chadwick.

Better luck in the second half: In the race for which local boys’

soccer team would emerge from the cluttered pack near the bottom of the

Pacific League to challenge for a CIF Southern Section postseason berth,

the winner is: nobody!

Crescenta Valley defeated Hoover, 2-0.

Hoover beat Glendale, 2-1.

And Glendale triumphed against CV, 2-1.

But the Falcons, Nitros and Tornadoes went a combined 0-9 against

Arcadia, Muir and Pasadena in the first half of league, making their

chances of qualifying for the playoffs almost impossible entering the

second half.

Despite playing to a scoreless tie with Muir (3-1-1) on Tuesday, Pasadena (4-0-1) is still on top by virtue of its 3-1 win against

defending-champion Arcadia (4-1) on Jan. 17.

For CV, Glendale or Hoover to have any prayer of reaching the

postseason, they would have to win their final five matches and get a lot

of help along the way.

Proving their worth: If St. Francis wants to maintain its grasp on

first place in the Mission League, then the Golden Knights will have to

survive the toughest stretch of their schedule, which begins at 5 p.m.

today at home against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Glen Appels’ squad will play three matches in the next six days,

against the second-, third- and fourth-place teams in the league, looking

to create a safe distance between itself and the rest of the pack.

Should St. Francis (12-0-5, 4-0-2 in league) get past Notre Dame, then

a trip to third-place Crespi (9-4-5, 2-1-4) awaits at 3 p.m. Saturday,

followed by a home contest against second-place Loyola (7-5-6, 3-0-3) at

5 p.m. Tuesday.

Regardless of the outcome of those three matches, St. Francis has at

least put itself in a better position after six league contests than it

did last season. The Golden Knights started off 3-3, before rallying to

win their last six to claim the league title.