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Rebels outlast champions

Soccer: After two weather delays, Flintridge Prep girls earn 3-1 victory against Lancaster Desert Christian.

December 15, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Marisa Alfaro had enough of the rain, thunder and lightning on an already bone-chilling afternoon.

The Flintridge Prep girls' soccer player wasn't too keen on having to wait through two weather-related delays, but she had no choice other than to remain prepared in case the Rebels' nonleague match against Lancaster Desert Christian would be completed.

Once played resumed, Alfaro took control in a big way, scoring two goals and adding one assist to help Flintridge Prep record a 3-1 nonleague home victory Thursday at the Glendale Sports Complex against the defending CIF Southern Section Division V champion.

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"I just wanted to get out there and play, and I thought the game might be canceled," said Alfaro, a junior midfielder who helped Flintridge Prep improve to a 3-1 and snap Desert Christian's 31-match unbeaten streak (30-0-1). "Our team came in pumped up and ready to play.

"We were excited to be able to play against them and we were ready to win."

Shortly before the match began, a steady rain began to fall and dark clouds hovered over the venue for nearly 30 minutes. In the distance, thunder roared and lightning streaked through the sky, causing the match to be stopped in the 10th minute of the first half for about two minutes. Play resumed again until being stopped in the 14th minute. The second delay lasted about 45 minutes and prompted the possibility of the officials either calling or shortening the contest.

According to the match officials, the game must be stopped 30 minutes after every lightning streak.

Instead, Flintridge Prep and Desert Christian (5-1-1) waited out the delays by stretching in anticipation that the match would be completed.

Flintridge Prep Coach Esteban Chavez, whose team is ranked No. 10 in the latest Division III poll, said the Rebels needed to regain their focus following the final delay.

"Maybe both teams had lost their concentration because they thought the game would be canceled and you can't blame them for that," said Chavez, who guided the Rebels to the Prep League championship last season. "Once it started up [the second time], we came to play and it's a good win for us.

"They have a lot of real good athletes and it was a good toe-to-toe match."

Flintridge Prep took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute on a goal by sophomore forward/midfielder Kate Kennedy. After a scramble near the front of the net, Alfaro made a perfect pass to Kennedy, who beat Desert Christian goalkeeper Olivia Bosma.

The Rebels extended their lead to 2-0 when a corner kick by Alfaro deflected in off Bosma in the 26th minute. Alfaro gave Flintridge Prep a 3-0 lead in the 58th minute on a direct kick.

Desert Christian, which is ranked No. 2 in Division V and won three Division VI championships between 2007-09, avoided the shutout when Brooklyn Celebron beat Flintridge Prep goalkeeper Casey Cousineau in the 75th minute.

Flintridge Prep defensive unit of Abby Letts, Chelsea Johnson and Connell Studenmund limited the Knights to two shots on goal.

Desert Christian lost its seventh match since 2007, six coming at the Glendale Sports Complex. The Knights' last defeat came in a 4-0 decision against Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy on March 10, 2010, in a CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championships semifinal match at the Glendale Sports Complex.

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