Defense gets double recognition

Defense carried the Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team to a third straight Prep League title and also carried quite a bit of weight in the all-league voting, as well.

Goalkeeper Casey Cousineau and holding midfielder Abby Letts shared the league's defensive most valuable player honor, topping a list that also included three additional members of the Rebels' backline.

"I think we are all very strong personalities and we're all dominant in various aspects," said Cousineau, who helped the Rebels finish 9-1 in league. "But I think the key to our defense was communication and being able to get along on the field, but most importantly get along off the field."

Cousineau posted more shutouts (12) than goals allowed (11) this season and tallied 100 saves while playing every minute of the team's 15-2-2 season in goal.

"It's an honor to be selected," Cousineau said, "but it's also an honor to get to know that people actually see you play and that they actually remember you for something."

Letts deftly made the move from center back to the defensive midfield late last season and excelled there her junior year as a facilitator between the Rebels' defensive stand and offensive push. She also scored three goals with five assists.

"It was good for us to get not one but two [MVPs] on the defensive side," Prep Coach Esteban Chavez said. "Abby was really deserving because she developed a lot in the last year, a lot more confidence and a great presence out there. She wins pretty much everything, but also helps us on the counter-attacks."

Chavez also praised Cousineau, who scored one goal and made three assists, as the rock of the defense.

"Bottom line, she's the best goalkeeper in the league," Chavez said. "Obviously we're really comfortable with her in the back. She gives our defense and our coaches confidence."

Making the first team were junior forwards Arielle Baptiste and Kaelin King and senior midfielder Kate Lyon.

Baptiste scored a team-high 12 goals and also made three assists for a team-high 27 points.

"She came up big for us and was a good leader on the team," Chavez said of Baptiste.

King scored 10 goals and assisted on four more.

Second-team nods went to defenders Whitney Cohen, a junior, Chelsea Johnson, a sophomore, and senior Connell Studenmund.

In addition to leading a defense that allowed just six goals in league, Johnson scored one goal and had an assist, Cohen had three assists and Studenmund had two assists.

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