Flintridge Prep girls' soccer surrenders two goals, tie to Pasadena Poly

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Strictly based on definition, there is no winner in a tie.

Yet, one side was relieved and the other annoyed after the Pasadena Poly girls’ soccer team scored two second-half goals in forging a 3-3 deadlock versus bitter rival Flintridge Prep in Prep League play Monday afternoon at the Glendale Sports Complex.

“I just told my girls that even though I thought we dug ourselves a really big hole in the first half with the number of mistakes we made in front of goal that I was proud of them for digging out of it in the second half,” Poly Coach Patrick Gray said.

The Panthers (10-1-1 overall, 2-0-1 in league) knotted the game in the 72nd minute via a controversial penalty kick.

Panthers forward Noel Askins was the beneficiary of a three-girl attack that started from the wings by sophomore Becca Hanel, who fed teammate Catherine Boyer inside the 18.

Boyer slipped a through ball to Askins, who was bumped to the ground about 10 yards from goal and was awarded a penalty kick.

Instead of Askins, Poly went with senior Katie Wardlaw, who buried a shot into the lower left of net, the opposite of where Rebels Dartmouth-bound goalie Casey Cousineau dived.

“I just knew I had to keep my composure and that that was a crucial point in the game,” Wardlaw said. “I normally go the other way, but I had a feeling that [Cousineau] knew that.”

Wardlaw’s goal was the final fireworks for the Panthers, who had one decent chance at winning when Askins shot high from 15 yards in the 79th minute.

The foul on Askins and subsequent penalty kick irked Rebels Coach Esteban Chavez, who felt that similar cards should have been pulled out when Flintridge Prep junior Cassie Redding was taken down in the box in the 58th minute or four minutes later when Askins collided with Cousineau and nothing was called.

“I’m not going to cry if it’s a PK, it’s a PK, but then [ours was a PK],” Chavez said. “Noel knocking our keeper down doesn’t get a yellow card, but Abby [Letts] gets one.”

The Rebels were playing short-handed after the 65th minute when Letts was called for a double-yellow card on a hard slide tackle. Letts previously was yellow-carded in the 25th minute.

Poly’s other goal in the second half came in the initial 30 seconds when a 30-yard sideline run from Wardlaw led to a pass to Askins, who crossed to Princeton-bound senior Sarah Mendenhall, who rifled a goal near side to bring the Panthers within 3-2.

The Panthers entered Monday’s contest top-ranked in Division III of the CIF Southern Section, but appeared headed for defeat as the sixth-ranked Rebels (10-1-3, 2-1-1) held a 3-1 advantage at the half behind the brilliant play of senior forward Kaelin King and freshman striker Katherine Pinney, who were directly involved in all three scores.

Pinney played a little give-and-go in the 10th minute when King crossed to Pinney, who laced a 10-yard goal to give Flintridge Prep the early advantage.

In the 35th minute, the Rebels struck again on only their second shot when King chipped in a point-blank shot off a 50-yard free kick from Cousineau that was redirected by Whitney Cohen to Pinney.

While Poly countered with a goal from Mendenhall in the 38th minute off an assist from Wardlaw, the Rebels answered a minute later on another 15-yard goal from Pinney off an assist from King.

“It hurts. It really, really hurts,” King said of the tie. “Facing adversity with Abby getting two yellows. There’s nothing you can do about it. Sometimes it just doesn’t go that way.”

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