For all of the nagging injuries that the Flintridge Prep boys' and girls' soccer teams suffered this season, there's optimism for the future with many players expected to return to their respective squads next year.
Flintridge Prep's boys' team failed to qualify for the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs this season, while the girls' team made a postseason appearance.
In both cases, several athletes made significant contributions to their teams and earned All-Prep League accolades.
The boys' team had three players named to the all-league team and the girls' squad registered six.
Senior midfielder/forward Brian Lee (eight goals and six assists) and standout freshman Giovanni Rollie (eight goals and eight assists) earned spots on the first team and senior defender James Woolley (four goals and four assists) was selected to the second team.
On the girls' side, senior forward Lauren Von Der Ahe, junior forward Kyle Edwards, senior fullback Kristin Heintz and junior sweeper Lisi Tegtmeyer were named to the first team. Freshman fullback Kaitlin French and sophomore fullback Kristen MacAleenan were picked to the second team.
First-year Flintridge Prep boys' Coach Esteban Chavez, whose squad finished 7-11-2 and 1-3-2 in league for third place in the four-team league, said the trio deserved the honors.
"Brian used his great speed to keep opposing defenders off balance, and his ability to get behind defenders forced teams to play us with a sweeper which took away their ability to play out of the back," Chavez said. "Giovanni was always the biggest threat on the field. He's the most well-rounded player because of his skill, speed, shot and awareness on the field.
"James was a great defender that attacked well out of the back which showed with his four goals and four assists."
The Georgetown University-bound Von Der Ahe finished with a team-high 18 goals and helped the Rebels, who spent most of the season competing without injured star goalkeeper Ayana Sumiyasu, advance to the Division III playoffs.
The Rebels (12-10-3, 5-3-2 in league for third place) opened the playoffs with a 2-1 overtime, wild-card win against Righetti before dropping a 1-0 overtime loss to third-seeded Santa Monica in a first-round contest.
Without the Yale-bound Sumiyasu minding the nets for more than two months, Flintridge Prep Coach Sean Beattie relied heavily on his defensive unit to help win matches.
In stepped Tegtmeyer, Heintz, French and MacAleenan to handle the responsibilities.
"Our whole defensive core was our strong suit," Beattie said. "We built off of that with those four.
"The experience that we gained throughout the playoffs was huge, especially since it was out first year in Division III and both of our playoff games went into overtime against really good teams.
"It's a huge boost for us to get that experience and having a lot of them returning. We are very excited."
Edwards, who finished with 12 goals, will be counted on next season to provide additional offense.