Rebels reeling

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — While a reversal of recent fortune is certainly something first-year Flintridge Prep boys' soccer Coach Fabrice Gautrat is looking for, he's not ready to tap the panic button yet, either.

From the outset of Thursday's nonleague home match against South Hills, the Rebels were playing catch-up at the Glendale Sports Complex and when all was said and done, Flintridge Prep had lost to the visiting Huskies, 4-0, for its fourth straight loss.

"That's a good team," said Gautrat of South Hills, which is a part of the Division II Sierra League. "They're legit.

"There's no reason to panic. We're OK. We just need to take the little things more seriously."

South Hills (7-4-3) gave Flintridge Prep (3-6-2) problems from literally the first minute of the match and thereon out.

After a Prep defender's clearing kick went off the side of his foot, the ball rested at the feet of South Hills' Carlos Montufar, who promptly blasted a shot on frame that went through the grasp of Rebels goalie Brian Heintz for a 1-0 lead in the first minute of play.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, it was a foreshadowing of things to come, as the Huskies' pinpoint, one-touch passing, overall ball-handling and quickness advantage gave Prep fits all afternoon long.

"Everyone on that team is very skilled," Gautrat said. "We also didn't come very prepared."

South Hills added two more goals in the first half, had two total scores negated due to offsides calls and outshot Flintridge Prep by a staggering 31-4 margin. The Rebels relinquished the first 18 shots of the match, including a 17-0 first-half disparity, and didn't record their initial shot until the 44th minute.

Montufar looked to have scored a second goal in the first half, but his shot hit under the crossbar and bounced out. Another golden chance for the Huskies was snuffed out by Rebels defender Rob Bierman who appeared at the last second to kick away an up-close, one-on-one chance. Moments later, Prep's Manny Perez saved a ball on an open net, but a rebound shot by Arya Tahmassebi made it 2-0 in the 30th minute.

In the 39th minute, Grayson Iwasaki scored the first of his two goals to up South Hills' lead to 3-0.

Heintz had eight saves, while Robby Carroll had two. Defender Eric Kazangian also duplicated Perez' kick save on the goalline on a play in the second half to prevent another South Hills score.

Likely Prep's best shot at a score came from forward David Russell who sprinted around his mark up the right side and hit a low liner that was easily saved.

Russell also drew one of four yellow cards on the game as the contest took on a bit of a puzzling feel as it related to the officiating.

South Hills drew two yellow cards, the first coming as one player was called for taking too long to take a free kick, though he was apparently waiting for a teammate to return to the field after tracking down a ball out of bounds. Soon thereafter, Heintz was given a yellow because he didn't have shin guards on. The match was also delayed at the start due to an apparent problem with a Husky's shin guards. The South Hills sideline was also warned because its players were standing up, as the officials forced them to wear practice jerseys to decipher from players on the field.

"You just let [the officials] do their thing," Gautrat said. "Bottom line, we didn't lose because of the refs."

As for why the Rebels have been on a losing streak as of late, Gautrat believes that will change soon enough when his team corrects the "little things."

"Am I worried? No," he said. "We've got a good team. We need to do the little things right — getting to practice on time, bringing the right equipment, work ethic."

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