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Letts equals more for Rebels

Junior midfielder Abby Letts makes the most of her expanded role for playoff-bound Flintridge Prep.

February 11, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk,

Although it’s been labeled a defensive-minded team this season, likely for little other reason than its defense has remained excellent while its scoring has dipped from recent years, the Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer team showed in its win over archrival Pasadena Poly on Feb.1 that it’s still pretty well-rounded.

Junior midfielder Abby Letts is likewise better known for her defensive prowess, but played a big offensive role in the 4-2 Prep League win that was central to the team’s title run, scoring an insurance goal on a penalty kick late and sparking the Rebels’ first two set-piece goals in the first half with spot-on throw-ins.

“She came through and that made a big difference in that game, going up, 2-0, at halftime,” Prep Coach Esteban Chavez said.


And those were just the contributions that showed up in the box score.

“She’s really good in the air, she wins everything in the air,” Chavez says. “She’s really aggressive, she anticipates really well and she wins all the 50-50 balls. She’s really solid in all aspects of a defender.”

As a center back, Letts was an integral part of the Rebels’ last two Prep League-champion teams, but since being switched to a holding midfielder midway through last season, Letts has come into her own this year as a key figure in solidifying the backfield, while giving the offense a spike.

With its offense losing its best pure scorer to graduation in standout forward Brooke Elby, versatility and balance, as well as maximizing possession, have all become even more key for Prep, which has scored 12 fewer regular-season goals than last season, albeit in three fewer games. Consequently, Letts’ job description — winning physical battles for loose balls, going after balls in the air and being a facilitator in both directions — became a whole lot more important to the Rebels’ chances for success.

Judging from what they’ve accomplished so far, she’s more than lived up to her responsibilities.

The Rebels just wrapped up a 15-2-1 regular season and 9-1 run through league for their second straight outright title and third in a row overall with the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs just days away. They’ve won seven in a row and posted five shutouts in that span.

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