LA CAÑADA — Throughout most of its CIF Southern Section Division II second-round playoff match Friday, the Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer team dominated and showed why it was the No. 1 seed.
However, domination turned to heartbreak in an instant for the Rebels
Flintridge Prep’s bid to win a second CIF championship in a row was foiled, as visiting Moorpark scored with less than a minute left in stoppage time to register a 2-1 win at St. Francis High’s Friedman Field.
Jennifer Bill scored the winning goal for Moorpark (14-4-4) when she deflected a corner kick by Mia Aguilar past Flintridge Prep goalkeeper Libby Penn.
Moorpark, which took second in the Coastal Canyon League before opening the playoffs with a 2-1 road win against Oaks Christian, will meet Mira Costa in a quarterfinal match Tuesday.
Flintridge Prep (22-1-1), which captured the Division III title last season before being shifted to Division II, had 12 shots in the second half. The Rebels, who won the Prep League title and had a first-round bye, couldn’t convert on a penalty shot by Mikaela Celeste that was stopped by goalkeeper Felcia Neatherlin with six minutes left.
“Nobody plays the game like we do,” said Flintridge Prep coach Esteban Chavez, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year. “It’s about winning games and the girls deserved a better outcome.
“It wasn’t the penalty kick that was the defining moment. Their goalkeeper guessed right on the penalty shot. The quality of soccer played was outstanding. We lost, but we played great.”
Neatherlin (13 saves) made five outstanding saves, including turning back Celeste with a near the left post on the penalty shot. A corner kick by Celeste hit a Moorpark defender in the hand inside the box, leading to the penalty shot.
“You’ve got to have faith in that situation,” said Neatherlin, who had nine second-half saves. “You don’t know which way the shooter will go.
“I figured if we could get the stop there, that we’d have a chance. It’s jaw-dropping right now.”
Moorpark took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute after Kaelana Foss directed in a corner kick by Aguilar.
Flintridge Prep tied it at 1 with about 90 seconds left in the first half on a goal by Kylie Oh off a pass from Celeste.
Flintridge Prep’s Mckenna Dominguez lined a shot off the top of the crossbar with 11 minutes left in the second half.
“We had all of those chances in the second half and [Moorpark] had two,” Dominguez said. “It just makes it that much more heartbreaking right now.”