NORTHEAST GLENDALE — First place beckoned for the members of the Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team on a warm Tuesday afternoon at the Glendale Sports Complex.
But the Rebels left the facility lacking a sunny disposition after they let a golden opportunity fall by the wayside.
Flintridge Prep's bid to move all alone into first place in the Prep League was thwarted after it suffered a 2-1 loss against Chadwick.
The Rebels dropped to 11-3-2 and 3-1-1 in league. A victory against Chadwick (4-7-3, 2-1-2) would have given Flintridge Prep three points and a two-point cushion over Pasadena Poly (3-0-2 in league). Poly has 11 points and the Rebels own 10 at the midway point of league.
"It was a lack of communication for us most of the game," said Flintridge Prep Coach Esteban Chavez, whose team played without standout forward/midfielder Brooke Elby for the entire first half as she received medical attention on her right knee. "We gave up two goals that never should have happened, but they did.
"We had a good opportunity to take over first place. I'm just disappointed with the outcome."
Things looked good early for the Rebels, who took a 1-0 lead. Chadwick respond with its goals midway through the first half and snapped Flintridge Prep's 11-match unbeaten streak (8-0-3).
Flintridge Prep, which shared the league championship last season with Chadwick and is ranked No. 9 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division III poll, took a 1-0 lead when Kaelin King scored in the fifth minute on a 30-yard shot off a pass from Kate Kennedy.
The goal didn't appear to faze the Dolphins, who have won or shared each of the previous six league crowns.
Chadwick took advantage of a break it received en route to scoring its first goal.
The Dolphins were awarded a corner kick after a shot that appeared to be going wide was deflected out of bounds by Flintridge Prep goalkeeper Casey Cousineau. Chadwick's Jessy Hale then curved a corner kick over the sprawling Cousineau to make it 1-1 in the 13th minute.
Chadwick didn't stop attacking. The Dolphins, who are in third place in league, took the lead for good in the 16th minute on a goal by Elizabeth Clark.
"I knew coming in that we had to come out playing hard," said King, a sophomore forward. "They started off slow and that corner kick caught us off-balance.
"We are a team that's not used to being behind. League isn't over and we need to get over this game and have some good practices."
The University of North Carolina-bound Elby, a reigning All-Area first-team member who leads the Rebels with 22 goals, returned for the start of the second half and appeared to show no signs of pain. She created a couple of scoring chances, but to no avail.
"I think we tried at times to force things, but it wasn't for a lack of effort," said Chavez, whose team will return to action with a road match against Pasadena Poly on Jan. 28.
The Rebels and Dolphins will meet again Feb. 8 at Chadwick.