Flintridge Prep makes its point

Erik Boal

When the members of the Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team walked off

Pasadena Poly's field Jan. 8, they knew they missed out on a golden

opportunity to earn an important point in the race to secure a

postseason berth.

But when the Rebels desperately needed that point Tuesday against

the visiting Panthers to remain in the thick of the Prep League race,

they didn't let the chance pass them by again.

Jessica Nishiguchi's goal in the 65th minute, combined with

another impressive defensive effort and clutch goalkeeping from

freshman Ayana Sumiyasu, helped Flintridge Prep record a 1-1 draw,

allowing Tim Morphy's squad to remain in a second-place tie with

Rancho Palos Verdes Chadwick (8-4-6, 3-1-3 in league).





Pasadena Poly 1 0 -- 1

Flintridge Prep 0 1 -- 1




Carlson (Regas, 29th minute). * Saves: Fauvre 11. * Cards: Kuwata (yellow, 12th minute), Walper (yellow, 66th minute), Giampaolo (red, 79th minute).


Nishiguchi (Von Der Ahe, 65th minute). * Saves: Sumiyasu 15. * Cards: Cook (red, 79th minute).


"We just kept waiting for something to be open up there, and we

just kept pressing [until it happened]," said Nishiguchi, who was

moved from the midfield up to forward with 20 minutes remaining in an

effort to create more scoring opportunities for the Rebels (11-2-5,


"It is [an important point], but we really wanted to beat them,

especially for [senior] Katie [Kelley] because it was her last shot

against Poly.

"But [most of the time] we just couldn't get enough numbers up

there [to support the attack] because Poly covers so well [on


But all it took was one opening for Flintridge Prep -- ranked No.

10 in CIF Southern Section Division IV -- to even the score against

the third-ranked Panthers (16-2-3, 4-0-3), who went ahead on Beth

Carlson's one-timer from Jen Regas in the 29th minute.

Defender Chardee Galan started a counterattack by playing a ball

along the right sideline to fellow freshman Lauren Von Der Ahe, who

threaded a perfect pass to Nishiguchi near the top of the

goalkeeper's box.

From there, Nishiguchi -- who just missed out on setting up a

Rebel goal in the 35th minute, as Coco Kleinert's rebound attempt off

her shot was deflected away by Panther goalkeeper Anne Fauvre (11

saves) -- did the rest, settling the ball and nailing a shot in the

lower-right corner past Fauvre.

"Jessica came through when we really needed her. We made the move

by pushing her up to forward, and it paid off," said Morphy, who

received great defensive support from Catalina Combs, Genny Cook,

Lisa Friedman, Galan and Ali Thompson.

"It would've been nice to pull one out, but it's a big point

because it keeps us up where we need to be.

"We knew coming in that we didn't have a whole lot to lose. If we

had won, it would have given us a chance to [earn a share] of [the]

league [title]. But hopefully this will give us a little more

respect in the [playoff] seedings."

Sumiyasu tallied 15 saves, including point-blank stops inside 10

yards in the 13th, 14th, 73rd and 76th minutes.

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