Prep falls short of title

Having already split a pair of tournament championship games in little more than a year's span, neither the Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team nor its opponent, Alta Loma, wanted to give an inch when the teams met to decide the Ontario Christian Christmas Classic final game on Thursday.

One hundred minutes of high-pressure action produced no scoring, as the Rebels fell, 0-0 (4-2), on penalty kicks in the latest installment of what's beginning to develop into a nice mini-rivalry.

"Now it is," said Prep Coach Esteban Chavez, whose team defeated Alta Loma, 4-0, in last season's Ontario Christian final on Dec. 30, 2010 after falling to the Braves, 2-1, in the Duarte Tournament title game on Dec. 4, 2010.

Thursday's deciding shootout, which saw Prep (6-1-1) score on kicks by Kate Lyon and Abby Letts and had a Kaelin King attempt blocked and a try by Chelsea Johnson go wide left, while Alta Loma (7-1-4) went four for four, was preceded by two halves and two overtime periods that contained a surprising amount of offense for a scoreless tie, according to Chavez.

"I thought we played great defense, but it wasn't a defensive game," said Chavez, whose team was outshot by Alta Loma, 9-6. "Actually both teams for 100 minutes just went at each other. Yes, it was good defense, but no one was really playing defensive. Nobody was sitting back, it was an offensive game [as far as] the attitude of both teams.

"To me, what it was for our team was great concentration with tactics. We did what we had to do. That was a really good team, but because we went at them, we forced them to defend, as well."

Goalkeeper Casey Cousineau made several difficult saves and eight overall and earned all-tournament honors along with teammate Arielle Baptiste.

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