Defense deserts Rebels in second half of defeat

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Here’s the mini-evaluation following the first week of the season concerning the Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer team: Two complete halves will be needed in order to be victorious.

That’s the message first-year Flintridge Prep Coach Esteban Chavez tried to get across to the Rebels, who suffered a 2-1 nonleague loss to La Salle on Friday afternoon at the Glendale Sports Complex.

Flintridge Prep (0-2) played well throughout the first half, but La Salle (2-0-1) seized control of the match’s final — and crucial — half.

“We played good in the first half,” said Chavez, whose team opened its season Thursday with a 2-0 nonleague loss to neighborhood rival Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy on Thursday at the Glendale Sports Complex. “That’s because our defense did well.

“In the second half, we didn’t do so well. I think we got tired as a unit in the second half, but you’ve got to be able to play two good halves to win.”

Chavez, who also serves as the school’s boys’ soccer coach, saw the Lancers, who entered the season ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Division IV poll, score a pair of goals in a 10-minute stretch midway through the second half.

La Salle’s Whitney Tashiro scored the winning goal when she beat Flintridge Prep goalkeeper Stephanie Bathke on a penalty shot in the 59th minute.

The Lancers were awarded the penalty shot after a Flintridge Prep defender tripped up La Salle’s Samantha Whitehead in the box.

“It was a foul,” Chavez said. “I think that’s when we were starting to get tired.”

La Salle knotted the match at 1 when Taylor Mediano scored on a 28-yard shot that eluded Bathke in the 50th minute. Mediano’s goal came about 20 seconds after La Salle goalkeeper Ishani Patel stopped a point-blank Flintridge Prep shot.

The Rebels, who didn’t qualify for the playoffs last season, took a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute. Flintridge Prep’s Kate Lyon intercepted a La Salle pass near midfield and moved the ball forward to Brooke Elby. Elby then threaded a pass to Ariel Baptiste, who beat Patel with a shot inside the left post.

Baptiste’s goal ended a 116-minute scoring drought and appeared to give the Rebels some jump to their game, as they spent most of the first half in La Salle territory.

However, the Lancers used their experience to capitalize on a couple of Flintridge Prep defensive breakdowns in he second half.

“Nobody wants to start out the season 0-2,” said Chavez, who got two first-half saves from starting goalkeeper Elise Young. “We just lost to a good team.

“We know that we can compete. My only concern right now is that we are not too deep.”

Flintridge Prep will next compete Monday in the six-day Duarte Tournament before taking part in another nonleague home game against Campbell Hall on Dec. 15.

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