PASADENA — The Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer team hoped to ride a wave of momentum from a big win on Friday into Saturday’s Prep League contest against Westridge.
Rebels Coach Esteban Chavez said his team’s 3-0 win over the Tigers Saturday at Maranatha High came more in spite of the previous day’s monumental defeat of Chadwick than because of it.
“We didn’t really take control of the game until the end,” said Chavez, whose team moved closer to solidifying at least a third-place finish in league with the win. “They got drained emotionally, physically and psychologically yesterday because they left everything [on the field] against a team that pressured us.
“You don’t even get a 24-hour rest and you’re back playing, but I’m happy with the result.”
Despite holding an overwhelming possession advantage throughout the game, Prep (10-4, 5-2 in league) couldn’t increase its lead beyond a 1-0 advantage provided by a fifth-minute Kaitlyn Kelleher tally until late in the second half.
Ellie Redding and Brooke Elby scored inside the final 21 minutes to cap a second half that saw the Rebels take nine shots on goal to none for the Tigers.
Kelleher’s goal came on a header off a free kick from Alina Okamoto. The Rebels would go on to get an assortment of corner kicks free kicks and throw ins in the attacking third over the remainder of the half, but couldn’t convert on any of them.
Another corner from Okamoto in the 29th minute resulted in a scrum in the goal box where there simply wasn’t enough room to get a real shot off amid the crowd of bodies although the ball lay precariously near the goal line.
With about five minutes left in the half, Okamoto played a ball upfield to Elby who had plenty of room to operate on the right side. Elby stumbled while attacking the goal, but still managed to get a shot off that was saved.
Westridge (5-7-2, 2-6) got four first half shots, including a 20-yard free kick that sailed wide left, but was completely shut out offensively in the second half.
In the early part of the second half, a header attempt by Whitney Cohen, a Kelleher shot off an Elby free kick and a pair of shots on frame by Okamoto were all turned back by Cornell Banta, who finished with 12 saves.
Redding finally broke through with a chip shot on a splendid cross from Elby in the 59th minute and Elby closed scoring in the 76th minute with a laser into the upper left corner from 30 yards out set up by a deft shot fake.
Freshman goalkeeper Casey Cousineau, who began the year injured, made her season debut, starting and playing the entire second half and making two takeaways.
Stephanie Bathke played the first half in goal for Prep and notched three saves.
Prep will play Westridge again at 2:15 on Tuesday at Westridge.
Get in touch GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.