Youth shows in Flintridge Prep opener with lopsided loss

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — In the early stages of the season for the members of the Flintridge Prep girls' water polo team, it's baptism by fire.

The Rebels kicked off their season Thursday afternoon with an 11-member squad that's got little to no playing experience. It's something that Flintridge Prep Coach Alex Supple had an idea might be in store.

"We only have one girl with any more than one year of playing experience at the high school level," said Supple after host Flintridge Prep suffered a 20-5 nonleague loss against Alhambra. "We started four girls that have never played a match before.

"I was impressed with the way we played and nobody was down on themselves."

Flintridge Prep, which didn't qualify for the playoffs last season, never led Thursday. Alhambra (2-2) jumped out to a 4-0 lead, capped by a five-meter goal by Danielle Durazo with 3:45 left in the first quarter before Flintridge Prep's Suzanna Tan cut the deficit to 4-1 at the 3:32 mark.

Tan scored all five goals for the Rebels, who trailed 13-2 at halftime. The driver completed her hat trick with 2:53 remaining in the third quarter that made it 16-3.

"We have some attacking options with her and she's a strong swimmer," Supple said. "We just have to get used to attacking up and down the pool and I'll be encouraged."

The Moors received six goals from Jazmine Mendoza, four from Danielle Durazo and three from Nita Durazo.

Alhambra feasted on a slew of Flintridge Prep turnovers to score the final nine goals of the first half. Six of those goals came on counter-attacks.

Tan scored a pair of fourth-quarter goals in the final minute to complete her fine performance.

Supple said finding the open passing lanes and reducing turnovers will be something that will be worked on leading up to the Rebels' next match.

"It's our only nonleague match until we start [Prep League] next week," said Supple, who got five saves from goalkeeper Sarah Gilmartin. "Most of them have never played a high school sport before.

"They are here to learn and they will get better. Swimming is a much different experience. We will move on."

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