CHINO HILLS — Even with a complete roster, the Flintridge Prep girls' soccer team would have had its work cut out trying to outplay No. 1-seed Ayala for 80 minutes, but the fact that the full-strength Rebels came 60 seconds away from going into halftime with a lead showed they at least had a chance.
Without the services of star forward Brook Elby for the final 44 minutes of Thursday's match at Ayala, that chance essentially disappeared. The Bulldogs rallied for three straight goals within a 19-minute span following Elby's hip injury and subsequent departure via ambulance near the end of the first half and ended the Rebels' landmark season with a 3-1 loss in the quarterfinal round of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.
Even before it eviscerated Prep's already overmatched offensive attack and stretched the Rebels' defense to the breaking point, the loss of Elby had a significant psychological effect on the team.